Clean energy for EU islands

There are more than 2200 inhabited islands in the EU. Despite having access to renewable sources of energy, such as wind and wave energy, many of them depend on expensive fossil fuel imports for their energy supply.

Clean energy for EU islands initiative

As part of the 'Clean energy for all Europeans' package, the Clean energy for EU islands initiative provides a long term framework to help islands generate their own sustainable, low-cost energy. This will result in:

  • reduced energy costs and greatly increased production of renewable energy and the construction of energy storage facilities and demand response systems, using the latest technologies
  • better energy security for islands, which will be less reliant on imports
  • improved air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and less impact on islands' natural environments
  • the creation of new jobs and business opportunities, boosting islands' economic self-sufficiency

The initiative was launched in May 2017 in Malta, where the European Commission and 14 EU countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden) signed a political declaration

The Commission and the 14 EU countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Clean energy for EU islands initiative in June 2020. It establishes a long-term framework for cooperation to advance the energy transition for European islands. The MoU also calls for the continuation of the Islands Secretariat and supports cooperation to identify common solutions and best practices helping islands facing common challenges that cannot be addressed simply at island-level.

Clean energy for EU islands secretariat

To facilitate the clean energy transition, the Commission launched in 2018 the ‘Clean energy for EU islands secretariat’, which offers support and assistance on project preparation to Europe’s islands communities.

Contact the secretariat:

Clean energy for EU islands forums

The forums are organised regularly since 2017 when Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece and Miguel Cañete, European Commissioner for climate action and energy, launched the first forum in Chania, Crete.  

The forums, which are sometimes organised in combination with technical fairs, provide EU islands and other EU initiatives the opportunity to share best practise and showcase innovative projects in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency  and research and innovation.

The European Islands Facility – NESOI

This new Horizon 2020 project, open to a community of 2400 inhabited EU islands, aims to fund 60 successful energy transition projects, mobilising more than €100 million of investment and reducing significantly Co2 and greenhouse gas emissions by 2023. To achieve this, the project team of NESOI (New Energy Solutions Optimised for Islands) will build on the work of the “Clean Energy for EU Island Secretariat” to foster and deliver bankable clean energy projects. 

The most novel aspect of the EU Island Facility project is the cascade funding, also known as easy-to-access lump sums.


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