Island testimonials of clean energy transition strategy on European islands
Moderation: Jan Cornillie – Project director, Clean energy for EU islands secretariat (3E)
- Alfons Röblom - Energy Minister (Aland islands)
- Diana-Paula Gherasim - Eurelectric (EU)
- Finnbar Howell - KRA (Ireland)
- Rosa Mingo Ávila and Luis García Benedicto - IDAE (Spain)
- Andrei Moarcas - Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA)
Alfons Röblom, Energy Minister of the Aland islands, stated that there is a huge potential for offshore wind farms in the middle of the Baltic sea. He thinks that it should be made possible for private investors to build wind farms. 500 windmills could be built for a small island community, but how can such a small community attract investment? Röblom thinks that the Aaland islands will rely on wind as their main business in the future. It is not only about creating energy for themselves but also about creating island wind power as an export product for the energy-thirsty mainland.
Diana-Paula Gherasim, Eurelectric (EU), spoke about the Eurelectric vision regarding islands. The key characteristic approach to islands' energy transitions needs to be comprehensive. Decarbonisation pathways should be tailored to the island's needs.
Furthermore, islands need long-term investment signals to achieve a cost-effective energy transition. How to inspire investment – targets and milestones are important, a clear plan for many years, and a stable framework for the implementation. Investement is not the only challenge, there are also challenges when it comes to connections like, for example, overhead headlines or grid ussues.
Finnbar Howell - KRA (Ireland), spoke aboutTransition Inishbofin. Inishbofin aims to be self-sufficient by 2030. This small island has 200 inhabitants and is acting according to the climate action plan of Ireland. It established an energy baseline, which aims to improve the poor quality of housing stock by deep retrofit, we can reduce the total energy usage by 66%.
Rosa Mingo Ávila and Luis García Benedicto, IDAE (Spain), spoke about the energy transition for Spanish islands with the aim of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. She emphasised the importance of a comprehensive understanding of renewable energy and a comprehensive approach to the transition strategy. She highlighted direct electrification as the most efficient way of switching to clean energy. There's a need for the dynamisation and implementation of transition agendas and the coordination of information exchange networks. 700 million Euros are to be spent and one organisation to deliver it leads to a powerful dynamic. Spanish energy transition strategy consists of two plans, one for Balearic and one for the canary islands. Rosa Mingo Ávila believes that not only clean energy is an important topic for Spanish Islands but also sustainable tourism.
Andrei Moarcas, Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), emphasised the differences of islands. He spoke about overseas territory and their energy strategies and KPIs.