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Clean energy for EU islands forum 2022 - Keynote: Kadri Simson - European Commissioner for Energy, European Commission

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The European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, has held a speech on the energy situation of EU islands. She spoke about necessary change, how these difficult times are influencing islands, that there is a new sense of urgency, new challenges, opportunities, and what the commission is doing in terms of energy policy.

The Commissioner emphasised the importance of the role of the more than 2,000 inhabited islands of the EU. There is a lack of energy security, high energy and gas prices, therefore, we need a clean and secure energy system for the EU. We need to increase the number of renewables, increase energy-efficiency, and encourage behavioural changes as suggested in the RePowerEU package.

Commissioner Simson mentioned various challenges to the clean energy transition including permissions for building renewable energy parks (to streamline through the Renewable energy directive). We have already seen excellent examples of islands that are carbon neutral. Islands can be regarded as testing labs.

Transport infrastructure, hydrogen – it is difficult to understand that there still is a huge untapped potential. We need to remove the barriers; this is the role of the Clean energy for EU islands secretariat and can be achieved through their technical assistance. The secretariat also provides access to investment. The commissioner said: “I believe islands can be the champions of the clean energy transition in Europe.” Change is possible and change is in sight, change takes a collective effort.