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Clean energy for EU islands forum 2022 - SHAPE: Financing e-mobility infrastructure

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Publication Date

Moderation: Jorge Rodrigues de Almeida – Financial lead, Clean energy for EU islands secretariat (RdA)

  • Julia Guyon - International Energy Agency
  • Petros Markopoulos -Project Manager, DAFNI Network of Sustainable Greek Islands
  • Maria Xylia - Research Fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Rahul Pratap Singh - Investor of European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef)
  • Evangelos Bekiaris - Director, Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT), President, Hellenic Institute of Electric Vehicles (HELIEV)

Julia Guyon, working for the International Energy Agency, presented the IEA policy brief on charging infrastructure, which is in line with IEAs actions to help policymakers tackle climate change.

Why: the road transport sector causes 18% of global CO2 emissions. Hence, electrification has a considerable impact on CO2 emissions reduction, but the bottleneck for many consumers is "range anxiety", thus policymakers should focus on deploying public charging infrastructure.

She presented different business models, including information on charging speeds, motivations, grid services, and examples such as road-side charging, En-route charging, destination charging, and shared home/work charging. Additionally, Julia Guyon provided recommendations like breaking institutional silos and enabling cooperation, tailoring the strategy to the jurisdiction, making EV-charging deployment a clear priority, encouraging standardisation and improving user experience, and plan as well as incentivise future-proof infrastructure.

 

Petros Markopoulos, Project Manager at the DAFNI Network of Sustainable Greek Islands, presented some examples from an island perspective focusing on leaving no one behind.

The island of Syros aspires to become a model for electric vehicle transition, for which it received technical support from the secretariat. Astypalea focuses on an integrated approach looking at EV, smart mobility, a hybrid energy system for RE charging and possible autonomous driving. It developed a CETA and a Sustainable Island Mobility Plan (SIMP).  Kythnos Smart Island focuses on adopting e-mobility, installing solar PV stations for green charging, E-bikes, and upgrading the port charging infrastructure. Petros Markopoulos highlighted the key challenges for islands in the clean energy transition:

- limited grid capacity – close cooperation with distributed systems operators needed, 

- resilience to extreme conditions as a design parameter, 

- challenging cabling and grounding works, the need to designate the EV charging spots. 

While there are various technical challenges, islands also face socio-economic issues in the energy transition like:

- local businesses (rent-a-car, gas stations) being heavily affected, which creates the need for a just transition approach, 

- seasonality encouraging cooperation between the municipality and the tourism sector, 

- traditional architecture demands aesthetic adaptation of charging infrastructure. 

These challenges also create an opportunity for a unique island branding.

 

Maria Xylia, Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute, presented some best practices. Success factors in Sweden are the predictability of bus trajectories and the strong political will of the Swedish government to support e-mobility.

 

Rahul Pratap Singh, Investor of the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF), presented the point of view of the investor and the types (and amounts) of funding available for e-mobility projects. Some examples of e-mobility projects were presented, such as electric buses in Klaipeda, Lithuania. All components of the busses that have been produced in Europe are made from recycled materials and fully recyclable themselves.

 

Evangelos Bekiaris, Director of the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT) and President of the Hellenic Institute of Electric Vehicles (HELIEV, spoke about the Greek models for supporting E-mobility on islands. The national government provides funds to regional and local governments with minimum targets (numbers) of public charging stations. This proved useful, but efforts need to be increased, for example, by collaborating with the private sector such as hotels.

 

Concluding remarks:

It is not all about money. It is also about incentives as part of an integral approach. However, it is not easy to speak to policymakers and investors, especially on islands, because of fluctuating residency numbers.