The Clean Energy Secretariat on EU islands held an energy transition workshop attended by representatives from the Croatian islands of Brač, Cres, Hvar, Korčula and Lošinj last week.
As Morski writes on the 18th of March, 2019, Croatian islands officially launched an energetic transition up and down the coast. Back at the beginning of February this year, the Secretariat’s initiative for clean energy for the EU’s islands, which was initiated by the Croatian MEP Tonino Picula, announced a list of 26 European island communities that will receive expert and advisory support for the energy transition strategy in the coming period, writes Pokret otoka (Island movement).
Among the 26 selected islands are four Croatian island communities: The Cres-Lošinj archipelago and Brač, Hvar and Korčula. The two-day workshop, organised with the cooperation of the cities of Cres and Mali Lošinj, the OTRA Island Development Agency, LAG Kvarner Islands and Pokret otoka (Island movement) as local partners, gathered forty representatives of selected islands that, with expert assistance, will set the first foundations of energy transition plans. The gathering took place last weekend and this is the first of a total of ten workshops which will be carried out by the Secretariat for the EU islands in the forthcoming period.
Representatives of transition teams from all five islands participated in the workshop in Mali Lošinj, which will work on strategy development in cooperation with partners and experts in the coming period. The goal of the two-day workshop, besides transferring knowledge and experiences from different areas, has also been gathering, networking and strengthening the island’s stakeholders for further cooperation in the energy transition process.
The Cres-Lošinj archipelago, set as one of the six European pilot projects, should have its energy transition plan should be ready by the end of summer 2019. The remaining twenty islands, including Brač, Hvar and Korčula, will have their plans in place by 2020. Despite the abundance of renewable energy sources, many islands currently depend on fossil fuels and energy imports from the mainland. The transition to clean energy can help the islands not only become more self-reliant and prosperous, but also open up new opportunities for employment in their communities and encourage further direct development of the islands.
The other islands that will be pilot projects in the initiative are the Irish Islands, Sifnos in Greece, Salina in Italy, La Palma in Spain and Culatra in Portugal. Twenty other islands will follow their development and enjoy the suppor of experts in the same direction. An expert team of the Secretariat for the islands will produce guides to initiate energy transition, encourage community involvement and discuss project financing in the forthcoming period.
Croatian islanders will have the opportunity to cooperate with each other, create a network of good practices, educate themselves and and participate in various events. It is important to emphasise the fact that the whole initiative is based on the “bottom up” approach, and the primary principle of transition success is based on the involvement of all local community stakeholders, which include the representatives of local self-government units, entrepreneurs, educational institutions, and of course civic initiatives.
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