Will Croatia’s islands finally be given the proper means to catch up with the mainland?
The European Commission and fourteen EU member states, including the Republic of Croatia, signed a political declaration in Malta back in May 2017, recognising the importance and the specificity of European islands and their potential as the bearers of change, particularly in the direction of energy transition.
“Clean energy for EU islands” is a two-year initiative
Clean energy for EU islands is a two-year initiative undertaken by the secretariat for the islands, established by the European Commission.
As Morski writes on the 21st of October, 2018, due to territorial displacement, most islands still depend on expensive fossil fuels. The aim of the initiative is to provide support to the islands and to provide them with access to experts, technical support, and focus on funding sources needed to establish their own, clean and cheaper energy from renewable sources.
This initiative plans to create a minimum of six transition plans focusing on reducing islanders’ dependence on energy imports, increasing production and using their own energy, and promoting modern and innovative energy systems. In addition to reducing energy consumption costs, energy transition ensures cleaner air and reduces the emission of harmful gases.
The further aim of the initiative is to promote the use of its own renewable energy sources to minimise the outflow of money from local island communities. The initiative believes in the fact that instead of spending money on fossil fuel imports, the investments should focus on energy efficiency and on renewable energy production.
Over the next two years, European islands will be mapped, as will their respective needs, their readiness to implement the transition, and key stakeholders in island communities who want and have the potential for energy transition.
The initiative development model is based on the involvement of all local community stakeholders. It will include representatives of the public sector (local, regional and national authorities), the academic sector (representatives of faculties, schools and other educational institutions), the civil sector (representatives of associations, cooperatives) and the business sector (representatives of economic development, producers etc).
Its activities are based primarily on a very specific approach, which means that the most important model of success requires self-initiative, and the responsibility and cooperation of island stakeholders.
Cres – a potential island to provide professional support
Cres is among the first islands to be selected for participation in the “Clean energy for EU islands” project. That is why next week, representatives of the consortium have been selected to pursue the clean energy project, cand will come to the island to meet with all of the relevant and important island stakeholders, as well as to present their plans and activities to the wider island public.
The official visit and proper presentation will begin on Tuesday, October the 23rd, in the town hall on the island of Cres where the guests will be received by the mayor, Kristijan Jurjako and mayors from other areas, including the mayor of Mali Lošinj, the mayor of Krk, and others.
Presentations of the current energy efficiency development on the islands of Krk, Lošinj and Cres will be attended by representatives of cooperatives and associations – Edo Jerkić, from the Ethnic Financing Cooperative, Boris Pavlin from the Green Energy Cooperative, Paula Bolfan from the Island Movement (Pokret Otoka) and Matija Drakulić from Veliko Plavetnilo.
The visit will then continue with the presentation to the general public, at which all local stakeholders, islanders, entrepreneurs, producers, those in the tourism sector, apartment owners, OPG owners, association representatives, and members of cooperatives who are considering the use and production of their own energy, will attend. This presentation will be held at 19:00 in the space owned by the Italian Community of Cres, Trg F. Petrića 14, and the host of this event will be the Island Development Agency and its director, Ugo Toić.