ManagEnergy Expert Mission #4: strategic positioning for faster decarbonisation

ManagEnergy Expert Vlasta Krmelj (Energap/Selnica op Dravi) visited the local energy agency of Gran Canaria on 13-15 November 2023. On the agenda: EU energy policies, communication, stakeholders mapping, innovation and research.

ManagEnergy Expert Mission #4: strategic positioning for faster decarbonisation

Gran Canaria is one of the seven islands of the Canarian archipelago. Known for its all-year-round sunny weather, it is also a leading territory for the energy transition. Raúl García Brink, Councillor for Environment, Climate, Energy and Knowledge of the island government (Cabildo de Gran Canaria), pointed out: “in 2017 the share of renewable was only 15 % of total energy use and today it is already 24 % and is still growing. This is also the result of the establishment of the Gran Canaria Energy and Climate Agency in 2017.”

The Island’s energy agency (Consejo Insular de la Energía of Gran Canaria – CIEGC) is involved in numerous EU projects together with the Institute of Technology (ITC) in the field of climate and nature protection, green hydrogen and biofuels. In 2022, they established the Community Transformation and Energy Transition Office of Gran Canaria (OTC-GC) to work even faster towards carbon neutrality. They are working on the monitoring phase of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAPS) of the 21 municipalities which are involved on a voluntary basis.

CIEGC Director Alexis Lozano Medina understands the importance of cooperation and collaboration for sustainable energy development. This is why he decided to apply to host a ManagEnergy Expert Mission: to get outside views and fresh ideas for a stronger positioning of the agency in the region.

Vlasta Krmelj, director of the Climate and Energy Agency of Podravje and mayor of Selnica op Dravi (SI) thus visited CIEGC for 3 days as part of the 4th ManagEnergy Expert Mission.

Policy Implementation

Implementation of the EU energy directives (new Energy Efficiency Directive, new Renewable Energy Directive; draft of the new Energy Performance of Buildings directive) was one of the main topics discussed during the visit. Increasing temperatures are causing heat waves on the island, leading to rising electricity use. The agency will look more closely into the potential for energy savings in buildings as proposed in the new legislation.

ManagEnergy Expert Mission 4 - Quote Alexis Lozano

Communication and stakeholder mapping

Stakeholder mapping was used to identify potential for stronger cooperation to enhance knowledge and exchanges of experience on the island.

Ideas for new communication activities were also discussed. CIEGC tries to reach different target groups through different communication channels and media. Their subsidy programme for investing in renewables is well accepted and used. Some examples of other agencies across the EU were presented.

Innovation for a climate resilient future

ManagEnergy Expert Mission 4
Consejo Insular de la Energía of Gran Canaria

A study visit organised at the R+D Facilities of ITC, where many experimental projects are hosted (production of biofuel from used cooking oil, growing algae etc.). Wind turbines and PV panels are also producing green electricity which is then used to produce green hydrogen for transport applications.

The regional government and energy agency know that research, economics and social development have to go hand in hand to have positive results and build a green and climate resilient future. Gran Canaria is a good example of such cooperation.