Islands & Rural Communities

Islands & Rural Communities

Despite the huge potential of renewable sources for islands, such as wind and wave energy, many of them still depend on expensive fossil fuel imports. The remoteness and, at times, vulnerable access to resources from the mainland, along with the effects of climate change, force islands to be creative and bold in finding solutions for their transition to a sustainable energy system and economy. Islands are thus not only among the favourite holiday destinations in Europe – they are also testing grounds and often pioneers of the energy transition.

Despite the huge potential of renewable sources, such as wind and wave energy, many islands depend on expensive fossil fuel imports. The remoteness and, at times, vulnerable access to resources from the mainland, along with the effects of climate change, force islands to be creative and bold in finding solutions for their transition to a sustainable energy system and economy.

Similar to the situation in islands, rural areas in Europe face specific challenges such as an ageing population, high unemployment rates, social disparities and the lack of adaptive potential to the global market. Although rural and sparsely populated areas supply most of the EU’s renewable energy, they usually have a larger carbon footprint than urban communities due to a lack of access to cleaner energy choices. Therefore, these communities face the risk of energy poverty.

Considering the above, rural areas and islands can benefit from the technological development of renewable energy sources. A decentralised energy system where local population take control of their own production and consumption can be a solution to the existing infrastructure and connectivity problems in rural areas and islands. Within this sytem, the application of recent technology such as microgrids or smart meters in rural and island communities can ensure sustainable and inclusive growth. Such opportunities have the potential to make Europe’s island communities innovation leaders in the clean energy transition for Europe and beyond, as the European Commission explicitly recognised in its Communication on the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package.

Objectives

  • Establish a strong connection between FEDARENE & EU institutions for a successful realisation of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative.
  • Share the knowledge of the FEDARENE islands college to ensure that technical and financial assistance, designed to support islands’ decarbonisation, responds to challenges that are well-identified by local and regional authorities and citizens of the EU islands.
  • Increase the regional dimension in debates concerning energy, particularly Fuel Poverty and the implications on wider wellbeing and health.
  • Sharing extensive experience in community engagement and involvement in planning and delivery of sustainable energy projects and behaviour change campaigns.
  • Stimulate local citizen-led initiatives taking ownership of their energy transition.

PEGASUS

The innovative approach of PEGASUS (Promoting Effective Generation and Sustainable USes of electricity) is focused on experimenting a simulation of functioning of microgrids in 7 pilot areas jointly; solutions will be based on concrete situation with real data.

Green Hysland

GREEN HYSLAND aims to create the first green hydrogen ecosystem in the Balearic Islands (Spain). It will produce, generate and distribute 300 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year thanks to solar energy on the island of Mallorca.

Best practices >

Samsø: Climate action with people at the center

Samsø: Climate action with people at the center

Read how Samsø Energy Academy is working to make the Samsø island fossil-free by 2030 through a community-centred energy transition with local benefits.

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Buildings energy improvement continues on islands

Buildings energy improvement continues on islands

Read about Îles du Ponant new programme that will be in place until 2022 to improve all buildings to reduce carbon dioxide emission on the islands of Sein, Ouessant et Molène.

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Turning Unije (Croatia) into an energy independent island

Turning Unije (Croatia) into an energy independent island

Read how REA Kvarner is helping Unije to become an energy independent island and a model for a number of similar small island communities in the Adriatic.

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COMPOSE: Rural Communities Engaged with Positive Energy

COMPOSE: Rural Communities Engaged with Positive Energy

Discover the COMPOSE Interreg MED project and how it contributed to greater energy efficiency and local development in the Koprivnica-krizevci County (HR) and in the Mediterranean region.

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Webinars >

19347FEDARENE Info 48 – Focus on Smart and Sustainable Islands

Green hydrogen: what’s in it for islands?

Watch the recording and download slides from the first Green Hysland webinar which took place on the 9th of November 2021 and featured Kostas Komninos (FEDARENE/DAFNI/AEGEA), Maria Jaen (Enagas/Green Hysland), Mark Hull (Community Energy Scotland/BIG HIT) and Antonio Aguilo Rullan (FCH JU).

Watch
7405FEDARENE Info 48 – Focus on Smart and Sustainable Islands

Åland Islands’ Energy Story

Discover the inspiring story of Åland, an Island building a society scale energy system based on 100% renewable energy sources.

Watch