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.

Our latest news on Islands & Rural Communities

Harnessing the power of the energy agency to address energy poverty in a ‘net zero’ world

Energy poverty remains one of the most challenging problems being faced on the path to net-zero. Simone LOWTHE-THOMAS argues that energy agencies are perfectly positioned as delivery agents of policies and measures to tackle energy poverty.

Developing and Promoting Microgrids in Rural and Island Areas

In the PEGASUS project, 10 partners from MED countries are working together to study into more details microgrids, focusing on rural and island areas.

Deadline extended to apply for ePLANET's beneficial opportunities for regions!

You want to accelerate the energy transition in your region? Now is your opportunity to join the obliging ePLANET team as regional partner. Application is opened until 30th of June!

Climate adaptation in Cyprus

As well as mitigating the causes of climate change, energy agencies are also working to help communities adapt to its effects. The Cyprus Energy Agency is carrying out innovative adaptation solutions across the country.

Delivering the energy transition through investing in the resilience and recovery of islands

Savvas Vlachos, FEDARENE Vice-President for Smart and Sustainable Islands, highlights the critical importance of investing in the energy transition and the resilience of European islands, particularly given their unique challenges related to geographic isolation and vulnerability to natural disasters.

Press Release - CRETE VALLEY: A new project to pioneer the first renewable energy valley in Europe

The EU-funded project aims to transform Crete into a sustainable, decentralised energy system by 2028. Through a combination of renewable energy sources, CRETE VALLEY will demonstrate, in real-life conditions, the sustainable and cost-effective production and storage of renewable energy to cover the Island’s yearly energy needs.

ISLET

Innovative Supporting schemes for community-Led Energy Transition in the small islands of the Mediterranean

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.

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.

Best practices >

The transition to electric transport in the heart of the Cyclades islands

The transition to electric transport in the heart of the Cyclades islands

The electrification of sea transportation between the two cycladic islands of Antiparos and Paros as well as an innovative business model that enhances cooperation between local authority and local private entity paves the way for Antiparos to becoming an eco-friendly destination, while creating new job opportunities.

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PRISMI PLUS: Transferring a toolkit for RES Integration in Smart Mediterranean Islands and rural area

PRISMI PLUS: Transferring a toolkit for RES Integration in Smart Mediterranean Islands and rural area

The Regional Energy Agency Kvarner was one of the partners behind the Interreg-MED project PRISMI PLUS, which envisioned a number of educational activities, including learnng new methodology that will ultimately assist public authorities in their energy transition planning.

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The fight against energy poverty in Réunion Island

The fight against energy poverty in Réunion Island

The Island of Réunion, thanks to its local energy agency Horizon Réunion, is implementing advanced techniques to reduce the energy demand of households.

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Kythnos Smart Island

Kythnos Smart Island

Find out how the Aegean Energy and Environment Agency (AEGEA) is working on “Kythnos Smart Island” is the biggest research and development project ever to be implemented in the Greek islands, which aims to build a local economy that is diverse, circular and sustainable.

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Webinars >

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
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).

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21227FEDARENE Info 48 – Focus on Smart and Sustainable Islands

Green Hysland x H2Ports Webinar: Decarbonising the Maritime Sector

Watch this webinar co-organised by the Green Hysland and H2Ports project to find out what cities, regions and islands can do to decarbonise waterborne transport and port applications.

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