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Clean Energy for EU Islands: The Memorandum of Split

Met dank overgenomen van Kroatisch voorzitterschap Europese Unie 1e helft 2020 (Kroatisch voorzitterschap), gepubliceerd op woensdag 24 juni 2020.

A specific priority of the Croatian Presidency was reinforcing the support to clean energy islands. 14 Member States (Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden), together with the European Commission signed the Memorandum of Split, prepared and coordinated by the Croatian Presidency.

Process of preparation of the Memorandum of Split was guided by different requirements for the benefit of EU island citizens, such as that one for the more stable basis for cooperation to advance the energy transition.

EU islands, where 15 million citizens live, have the potential to be frontrunners in the clean energy transition by adopting new technologies and implementing innovative solutions. Since Croatia has more than 1244 islands and many of them are facing different issues, it was of outmost importance to give a special emphasize in Presidency Programme on the potential that islands could have in the transition to clean energy.

What does MoU of Split bring to the EU islands and their citizens?

  • The Memorandum of Split will firstly give the needed support to islands in preparation of their transition agendas while promoting the participation, the engagement and empowerment of citizens. In addition, the structured cooperation will facilitate the creation of energy communities on islands.
  • The Memorandum of Split has also recognized the importance of the implementation of pilot projects aimed at increasing the use of renewables using storage systems, innovative technologies, developing clean and sustainable transport, sector integration by integrating the electricity system with other sectors such as heating, cooling, island water systems and with the scalable demand response on the islands.
  • We should not forget where everything started from, and that is the connection problems. Therefore, the Memorandum of Split recognized the necessary support to islands not connected to the national grid in their decarbonisation process through the increased use of renewables in final use of electricity and of transport, heating and cooling.
  • In the end, since sharing means caring, the special emphasize in the Memorandum of Split was given to the promotion and exchange of best practices because dissemination of lessons learned can only make a Europe stronger in a world of challenges.

In 2017, during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, 14 EU countries together with the European Commission, signed a political declaration (Valletta Declaration) to launch the 'Clean Energy for EU Islands' initiative. Aimed at accelerating the clean energy transition on Europe's islands, this initiative was set to help EU islands to reduce their dependency on energy imports by making better use of their own renewable energy sources and embracing more modern and innovative energy systems.

To facilitate the clean energy transition on EU islands, in 2018 the European Commission launched the ‘Clean energy for EU islands Secretariat’, which offered support and assistance in project preparation to EU island. The Memorandum of Split is an important step for the promotion of projects to accelerate the clean energy transition on EU islands.

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