Boosting the uptake of Energy Communities in the Greek islands by involving municipalities and civil society in order to support local citizen-centric energy transition.
The project (ECOISM) fosters the set-up and operation of Energy Communities (ECs) in the Greek islands. It does so by educating local authorities, social and for-profit businesses, and citizens about the benefits of ECs for the creation of resilient and thriving island economies.
The project follows a threefold goal. First, it wants to raise awareness about the opportunities provided by a recently announced legal framework on ECs which include incentives and subsidies enabling the set-up of Energy Communities (EC). Second, it aims to provide clear steps for project development and implementation of ECs on the islands. Third, it fosters dialogue among stakeholders, policy- and decision-makers at local, regional, national level in order support the implementation of EC projects on Greek islands.
Energy Community on a Greek island (c) Daria Nepriakhina
Within a year, the project will conduct several events at the DAFNI Network of Sustainable Greek Islands to create awareness for the issue: 11 workshops on the largest and most populated islands and 31 local meetings at the remaining member islands.
ECOISM will assess the potential of different types of clean energy projects based on the characteristics of each island. Based on this, it creates a pool of projects for each island to be developed by the ECs. Further, it will assist five island municipalities who wish to set up ECs with technical project analysis and investment plans. On top, ECOISM will organise round table discussions with key national stakeholders to highlight the challenges that ECs face in the Greek islands and to make policy recommendations on how to address them.
Greece was the first EU member state to pass a law on ECs in early 2018, enabling ECs to invest in specific project categories. The law provides a framework for participatory clean energy development, which can foster local climate action in the Greek islands. As the Greek energy sector largely depends on fossil fuels, and the non-interconnected ones of the Greek islands obtain their electricity mainly from diesel generators with high GHG emissions, the project wants to specifically foster the implementation of ECs here.
By targeting citizens, local and regional island authorities, and local private and social businesses, the project addresses several challenges: technical barriers, regulatory restrictions, financial challenges, social challenges. This way the project will not only inform policy-making but also lay a solid foundation for the empowerment of island communities to establish ECs and emerge as delivery agents of local decarbonisation pathways.
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The European Climate Initiative (EUKI):
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.