Clean Energy for EU Islands Forum & Technical Fair - as it happened

Published on 23.05.2019
group photo

From 14-16 May, more than 120 representatives from EU island communities and other island stakeholders gathered in Stockholm and Mariehamn to exchange experiences on the clean energy transition, discuss transition models and learn about clean energy technologies for islands. 

The conference kicked off with a welcome by the co-hosts from Gotland, Öland, the National Association for the Swedish Archipelago and the National Association of Finnish Islands. Matilda Wärenfalk, Mayor of Mörbylånga Öland highlighted the urgency of tackling climate change for islands, and the importance of having sound transition strategies. Pointing to the need to preserve the livelihoods for existing and future generations, Wärenfalk encouraged the audience to “listen to Greta Thunberg, and all the other Gretas out there”.

Anna Colucci, European Commission

Anna Colucci of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy emphasized the importance to actively involve citizens in the clean energy transition as outlined in the Commission’s Renewable Energy and Electricity Market Directives, highlighting also how the European Commission and the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat can respectively provide financial and technical support to islands.

Project-specific support for EU islands launched at the forum

During the morning session, the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat on behalf of the European Commission launched a support mechanism for islands wishing to develop concrete clean energy transition projects. Until the end of June, EU islands will be able apply for assistance from the Secretariat to advance the development of individual renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in their local community. This support will be provided and completed by June 2020. 

The Secretariat further officially invited island communities to join the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative. Islands and archipelagos wanting to embark on a bottom-up clean energy transition can join the initiative by signing a pledge (more information here).

Islands North and South taking leadership

Sten-Åke Persson, National Association for the Swedish Archipelago

The second session focused on inspiring stories from a number of Northern islands and one example from the South.

From the challenges and community spirit of islands in the Swedish Archipelago, geothermal heating and Sustainable Development Goals in the Finnish islands, the Gotland energy transition roadmap, biogas in Öland, the importance of tackling shipping emissions in Kökar, to a citizen movement that became transition leader in La Palma, participants received a lot of inspiring input for the discussions that followed.

The first day ended with thematic roundtable workshops and networking sessions, where participants were able to exchange their experience and jointly think through ideas for tackling specific challenges they’re facing in their island’s energy transition process.

As a bridge to the second day with a focus on technological solutions, Alexandra Sombsthay from Solar Impulse presented their initiative to collect viable and innovative solutions to tackle climate change.

Technologies to accelerate the island transition

The second day featured a technology fair, where participants were able to discover technologies and solutions for decarbonisation relevant to the clean energy transition on islands, presented by a palette of companies.

Thematic roundtables

A speakers’ corner provided the opportunity to hear about innovative projects carried out by the technology providers, as an invitation for the participants to come and meet them by their presentation stands at the fair.

After a venue transfer to the Aland islands, participants gathered in the Åland Parliament to learn about the pioneering activities of the archipelago as well as the Finnish government. Last but not least, Assistant Minister of Regional development and EU funding of Croatia Tajana Huzak presented the Croatian islands clean energy activities and invited all participants to meet again at the next Clean Energy for EU Islands in Croatia.

The Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat would like to thank all participants and speakers for their invaluable contributions and the fantastic energy at the event. We look forward to seeing you all again in Croatia!

You can find pictures, presentations and other materials from the Forum and Technical Fair below.






The National Association of Finnish islands


National Association for the Swedish
Archipelago / ESIN


The Gotland Roadmap




La Palma


The Solar Impulse Foundation


EU Islands Secretariat




Download the workshop canvases

Download the matrix of the first 26 islands working with the Secretariat




Photo Gallery (more pictures coming soon!)