Proposals will demonstrate a solution or solutions on one island that is over 90% reliant on fossil fuels for generating its electricity. The solution or solutions should significantly reduce the annual fossil fuel demand and related GHG emissions thereby demonstrating the potential for wider deployment in other islands. In order to aim for maximum decarbonisation, islands with a population of between 5,000 and 100,000 are particularly encouraged.
Solutions will be developed involving all relevant local stakeholders and, where possible, a high involvement of Renewable Energy Communities[[‘renewable energy community’ as defined in DIRECTIVE (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources]]. At the end of the project, the installed solution would ideally be effectively controlled by shareholders or members that are located in the proximity of the renewable energy projects.
Solutions will be cost-competitive with current local electricity prices and be able to be installed within 3 years of the project beginning. A minimum of 1 year monitoring post installation should be included within the project duration. Proposals should contain a sound business plan defining ownership and beneficiaries, as well as the forecast return on investment. The social impact of switching production from fossil fuels should be mitigated, for example, through education and training measures.
Proposals are expected to bring the technology from TRL6 to TRL7-8 by the end of the project.
Projects should cooperate with the European Islands Facility (LC-SC3-ES-8-2019), and aim to establish synergies with ongoing and planned work on islands in the 'Clean Energy for EU islands' initiative[[https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/energy-strategy-and-energy-union/clean-energy-eu-islands]]). To support this, an indicative budget share of around 2-4% is recommended for cooperation and collaboration with other EU projects.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around EUR 2-3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Climate change, vulnerable interconnections, imported fuels and seasonal fluctuations in tourists' energy demands have all reduced the reliability of islands' energy systems, causing blackouts. At the same time the decreased cost of renewable energy and energy storage means that these problems can potentially be solved without generating power from fossil fuels or upgrading or installing new interconnectors. Exploiting these opportunities to both rapidly reduce electricity generation costs and fight against climate change is essential. It is also a significant business opportunity for European energy technology providers.
The technologies developed are expected to contribute towards a significant increase in the number of islands of EU and Associated Countries that have a stable energy system generating at least 90% of their annual electricity demand from renewable energy sources. At the same time it is expected to contribute to the creation of new opportunities for the European renewable energy production industries.