EU policy (EU strategies, Green Deal, etc.)

Since the ROBINSON concept is primarily held in the EU, it should be in good accordance with EU legislation and strategies in order to ensure both its applicability and any funding opportunities. EU strategies are apparent and realised through various initiatives such as the ‘Clean Energy for Islands Initiative’ (European Commission, 2022). As mentioned therein, the Paris Agreement (European Commission, 2022) acknowledges islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change and are over-dependent on fossil fuels and energy imports. Many of Europe's 2400 islands are small isolated systems and small markets. However, these islands, where 15 million Europeans live, can potentially be frontrunners in the clean energy transition by adopting new technologies and implementing innovative solutions. In such terms, the benefits for an island community will be multidimensional, since not only the energy self-reliance of islands is promoted and the consequent reduction of fossil fuels imports -thus reducing public expenses-, but also the implementation of tailor-made solutions will harness the available renewable energy potential more efficiently.

Additionally, the EU has approved the ‘Green Deal’ in 2020, which is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission aiming to make the EU's climate, energy, transport, and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The European Green Deal focuses on 3 fundamental principles for the clean energy transition, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

  1. ensuring a secure and affordable EU energy supply,
  2. developing a fully integrated, interconnected, and digitalized EU energy market,
  3. prioritizing energy efficiency, improving the energy performance of buildings, and developing a power sector based largely on renewable sources.

The Commission’s main objectives are:

  • build interconnected energy systems and upgraded grids to support renewable energy sources
  • promote innovative technologies and modern infrastructures
  • boost energy efficiency and eco-design of products
  • decarbonize the gas sector and promote smart integration across sectors
  • empower consumers and help EU countries to tackle energy poverty
  • promote EU energy standards and technologies at the global level
  • develop the full potential of Europe’s offshore wind energy

In this context, becomes apparent that for policies and strategies to be implemented, funding opportunities shall arise. The source of these opportunities may be either EU funds under various actions and initiatives, or national funds both from the public (governmental or regional budget) or private sector (possible stakeholders, investors, etc.).  Despite the origin of funding -in order to achieve it, a project shall be carefully designed in technical and financial terms, hence the need of an accurate Evidence Base for Scale up and Uptake of the ROBINSON project.