Workshop: Innovative solutions and policies for the energy transition of the Greek islands

On 18 March, DAFNI Network and the Municipality of Rhodes jointly hosted in Rhodes a workshop titled “Innovative Technologies & Policies for the Greek Islands”. The event took place as part of the European project SMILE, funded by Horizon 2020 where the DAFNI Network is a partner.

The event was attended by over 30 representatives from local and regional government bodies, organisations offering technical support to the public sector, market representatives with an active role and interest in policy-making and the implementation of sustainable energy projects, as well as citizens of Rhodes.

In his opening address, the Mayor of Rhodes, Mr. Fotis Hadjidiakos, announced the Municipality’s strategy for the promotion of electrification on the island with the installation of 10 charging points and the supply of 2 electric buses, thus enhancing the development of sustainable tourism.

Kostas Komninos, General Director of DAFNI, presented the Network’s actions, the European Smart Islands Initiative and how this can contribute to the energy transition of European islands. Furthermore, he also mentioned how the Network is going to ensure the transfer of technological and investment solutions to Greek islands under the European project SMILE.

Project representative Dr. Funda Cansu Ertem-Kappler set the context with an overview of the solutions currently being implemented to the three pilot islands (Madeira, Orkney and Samsø) aiming at the optimum operation of the islands’ electricity systems.

Then Mr. Kaoussias from HEDNO and the Directorate for Island Management presented the pioneering research project Tilos Horizon, the aim of which is the development and operation of a smart, innovative electricity microgrid with the participation of RES on the island of Tilos. The first part of the event was concluded with a presentation by Mr. Rigas from the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE), who referred to the recent interconnection of the Dodecanese as part of ADMIE’s Ten Year development plan, which is the largest island interconnection with significant environmental and socio-economic benefits.

The second part of the event concerned the implementation of clean energy transition projects in the Greek island regions: the Mayor of Samos, Mr. Michalis Angelopoulos and Mr. Zografakis from the Region of Crete, 2 of the 26 islands selected to receive the support by the Secretariat of the European Islands, referred to the importance of this Initiative and to the Clean Energy Agenda for the local, sustainable and equitable development of island regions.

Finally, the Deputy Mayor of Kythnos and Director of DAFNI Network, Mr. Giorgos Iliou, presented the actions and projects taking place on the island of Kythnos as part of the European project WiseGRID as well as the project “Kythnos – Smart Island” which is expected to commence in early April.

The event showed that the islands are gaining an ever stronger presence in European programming. The support from the European Union is an important initiative for the islands to assume a leading role in the energy transition by taking advantage of their particular characteristics.

The main concern of the DAFNI Network is to support island municipalities in keeping up with current developments that have a direct impact on their development!