On 18 March DAFNI Network and the Municipality of Rhodes jointly hosted in Rhodes the first SMILE local workshop in Greece titled “Innovative solutions and policies for the energy transition of the Greek islands”.

In a time when islands rank high at EU’s energy and climate policy agenda, and Greece is promoting important initiatives that can accelerate islands’ decarbonisation, the workshop provided a platform for knowledge exchange and constructive dialogue on the challenges and opportunities associated with the energy transition of Rhodes and the Greek islands overall.

Over 30 local stakeholders, including policy- and decision-makers from the local, regional and national levels, market representatives, network operators, civil society groups and citizens of Rhodes attended the workshop! SMILE representatives Dr. Funda Cansu Ertem-Kappler set the context with an overview of the solutions currently tested in the three pilot islands of Madeira, Orkney and Samsø, followed by DAFNI Director Mr Komninos, who stressed the role of DAFNI in the replication of these solutions in the Greek islands and targeted dissemination in islands across the EUthrough initiatives dedicated to islands, i.e. Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative, Smart Islands Initiative, and relevant policy events

In turn, direct input from implementers on the ground was provided: first with a description of lighthouse H2020 funded projects in Greek islands – WiseGRID in Kythnos and TILOS in Tilos – and then with presentations of the energy transition plans in Crete and Samos, both of which were recently selected to receive technical assistance from the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat to embark on a decarbonisation pathway

During the workshop some interesting news were shared by speakers, including:

  • The plan of the Independent Power Transmission Operator to intensify island interconnections and so help ensure grid stability and increase RES in island local energy mix;
  • The Municipality of Rhodes plan to promote electro-mobility, and so boost the uptake of sustainable tourism on the island and also invest in an energy community;

In the coming months and as pilot implementation is advancing, replication in the Greek islands will intensify, through the organization of more local workshops, participation in relevant events and production of dedicated roadmaps!