Solutions, projects, and ambitions of islands, such as Madeira, need to be shared to inspire other islands to start their own energy transition. Here, the Clean energy for EU islands initiative comes in. Launched in 2017, as part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package, it provides a long-term framework to help islands generate their own, sustainable and low-cost energy.
The European Parliament and the European Commission set up the Clean energy for EU islands secretariat in 2018, to help citizens, local authorities, businesses, and academic institutions work together to advance the clean energy transition on their island. Since then, the secretariat acts as a platform to exchange best practices for island stakeholders. It provides dedicated capacity building and advisory services to islands and liaises with European institutions on policy and regulatory issues for clean energy transition on islands. In May 2021, the Secretariat for EU Islands brought a visit to Madeira, where they were presented the projects EEM is involved in. The SMILE H2020 projects is one of them.
A major part of the developments at Madeira are directed by the local electricity company Emprese de Electricidade de Madeira (EEM). Their aim is to make Madeira one of the best blueprints for sustainable energy innovation. This is done by a combination of innovative technical knowledge, support of local politics, European funds and the smart usage of the islands energy resources. The expectation for 2022-2023 is that Madeira will generate over half of its electricity from renewable energy sources, which could increase as smart storage applications are installed.