ESIN

European Small Islands Federation

Tilos wins the EUSEW 2017 award

Tilos WomenGreek island Tilos (pop 780) is going from oil-based electricity, with an undersea cable from neighbouring Kos, to a battery-based storage system that will turn the island into a resilient RES-based microgrid using only wind and solar power.

For this, it won the EUSEW 2017 award yesterday evening.

Competitors were ESIN represented by Simskäla, one of the Aland islands, and Bornholm in Denmark. Tilos deserves it well, showing how islands can move away from relying on expensive and polluting oil-based energy imports, avoid power cuts and contribute towards renewable energy growth.

Congratulations to Maria Kamma, mayor of Tilos, and all of her 780 islanders!

Maria-Kamma

Historic Islands Bill in Scotland

Muck

The Scottish government has introduced a “historic bill” to create a sustainable future for Scotland’s islands. It is a success for the Scottish Archipelagoes (Orkney, Western Isles Council and Shetland Islands Council) that have been campaigning for several years for greater powers.

The introduction of the bill marks the first stage in its progress through parliament.

Among others points, the bill will propose the creation of a National Islands Plan; Extended powers to island councils in relation to marine licensing. This involves the potential extension of the provisions of the Orkney and Zetland County Council Acts of 1974, to enable Scottish minsters to establish a scheme requiring that activities up to 12 nautical miles from an island are licensed by the appropriate local authority; and giving island councils powers over activities on and around their coastlines.

This is well in line with ESINs view that an island consists of land + water. The sea should always be included when calculating the area, the rights, the culture, the benefits, the costs and the assets of an island – otherwise it might as well be a town in Germany, an English hill or a French village.

More information can be found on BBC Scotland: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-40247214

Water saving on Ithaca

Ithaca-Sea-Chart

Ithaca is a small island in the Ionian Sea with a problematic water situation. In the main village Vathy (pop 1,920), water is no more distributed on Sundays and on weekdays only 07-13. The second largest village of the island, Stavros (pop 366), will only get water two days a week in July and August.

The island has an off-grid water network with a few off-off-grid enclaves. From May to October four desalination plants are at work but do not meet the island’s need for water, although there is a spring at Kalamos and most islanders have private rain water collectors and water tanks.

The mayor of Ithaca Dionios Stanitsas and the water manager Vassilis “Billy” Simiris have created several innovative solutions to overcome the scarcity of water. Not only do they use reversed osmosis but they also use “reversed economies of scale”, having a backwards billing system to promote saving water: if you use 0-40 m3 per 4 months, you pay 1€/m3; if you use 41-80 m3 per 4 months you pay 1,30€/m3; if you use 81-120 m3 per 4 months, the price is 1,50€/m3, if you use 121-160 m3 per 4 months, the price is 2€/m3, and finally, if you use more than 501+ m3 per 4 months you pay 3€/m3. The same goes for hotels but with slightly different numbers and prices. Simply put: if you use less water, you pay less per m3.

There is also a municipal policy for hotels that “go green”: if they meet a set of water-saving criteria as defined by a municipality board in 2009, they pay a flat rate of 1€/m3 for water. We visited Nostos Hotel, which uses slightly salt water from a well to flush the toilets in the hotel rooms, rainwater for the pool, and municipal water for the rest. The hotel guest knew nothing of this and were happy like fish in the sea.

The consumption of municipal water was 168,712 m3 in 2016, but the water production was 239,548 m3. The rest was lost in leaks, subsequently is a big issue. Biggest leaks (44%) were in Perachori village where they have been quite successful in finding leaks with an “Aquaphon” – a sound detector.

Odysseus-utsiktKalamos-vattenkranVy-från-Perachori

 

Cast your vote!

The EU Sustainable Energy Awards – EUSEW – recognise outstanding innovation in energy efficiency and renewables. Nominees/finalists are chosen from a shortlist of the year’s most successful projects for clean, secure and efficient energy. This year, in one of the four categories – “Energy Islands” – EUSEW has nominated (1) Tilos, (2) ESIN/Simskala and (3) Bornholm in the category “energy islands”

A high-level jury decides the winner in each of the categories with the help of a public vote. You can cast your vote here: http://eusew.eu/awards-public-vote.

Finland Simskala Island

Tilos

 

Public Hearing on entrepreneurship on islands

     

ESIN is proud to announce that we will collaborate with INSULEUR and EESC in organizing a Public Hearing on Entrepreneurship on Islands in Brussels on June,2

It is a follow-up of the “Smart Island” and “Inclusive Island” initiatives adopted by the EESC and the opinion on “Entrepreneurship on Islands: contributing towards territorial cohesion”, to be adopted by the Committee of Regions next May.

Background: As we esiners know, most of our SMEs are micro-enterprises – with fewer than ten employees – which produce and produce a large part of the economic value in islands. Craft professions – carpenter, butcher, baker, roofer, metal worker or information technician – are at the heart of islands communities. They produce mainly within their local base, ensure jobs and vocational training for young and old, and make an essential contribution to innovation in the European economy. Craft and small enterprises face particular problems due to their small size and limited resources. The globalisation of the economy and enlargements of the EU have also considerably changed the challenges that these enterprises face. Starting up a new business and getting the required capital is a challenge, as is finding the right kind of finance to expand an established business. Due to their limited resources and remoteness they suffer more from red tape and administrative burdens than mainland enterprises.

Objective: the public hearing will examine if existing policies and tools to support SMEs are sufficient for insular SMEs or some new tools or mechanism, mentioned also in the opinions, are needed to help these companies to tackle  obstacles and participate on a equal foot in the integration process and assure therefore a level playing field.

The program is attached.

http://www.insuleur.org/pagina.php?Cod_fam=3

Public hearing EESC June 2

Simskäla nominated for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Simskäla 1

During 2014 and 2015, the two Åland islands Simskäla and Sottunga were engaged in the EU project named SMILEGOV. The project idea was that islands should make their own local energy plan. As a result of the project, Sottunga has been nominated for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards, abbreviated EUSEW http://eusew.eu/about-awards-competition.

Through their national island organisation, the two islands were members of ESIN – the European Small Islands Federation. ESIN islands formed a small islands cluster in Smilegov with Ischia from Italy, Molène, Sein and Ushant from France, Cape Clear, Bere, Arranmore and Aran from Ireland, Ven Vinön and Visingsö from Sweden, Nagu and Iniö from Finland. There were more, bigger, islands in the project (Cyprus, Malta, the Canaries, Samsø, Madeira, Gotland among others), which as a whole was managed by Kostas Komninos from DAFNI http://www.sustainableislands.eu.

One of the Åland islands – Simskäla – is very, very small. Its dry area is 2,000 hectares and its wet area (the sea) is 12,000 ha. It has 35 all-year-residents but a strong identity, partly because the Åland writer Anni Blomkvist wrote a series of novels of her life here which were filmed under the title ”Stormskärs Maja”, depicting the hard times of a late 19-th century woman, married to a local fisherman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lCUK2_W7UA.

Simskäla was quite brave when engaging in the somewhat dodgy ”Smilegov” project, wanting to explore and develop its sustainability. There are two businesses on the island (not bad for a 35-person community): a greenhouse and a pub. Both are run in a smart, locally solved, sustainable way: the greenhouse collecting its energy (heat) from the surrounding sea, the pub breeding its own highland cattle, taking fish from the sea and of course vegetables from the greenhouse.

The pub owner (Mikael Lindholm) also drives the ferry to and from the island and has recently become a member of the Parliament of Åland.

During the project, the island made a Sustainable Energy Action Plan https://europeansmallislands.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/simskala-iseap.pdf. It is in Swedish (made by and for them, not for the EU) but the summary is in English. Their plan is to develop the ferry system, which is the single most energy-consuming object of the island (as on all islands).

Now, Simskäla is short-listed for the final evaluation of candidates for the EU Sustainability Award together with 12 other candidates. There are three categories with separate jurys: “Consumers”, “Public Sector” and “Energy Islands”, as well as a fourth category, “Citizens’ Award” chosen through a public vote.

The prize is awarded during the EU Sustainable Energy Week, held for the 12th time in Brussels on June 19th to 25th. The winners, having made “outstanding innovation in energy efficiency and renewables”, will be announced on Monday, June 19th.

What Simskäla has shown – whether a winner of the EUSEW award on not – is that micro communities, despite their small format, are able to take active responsibility for their future in a sensible, ingenious and sustainable manner. They are a benchmark for ESINs 1,415 islands – and for small communities all over Europe.

Map

“Europe is not a market, it is the will to live together”

Esteban Gonzales Pons

What a speech from Esteban Gonzales Pons, Spanish MEP, on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome:

“Europe is not a market, it is the will to live together. Leaving Europe is not leaving a market, it is leaving shared dreams. We can have a common market, but if we do not have common dreams, we have nothing. Europe is the peace that came after the disaster of war. Europe is the pardon between French and Germans. Europe is the return to freedom of Greece, Spain and Portugal. Europe is the fall of the Berlin Wall. Europe is the end of communism. Europe is the welfare state, it is democracy.”

https://video-arn2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t42.1790-2/17484826_1007828976028669_4542413079320723456_n.mp4?efg=eyJybHIiOjM3OSwicmxhIjo1MTIsInZlbmNvZGVfdGFnIjoic3ZlX3NkIn0%3D&rl=379&vabr=211&oh=572458166e3e7c9f910f4383a56733c3&oe=58E382FF