ESIN

European Small Islands Federation

Archive for Smilegov

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.

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Pleasant news from Arranmore

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Arranmore is Ireland’s second largest island, covering 22 sq km with a resident population of just over 500 people and about 1,500 summer residents.

Arranmore was part of the ESIN cluster in the SMILEGOV project through its Energy Committee, made an Energy Plan for 2012-2032 and applied for funding to save energy. Now, the Irish Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment announces that “Arranmore Island Energy Committee has been included as part of 38 community energy projects who are to receive €20m in grant funding through the Better Energy Communities scheme operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.”

The total cost of the project on Arranmore is estimated at €656,962, with a grant on offer of €411,552, to retrofit 47 island dwellings and the community hall on Arranmore, in addition to the upgrade of eight non-residential buildings on the mainland, including four community buildings, a national school and three private service stations.

The private organisations are helping to fund the community projects by donating a percentage of their grant to reduce the cost to communities. The local credit union is providing low cost loans to support the residential elements. Some renewable energy technologies are included in addition to standard retrofits measures.

Today, ESIN received this message by email from Séamus Bonner at the Arranmore Energy Committee:

”Dear Christian,

I am writing with a quick update on the application we were working on for the island earlier in the year.  We got some good news in June that the application was successful.  Work is continuing at the moment and will hopefully be finished at the end of the month.

Some more information here: http://www.donegalmatters.com/2016/06/arranmore-island-energy-committee-to-receive-over-e400000-through-the-better-energy-communities-scheme-minister-mchugh/

http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2016/Minister-Naughten-Awards-€20m-in-Community-Energy-Grants.html-

The project is to receive €411,000 for a project value of over €650,000.  Thank you to yourself and ESIN for your support through the application process.

Best Regards, Séamus”

letter-of-support

AIP director Denis Bredin on Smilegov

Denis

AIP director Denis Bredin speaks about the SMILEGOV project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re7ubp8ckkk, especially the financial mechanisms for energy projects.

Three french islands – Molène, Ouessant and Sein – participated in the project.

Energy Planning on Molène Energy check Sein Energy Audit on Ouessant

You can read their energy audits here:  https://europeansmallislands.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/molene1.pdf,  https://europeansmallislands.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/ouessant.pdf and https://europeansmallislands.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/sein.pdf

Sustainable transportation – video from Smilegov

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quF0T1AzMjQ&feature=youtu.be

SMILEGOV has landed

The-Team

The ESIN part of the SMILEGOV project has landed. Thanks to the 15 islands which has been a part of it and the 40 people who has worked in it, there are good results and some very interesting findings. Please have a look at the project presentation (attached) and/or study the complete island energy reports at https://europeansmallislands.com/smilegov/

Smilegov-lessons-learned