The Agreement on the strategic partnership of the Island Movement and Association of the Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia was signed in the city of Hvar by Maja Pokrovac (left) and Maja Jurisic (right) – Main Photo
In the organization of the City of Hvar, the Island Movement and the Association of Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia (RESC) the Strategy of the Energy Transition of the Island of Hvar was signed today in the city of Hvar. The Strategy was elaborated in cooperation with the Clean Energy for EU Island Secretariat and with a view to strengthening the capacities and synergic activities an agreement was signed on the partnership between the RESC Association on the Island Movement.
In the introductory presentation the mayor of the city of Hvar, Rikardo Novak pointed out that the Energy Transition Strategy as a model for changing the paradigm of environmental and political awareness will undoubtedly benefit all, and particularly the island: “I would like to emphasize that the City of Hvar is well aware of its capacities and possibilities on the road to self-sustainability and I sincerely hope that we will implement the ideas and projects from the Energy Transition Strategy very soon in the future” the mayor added. He expressed his satisfaction with the signing of the Agreement on the Strategic partnership between the Island Movement and RESC Association as he sees the future precisely in this form of cooperation of civic society and expertise.
Ana Marija Jakas presented the Energy Transition Strategy recalling that Hvar is the sunniest island with still untapped potentials for the production of electricity from the sun. The Strategy relates to the period from 2020 to 2035 and will be supplemented every two years. It includes 4 pillars: civic society, educational institutions, local self-government bodies and the entrepreneurial sector.
“In agreement with the citizens through the workshops we organized an analysis was made of their proposals on the basis of which we reached a common vision of the island’s self-sustainability”, Jakas clarified and added that they plan to continue with this way of including citizens by organizing additional workshops. The present state shows that most of the citizens are energy consumers and only a very small number of them produce electricity – only six percent on the island of Hvar. Officially the island has a population of 11 077 and is the island with the greatest number of sunny days so their wish to develop solar power plants that would save energy is only logical.
Maja Pokrovac, director of the RESC Association presented the possibilities provided by the 750 billion EUR European Recovery Plan out of which at least 30 percent has to be spent on climate protection and decrease of greenhouse gases. Part of the funds are also allotted to Croatia which in order to access the funds has to, like all the other EU member countries, prepare a recovery plan within the framework of its national plan of reforms.
“The plan has to contain investment and reform priorities and among them the islands should certainly have their place”, Pokrovac pointed out and added that all the stakeholders of the energy transition should be aware of the significance of the moment in which, with the help of EU funds they can implement RES projects that are significant for the island community.
“In this recovery plan Croatia should focus on the activities which could rekindle the economy once again on sustainable foundations and approach carbon neutrality which is the goal of the European green plan. The energy transition of the island is certainly one of these activities”, Pokrovac said and added in conclusion: “The funds should be brought to the local communities. We are here to raise awareness and strengthen the local community in that regard and let them know that they can be the ones leading forward.”
Maja Jurisic from the Island Movement emphasized in her presentation the necessity of cooperation of the local self-government units since it represented the basis of cooperation of the local communities – the City of Hvar, City of Stari Grad and the municipalities of Jelsa and Sucuraj by their example of communality and successful cooperation are showing the islanders the effects of such actions and encourage others to do the same.
“We often think that some things cannot be done on an island, often there were European financial resources which we could not access individually and could do so only through joint projects. That’s why it is important that we act in communion,” Jurisic pointed out and added how important it was to understand that the community is not made up only of those who live in it but also by those who love the island of Hvar and visit it frequently. They too wish to see sustainable development on the island and therefore they should also be included in the elaboration of the energy transition projects for the island of Hvar.
Today’s event in the city of Hvar was concluded by the signing of an agreement on the strategic partnership between the Island Movement and Association of Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia. Signing the Agreement, Maja Jurisic, from the Island Movement and Maja Pokrovac from the RESC Association, agreed that the knowledge of the RES sector which the companies members of RESC have can help the Island Movement in the preparation and development of projects and in informing and educating the local communities on the benefits of using renewable energy sources.
“With an active commitment to the wellbeing of the island communities and their participation in development projects this strategic partnership with the RESC Association will give wind in the sails of islanders”, Jurisic said in conclusion.