Estonia signs EU islands' clean energy memorandum

Estonia boasts well over 1,000 offshore islands, from the smallest, uninhabited islets, through to communities on Saaremaa and Hiiumaa. Source: Lauri Raaper/

Estonia joined 13 more European Union member states and the European Commission in signing a memorandum of understanding on the EU's clean energy for islands initiative.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center), who signed the memorandum on Estonia's behalf, said that both dependence on fossil fuels and the quality of local electrical connections remain a problem for Estonia's islands, as they would for other offshore islands within the EU.

"The income of many island dwellers depends on tourism and a green environment is becoming increasingly important for tourists," Aas said, according to BNS.

"This is why it is reasonable to jointly apply best practices for improving the quality of life on islands," he added, noting Ruhnu, and a submarine cable running between Saaremaa and Muhu, as recent positive developments.

"Over 50 percent of electricity is currently produced using wind turbines and solar panels on Ruhnu, and the new sea cable between Muhu and Saaremaa improved the security of supply both in Saaremaa and Hiiumaa," Aas added, noting that islands should be treated distinctly, as both ecosystems and communities.

The memorandum builds on the 2017 Clean Energy for EU islands initiative, and was signed by the European Commission, Estonia, Croatia (which currently holds the EU rotating presidency-ed.), Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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