Helping island communities make the transition to a low-carbon future. This is the aim of New Energy Solutions Optimised for Islands (NESOI), an online platform that provides access to learning tools and resources, project development, networking with experts and investors, technical and financial assistance. Funded by the EU, this project, which aims to foster cooperation between island populations to accelerate the shift to renewable energy, will be the focus of the session Empowering Islands: The NESOI platform and the path to a sustainable future, on 11 October, as part of EU Regions Week 2023 in Brussels.
Representatives from Sinloc SpA, CERTH-ITI and R2M, project partners, moderated by Janire Garcia, leader of the Communication and Dissemination work package, from Zabala Innovation, will discuss best practices, experiences and innovative solutions implemented by NESOI, which targets mainly but not exclusively island stakeholders such as local authorities, energy agencies, project developers and technology providers.
NESOI and Zabala Innovation
Recognising that each island has unique challenges and opportunities, the platform offers specialised guidance to support the development and implementation of sustainable energy projects. It aims to address the specific needs of islands and empower them to overcome barriers in their sustainable energy trajectories, for example by providing information to access different financing mechanisms, technical expertise, or capacity building activities.
In terms of specifications, NESOI offers a user-friendly online interface that serves as a central hub for information, resources, and tools. The platform also facilitates partner search and networking, enabling islands to connect with potential project partners, investors and subject matter experts who can further develop their sustainable projects.
In addition, this tool leverages the identification and promotion of innovative technologies and business models suitable for island contexts. For example, it highlights successful case studies, inspiring other islands to adopt cutting-edge solutions and replicate successful models in different geographical locations.
Running since 2018, NESOI addresses some of the islands’ most evident vulnerabilities, such as their limited resources, high energy costs and dependence on fossil fuels, among others. Drawing on its extensive project management experience and in-depth knowledge of the EU funding landscape, Zabala Innovation leads the communication and dissemination of the project from its Brussels office and manages the mechanisms linked to the cascade funding from Barcelona.
NESOI at the EU Regions Week
Organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), the EU Regions Week is held annually in Brussels. Bringing together representatives from business, banking, civil society organisations, academia, EU institutions and the media, the event is an opportunity to discuss the common challenges facing Europe’s regions and cities and to explore possible solutions.
In this way, EU Regions Week has developed over time into a forum for skills development, education and the exchange of knowledge and good practice for those responsible for implementing EU cohesion policy, monitoring its financial instruments, and promoting collaboration and networking between regions and cities.