The project was built on the idea that cooperation between different levels of governance of islands (i.e. National, regional, local) can have a key role to play towards reaching the 20-20-20 EU goals in the area of energy and climate change.
Capacity building in order to enable insular communities to develop Sustainable Energy Action Plans is also an important aspect of the project, as is the expansion and adoption of the Pact of Islands to smaller island communities.
Sustainable energy planning at local level is one of island activities that can greatly benefit from effective multilevel governance. Especially, when it comes to island communities this role proves to be crucial for the balanced development of the island, the resources management, the economic growth and the quality of life for the citizens and visitors.
SMILEGOV, based on success stories and close European cooperation will strengthen local capacity and work towards the improvement of multilevel cooperation in European islands aiming to facilitate the implementation of their Sustainable Energy Action Plans towards the EU 20-20-20 goals.
Working together and striking a balance between the interests, capacities and objectives of national and sub-national levels is essential for more effective public policy outcomes and investment decisions. Local knowledge is valuable and in a bottom up’ approach they must feed national policy designs and implementation. Regional policy requires multi-level governance mechanisms within a coherent, forward looking, cross-sectoral and flexible framework.
SMILEGOV aspires to examine the challenges and the barriers (institutional, legal and regulatory) of multilevel governance facing European island communities in their efforts to promote and implement sustainable energy actions and bankable projects
In a significant number of island communities, particularly in smaller islands, the insular authority does not often have trained resources and expertise to develop and evaluate plans, actions and/or sustainable projects.
SMILEGOV aims at providing training and on line support to island authorities with the view to developing expertise in planning and implementing ISEAPs and Bankable Projects.
Projects that emerge from specific actions that are part of the Island Sustainable Energy Action Plans (ISEAPs) are thoroughly analysed for their ability to attract private or public investment. The bankability analysis estimates the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and the Payback Period (PP) of the project, among other financial indicators, and prepares sustainable projects for presentation to investors and financial institutions.
SMILEGOV aims at maturing 50 bankable sustainable projects in the island regions, by taking significant steps towards their implementation.
The Pact of Islands is a political engagement of island authorities to develop ISEAPs within 12 months after signature and to support and promote actions and sustainable renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport projects with the view to contributing to the European Union’s 2020 targets and objectives.
SMILEGOV plans to widen the family of Pact of Islands by inviting more signatories and supporting them in the ISEAP development process.
In order to achieve carbon free communities, Europe needs to be the leader in a number of innovative sustainable technologies that are promising and expected to achieve market maturities in the short to medium term. Hydrogen technologies, micro and smart grids, marine energy systems, electric and biogas fuelled cars, solid-state (digital) light sources that last for decades, batteries that store electricity at ten times the current density are some of these technologies of the future that can be of great value for island communities.
SMILEGOV aspires to facilitate the market penetration of this type of new innovative technologies through the strengthening of co-operation among European islands.
The backbone of the SMILEGOV Project is made up with its 12 Island clusters, located throughout the European Union and beyond. They aim to establish study groups whose objective is to identify priority training needs and areas for each participating island and encourage other islands to join the Pact of Islands (www.islepact.eu), a political commitment for island authorities to promote sustainable energy solutions to achieve the objectives of the EU 2020 strategy.