The Canary Islands Maritime Cluster, within the framework of its project INTERREG-MAC 2014-2020: SMART BLUE, organised, together with the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs of the European Commission (DG MARE), the event entitled: Consultation Workshop in Spain for the definition of the Action Plan for Marine Renewable Energies in the Atlantic.
This important event, for which Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was selected as the only Spanish location, took place on Wednesday, 12 September 2018, at the INFECAR Exhibition Centre, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The main objective was to address the challenges and opportunities of marine renewable energies (MRE) in the Atlantic basin, and to develop concrete actions that will be included in the next version of the Atlantic Action Plan.
SOCLIMPACT established joint and collaborative initiatives as transnational and cross-sectoral dimension to support the exchange of knowledge and improve competitiveness and innovation capacities. The workshop brought together more than 40 selected and recognised experts from the five EU Member States who shared their vision and experience in the development of MRE projects in the Atlantic.
Islands and isolated coastal areas opportunities for MREs include:
- Provide a specific framework for Islands Coordinate with the State to allow fast track processes. Would cover permission and price issues
- Special instruments to easy up the development of MREs
- Test sites Promotion of opportunities to act as living laboratories (smart grids)
- Education and training programmes to improve knowledge and skills
- Participation of general population Higher electrification of the demand
- Demonstration projects and exchange between islands
- Knowledge transfer from the continent to the islands
All the Canarian members of SOCLIMPACT attended: ULPGC, CETECIMA and ITC.
Emphasis was given to governance issues and stakeholder participation, as well as technical and methodological tools that might be appropriate for the project.
Experience has highlighted in particular the importance of continuity and coherence of public policies, relationships of trust, networking, governance, accessibility to existing data, and identification of information that does not exist and needs to be collected.
Angela Schultz-Zehden (Contract Lead EU MSP Platform), referred to islands as special places, with vulnerabilities that must be carefully considered in MSP for Blue Growth. Small solutions are adapted to the livelihoods of island communities, including diversification of activities, sustainable tourism and community-scale renewable energy projects as “test sites” with greater environmental impact and potential for innovation.