Bornholm is not alone in looking into a future as an energy island. Both Åland and Gotland will also move into the center of a new energy reality within a few years. The three islands therefore also share the same challenge, where they will have to find out how to handle the new reality, where the green transition is not just local, but a central prerequisite for the green transition in the EU.
Bornholm’s mayor Jacob Trøst travelled to Åland, where he, together with Katrin Sjögren, prime minister of Åland and Gotland’s mayor Meit Fohlin, signed a declaration of intent on Monday 22 January, in which the three energy islands of the Baltic Sea agreed to build a collaboration that will equip the three islands to their new role.
Jacob Trøst, sees many advantages in the collaboration: “Bornholm is facing a development that is unprecedented in the island’s history. In that situation, it is important that we have good friends and business partners who, like us, must balance our desire to contribute to the green transition in the EU, while at the same time ensuring local value creation. I look forward to the dialogue with the other two islands and to us working together to promote national, European and private investments that both accelerate the green transition and create local development.”
The new agreement arouses great joy among the two Bornholm parliamentarians.
Lea Wermelin says: “Our energy island Bornholm will become a green powerhouse out at sea with a completely new way of making offshore wind. It not only makes a big difference to the climate, but also has great potential for development, innovation and jobs on Bornholm and in the entire Baltic Sea area. Therefore, it is absolutely right that Bornholm now joins forces in a collaboration with Åland and Gotland, so we can seize that potential.”
Peter Juel-Jensen says: “I am very pleased that with this agreement we will breathe new life into the cooperation around the Baltic Sea. The energy islands have great potential for local jobs and innovation of the entire business world. It is crucial that we strengthen cooperation both at national and local level, so that we can benefit as much as possible from each other’s knowledge in the field. I’m looking forward to the collaboration, which I wholeheartedly support.”
The three partners are already in the process of defining the first projects and have agreed that they will meet on Bornholm on 7th of May for the Baltic Energy Island Summit. On Bornholm, both Baltic Energy Island, the Center for Regional and Tourism Research and Bornholm’s Energy and Supply already take an active part in the collaboration together with Bornholm’s Regional Municipality.
Concrete examples of value creation which could be the focus of the three islands:
• Become a fossil-free society
• Attract investment
• Hotspots for technology development
• Create jobs in sparsely populated areas
• Engage the local community
• Attract qualified labour
• Enable educational programs at different levels
• Ensure welfare
The collaboration has become possible through Science Park Gotland and Baltic Energy Island.
Åland, Gotland and Bornholm are all located in the Baltic Sea and have a strong, green ambition in common.