On 13th and 14th June, a delegation from the covenant signatory Smiltene (Latvia) visited the island of Milos (Greece) in the framework of a Covenant of Mayors’ Twinning. Representatives of both cities had the chance to exchange on their climate and energy challenges, finding commonalities and possible ways forward.
The city of Milos organised a series of visits to the renewable installations present on the island, which has an untapped geothermal potential because of its vulcanic origin. The Latvian visitors were impressed by the local desalination plant. Powered by wind turbines present on the island, the plant treats seawater for home use and it occasionally welcomes schools and visitors. Water scarcity is a serious threat for Milos, whose underground fresh water sources are reducing and risk to be contaminated because of sea-level rise.
On the last day, following a presentation of the process to develop Milos’ Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), Smiltene representatives introduced their new energy management system, based on an online data management platform that receives information from smart meters installed in the municipal buildings.
The two cities agreed to explore future areas of cooperation: Milos could help Smiltene with the drafting of their SECAP, providing suggestions based on their experience. In exchange, Smiltene would share their experience in working with local schools on energy efficiency actions and also in the development of the data management platform.
In spring 2020, it will be Milos’ turn to visit Smiltene. The two cities will then take stock of their joint progresses.
Picture credit: European Covenant of Mayors