Tiny Greek island Tilos wins EU REsponsible Island Prize



The small island of Tilos in the south-eastern Aegean Sea is one of the winners of European Union Prize for Responsible Island for local renewable energy transition.

“The innovative energy model of Tilos and the commitment of its residents to sustainable energy will inspire other islands and local communities,” the EU office in Athens twitted on Friday.


The European Commission announced on Friday that the Danish island of Ærø is the winner of the 2020 edition of the EU RESponsible Island Prize. Ærø won the title in recognition for its innovative energy solutions and its contribution to a sustainable and climate-friendly Europe.


The award, announced during the European Research and Innovation Days 2021, comes with a €500,000 cash prize funded by Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme (2014 – 2020).


The second prize of €250,000 went to the island of El Hierro, part of the Canary Islands in Spain, and the third prize of €100,000 to the island of Tilos in Greece.


The three winners have shown important achievements in the clean energy transition and in engaging their local communities into the transformation towards fully renewable energy systems, the EC said in a statement.


Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:

“Islands can be inspiring examples of how to involve local communities and citizens in realising the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal. This, together with the transformation of local energy systems with innovative renewable energy technologies, is what the RESponsible Island Prize is all about. I warmly congratulate the prize winners, who will inspire other islands and energy communities.”


Over the recent years, Tilos has accelerated its clean energy transition thanks to the commitment of the local municipality and the pro-environmental culture of its citizens. Its innovative energy model with community-scale wind and solar, battery energy storage and advanced energy management will inspire other islands and local communities.


The mayor of Tilos announced in 2017 that the island will run entirely on wind and solar power.