Marina Blagaić Bergman sudjelovala je s izlaganjem na 12. konferenciji Islands of the World u organizaciji Internationl Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA) koja se održala u Zadru 13.-17.6.2022.
Održala je izlaganje Energy Transitions and Future-Making on the Croatian Islands u okviru panela Islands Futures.
In the summer of 2020, the island of Hvar voted on the Energy Transition Strategy that, in
the period of its preparation and implementation, has become a topic of top-down and down-up
discussions. Implementation of the strategy will take place in tight cooperation with two associa-
tions, one that gathers market actors in the production of the renewable energy supplies, the As-
sociation of Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia (RESC), and another that grew out of youth
activism at the level of the East Adriatic archipelago and has developed as a political actor at the
level of EU islands initiatives (Island Movement). The Energy Transition Strategy relates to the period
from 2020 to 2035 and includes four pillars: civic society, educational institutions, local self-govern-
ment bodies, and the entrepreneurial sector. In agreement with citizens through workshops, an
analysis was made of their proposals that formed the basis from which they developed a shared vi-
sion of the island’s self-sustainability. The present state shows that only six per cent of islanders
produce their own energy. Officially, the island has a population of 11,077 and wishes to develop
solar power plants. So far, the investors that have offered to build it have not successfully negotiated
with the local government on the percentage of the local community’s ownership of the solar plant.
As a cultural anthropologist, I conducted ethnographic research on the island and collected data on
how top-down policies reach the local community and merge with local initiatives concerning clean
energy. Additionally, I was interested in narratives on the traditional ways islands have been kept
‘clean’ for centuries—until unplanned agriculture, the strong development of (mass) tourism, and
intensified building and transport on the island of Hvar connected with it intervened. The idea that
emerged as the crucial topic of islanders’ future-making processes is the collective vision of energy
transition, which relates to local communities becoming the default owners of the infrastructure
built around their living spaces and supported by the state and EU financial aid. This praxis has not
been the case in Croatia so far. However, it has recently been negotiated on the island of Hvar and
a few other Adriatic archipelago islands.