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Islands to be part of future energy study

Grimsay, in the Outer Hebrides
Grimsay, in the Outer Hebrides

People in the Outer Hebrides are to take part in a multi-national research initiative, aimed at identifying ideal low carbon regional energy systems of the future.

Communities in Spain and Finland will also be involved in the Responsible Research and Innovation Policy Experimentations for Energy (RIPEET) project.

The Scottish participation in the scheme is being managed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Community Energy Scotland (CES).

Sarah Marshall, senior project manager at HIE, said: “The plan is to bring together a wide range of people in a ‘Transition Lab’.

“The participants will explore what ideal regional energy systems would look like locally in 15-20 years’ time – then, what’s needed to achieve that energy vision: including energy needs; the barriers; and how to kickstart action to deliver the vision.”

Matthew Logan, CES Western Isles energy in motion development officer, said: “The Outer Hebrides Lab will be able to actively shape and create change.

“RIPEET includes £42,900 funding for an ‘open call’ for solutions to meet an identified regional energy need. This might be a social or technological innovation, the establishment of an organisation, or a piece of research as selected by the stakeholders.”

The project, which will bring together communities, business, academia, government and the environmental sector is being funded from the EU’s largest ever research and innovation programme, the £69billion Horizon 2020.

It will start this year and run until February 2024.

The international RIPEET project team comprises representatives from 11 organisations from seven European countries, led by the Austrian Centre for Social Innovation.

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