Aran Islands ‘could be 100% renewable’

Islands off the coast of Ireland could be powered completely by renewable resources from their environment, a minister has claimed.

A feasibility study is being carried out to determine whether wind and wave power and other renewables could provide islands with their electricity, heat and transport needs.

The study is to be conducted on the Aran Islands, which rely on the mainland for energy, but with an eye to extending the lessons to other islands.

It has been commissioned by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI).

Minister for communications, energy and natural resources Eamon Ryan said: “The development of an integrated wind and ocean-powered energy system could make the islands self-sufficient in terms of energy supply, would create jobs, boost tourism and could even provide models for improved use of natural resources for the whole island of Ireland.”

Last month, Mr Ryan said that Ireland aims to generate 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Speaking to an Economist Business Roundtable he said that part of the answer to problems of climate change and energy independence was the development of clean energy.

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