The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is coordinating a three-year programme with the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

24 households on the Aran Islands are participating in the pilot project to demonstrate the smart grid technologies needed to transfer and store wind energy in electric vehicles.

The aim is to look at the potential for wind energy to power electric cars and to reduce reliance on imported fuels on the islands.

In the initial phase of the project, eight households will receive electric vehicles. The households will be fitted with an innovative smart charger unit which can be accessed remotely to allow matching of available wind power with vehicle charging requirements.

SEAI CEO, professor, Owen Lewis, said: “Ireland has the twin goals of replacing 10% of its passenger vehicles with electric vehicles by 2020 and of exploiting our availability of renewable energy resources, in particular wind.

“Under Government plans to put 6,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2012, a grant of Euro 5,000 is now available for the purchase of electric vehicles.

“This project on the Aran Islands is a significant step, and is among the first initiatives worldwide to demonstrate the potential for electric vehicles fuelled by wind energy.”

Alison Brown

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