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default Isle of Eigg wins 'green oscar'

Post by Adrian on 18th October 2010, 12:32 pm

-->> Linky <<--

The remote island of Eigg has managed to halve carbon emissions from the average household by generating more than 90 per cent of electricity from renewables.

The 95 residents also save energy by heating water with solar panels and carefully rationing electricity.

The tiny island in the Inner Hebrides won the UK section of the Ashden Awards, one of the most prestigious green energy awards in the world, and is being held up as a model for how the rest of the country could cut carbon emissions.

Runners up include a carbon neutral school in Devon, a Suffolk council using local wood to heat homes and housing estate in Manchester where low income households are being given 'green makeovers'.

The winner of the international award is D. Light Design, a company set up by two Standford University graduates in 2007 to sell solar lamps to remote villages around the world. The company has now sold 220,000 lanterns, replacing the polluting and potentially dangerous kerosine lamps, and saving carbon emissions. Runners up include a village in Kenya run on cow dung and a biogas programme in Vietnam.

Winners will receive a £20,000 cash reward presented by Sir David Attenborough, while runners up receive £10,000.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder of the Awards, said all the winners demonstrate a green future.

"Our UK finalists demonstrate how local sustainable energy cannot only help save the planet, but also transform communities across the UK by creating jobs, regenerating communities, tackling fuel poverty and educating our future citizens about sustainability."

The Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, which runs the island since the 1997 community buy-out which ended centuries of semi-feudal control, has already won plaudits for managing to become almost self sufficient in a few years.

The trust set up an innovative renewable energy grid in 2008 funded by £1.8 million from the Scottish Government.

Within a few years it was providing enough power from to run 92 per cent of electricity needs and hopes to provide 98 per cent once solar panels come on stream.

At the same time households were fitted with 'owl meters' that only allow 5kw of energy to be used at any one time and solar panels to heat water.

Household emissions are now an average 4.45 tonnes per year compared to a national average of 9.2 tonnes.

Although it has had to rely on backup generators recently, because of a low water table and little wind, the Trust believe that ultimately the rest of the UK will be following their lead.

Lucy Conway from the Trust said the rest of the UK will also have to start rationing power if demand starts to outstrip supply.

"Eigg is just a small version of the UK and we are just living within the power that can be generated. Is is not the case the rest of the UK will have to do this at some point as well?" she said.

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default Re: Isle of Eigg wins 'green oscar'

Post by mark barker on 18th October 2010, 2:14 pm

Sounds great, but not exactly practical.... £1.8 million for 95 people! Surely it could be done for far less than £19k each?

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default Re: Isle of Eigg wins 'green oscar'

Post by Compostwoman on 18th October 2010, 10:36 pm

Mmm we have spent nearly £15 K so far on pv and solar thermal and that didn't allow for the fitting of the solar panels, as CM did that. so £19 K sounds quite reasonable. (We have only 2.8 Kw of pv as well, not 5)

I know the 19 k was per person, but it IS a long way to ship stuff AND they have gone for wind as well as pv and solar, and wind turbines up there are more expensive to set up (the high winds mean very sturdy turbine installations are needed, much more so than routine down here I suspect...!)
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