Fáilte. Welcome to our new website. We are now nearly 5 years into our 10 year project to make the Aran Islands fossil fuel free. If we can do it, any local community throughout Ireland can do it. De réir a chéile a thógtar na caisleáin.
It’s a bottom-up approach, where we, the energy citizens in the local community, take power literally into our own hands. This is an opportunity we must grab while we have it. All this energy, wind, wave and light, is available to us locally, and if we can harness it for our own community needs we will create a citizen’s revolution where power reverts to the locality and is taken away from the big corporations. In the process, we will create sustainable communities, clean up our planet and stem climate change.
There are three legs to our project: heating, transport and electricity generation.
On the heating front, we are slowly upgrading all 500 homes and other buildings on the islands. We have 170 homes completed and more planned for this year.
On the transport front, the Renault Fluence EVs are selling well and we now have 5 sold. The Renault Kangoo EV is now also selling on the islands and can be obtained as a van or as a people carrier. These are ideal electric cars for the 3 islands. Of course, we also have over 1,000 bicycles and 30 ponies and traps available for hire! Very eco-friendly!
Regarding electricity generation, approximately 100 houses are fitted with solar hot water panels, there is over 200 kW of air to water heat pumps installed, and 30 kW of photovoltaic. There are also 10 homes with geothermal heating.
Slowly, our fossil fuel dependence is reducing. We are keeping track of this through the records of our cargo vessel, that carries all fossil fuels to the islands.
Working mainly with NUI Galway and GMIT, we are now participating in many different research studies related to creating a micro-grid and smart sustainable technologies. These are mainly EU funded projects with other international partners. We also work with students doing post-graduate research.
We will only achieve our goals with support from government, semi-state bodies, universities, private companies and individuals. Thankfully, this support is gradually building. We are constantly on the search for new allies, interested parties, and of course funding sources. Connect with us if you see an opportunity, a way you could help, or if you would like to be involved. Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.