Comharchumann Fuinnimh Oileáin Árann Teoranta
October 9, 2018
In your own words, tell us about your project.
Our aim is to make the 3 islands fossil-fuel-free using green energy generated on the islands and owned by the cooperative.
Our project involves upgrading and retrofitting homes and buildings; introducing electric cars and buses; encouraging households to instal heat pumps, photovoltaic and battery storage; generating electricity locally; being partners on numerous EU funded research projects; making the Aran Islands an Energy Research Hub; creating new employment opportunities in the energy field; running Energy Tours on the islands
Why did you do this work?
The Energy Cooperative developed out of the Development Cooperative Comharchumann Forbartha Árann. A sub committee called the ‘Energy Committee’ worked for many years on this project before establishing the energy cooperative.
We islanders believe in our ability to be self-sufficient again in a sustainable way, see it as a necessity given the reality of climate change, and take pride in working towards those aims.
What was the impact or outcome of your project?
A number of buildings now operating fossil-fuel-free.
10 electric cars on Inis Mor.
Up to 100 buildings now have heat pumps and photovoltaic panels.
Involved at present in 4 EU funded projects (H2020 and InterReg).
Now employing 1 person (not on a government scheme).
Produced an Energy Master Plan
Conduct Energy Tours on Inis Mor
Do you have any tips or advice for similar projects?
A committee works best if it has one or more people who are champions and who will do whatever it takes.
Networking with outside agencies, businesses, third level colleges, and other SECs is essential for gaining support.