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scattered houses on island of Grimsay

Outer Hebrides to feature in international energy transition research

Published: 13/05/2021

The islands are to represent the region in a multi-national project.

scattered houses on island of Grimsay
Grimsay on the Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides is to represent the Highlands and Islands in a multi-national research project putting local people at the heart of delivering a low carbon future for their communities.

The Responsible Research and Innovation Policy Experimentations for Energy Transition project, RIPEET, is looking at the impacts of bringing together communities, businesses, academia, government, and the environmental sector to deliver sustainable energy solutions.

The project is being funded from the EU’s largest ever Research and Innovation programme, the €80bn Horizon 2020. As well as the Highlands and Islands, RIPEET is working with communities in Extremadura in Spain, and Ostrobothnia in Finland.  The Scottish project partners are Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Community Energy Scotland (CES).

Sarah Marshall, senior project manager at HIE, said: “The plan is to bring together a wide range of people in a ‘Transition Lab’. The participants will explore what ideal regional energy systems would look like locally in 15-20 years’ time. Then, what’s needed to achieve that energy vision: including energy needs; the barriers; and how to kickstart action to deliver the vision.”

Matthew Logan, CES Western Isles Energy in Motion Development Officer, said: “The Outer Hebrides Lab will be able to actively shape and create change. RIPEET includes €50,000 funding for an ‘open call’ for solutions to meet an identified regional energy need. This might be a social or technological innovation, the establishment of an organisation, or a piece of research as selected by the stakeholders.”

Throughout the project, research will be carried out to understand what common policies, drivers and processes are needed to promote the regional transition to low carbon energy. The project is starting this year and will run until February 2024.

The international RIPEET project team comprises representatives from 11 experienced organisations from seven European countries, led by the Austrian Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI).

Wolfgang Haider of the RIPEET Coordination Team at the Centre for Social Innovation in Vienna said: “Our aim is to provide responsible and place-based research on energy transition innovation and delivery models, learning from the experiences of the three Transition Labs as they explore options, barriers and solutions in their local regions.”

HIE and CES are currently compiling a list of relevant stakeholders interested in taking part in the project. Find out more and get in touch at www.hie.co.uk/ripeet

Author

Lesley G

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