Belfast-based Action Renewables, a leading authority on renewables in Northern Ireland, is set to head up a major €3.4 million EU development project designed to help transform the transport and energy behaviour of millions of Europeans.
Led by Action Renewables and assisted by South West College, the Better Accessible Transport to Encourage Robust Intermodal Enterprise (BATTERIE) project will look at innovative ways to integrate alternative fuels and smart technology into international air, road, rail and sea transport networks.
BATTERIE is a 12-strong collaboration bringing together partners from across the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal. The project, which has been awarded Strategic Status, receives funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Atlantic Area programme and match-support from the Department of the Environment (DoE) and the Department of Regional Development (DRD).
Terry Waugh, Deputy Director of Action Renewables, says BATTERIE would produce a number of outputs designed to promote economic development and growth. “With rising utility prices and energy security issues topping national agendas, BATTERIE will focus on providing answers to the most pressing issues affecting member states. This will include hot topics such as the future impact of rising fuel costs and fuel shortages, and identifying how smart technologies and alternative fuel use can rise to meet future challenges” he comments.
Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood says: “From a climate change, an air quality and a health perspective there is a clear need to do something to reduce the emissions from transport. I believe this research will show how best we can achieve the necessary step change in the way we travel and help identify how to overcome the barriers to a smart, fully accessible and sustainable transport system. A system that will form an integral part of our transition towards a low carbon economy.”
Centring on the five nations in the Atlantic Area, the BATTERIE project will:
* develop transport network Regional Action Plans
* map out the future impact of rising fuel costs and fuel shortages
* model future supply chains and best practice
* examine what impact smart technology and alternative fuels will have on interconnectivity between regions
* create an innovative pan-European online tool for sustainable travel.