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University experts to help create Eco-Island

Published: 27 March 2008

University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bill Wakeham, spoke at an international conference on the Isle of Wight this week about the University's contribution to the Island's plans to become an energy-self-sufficient Eco-Island.

The event at Cowes Yacht Haven on Wednesday 26 March was held to inform businesses and organisations about the Eco-Island vision that aims to see the Island completely self-sufficient in renewable energy and with the country's lowest carbon footprint by 2020.

The University of Southampton is working closely with the Island Strategic Partnership - a collaboration of the county's leading organisations and business and voluntary sectors - on the project. University experts will be designing a thermodynamic model of the Island so the success of work to reduce the Island's ecological footprint can be measured and monitored over time.

The University is also working with the Isle of Wight Council and private sector partners to develop an applied renewable energy centre, which could include a large tidal energy installation off the Island's south coast.

Professor William Powrie, Head of the University's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and an expert in sustainable waste and resource management, said: 'The Eco-Island project is very exciting and the University is delighted to be part of it. Because the Isle of Wight is such a well defined area it is an excellent location for monitoring the success of energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives.'

IW Council leader David Pugh said: 'The aims of Eco-Island are clearly highly ambitious and we know that to achieve the success we want we will need support from across the whole community. The event will become a standing conference so that each year the IW Council and other local businesses and organisation can review the progress made.'

IW Council chief executive Joe Duckworth said: 'We have already been extremely encouraged by the support shown by the businesses community to Eco-Island. We have numerous businesses here already leading the way not only in the way of Eco-technology but also in working to the highest
sustainable practices.'

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