The Isle of Wight, Off the Coast of England Has Big Plans
Using renewable energy sources including tidal power, the Isle of Wight is creating a world model for environmental sustainability with the first Eco Island in the world.
The Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England has ambitious plans to become an Eco Island by 2020. This would mean exceptional use of renewable energy sources as well as creating some of the most eco-friendly houses in Britain.
Model for Environmental Sustainability
As a model for environmental sustainability, the Eco Island would be a living example for other communities. Alongside environmental issues, the Isle of Wight planning party (called the Island Strategic Patrnership) sees the project as a holistic strategy which will improve the quality of life for all of its residents.
Recognising the need to create a brighter future for the children of the island, there are plans to develop healthier lifestyles and improve school grades. This in turn should open up opportunities for their future.
The Eco Island project began in 2007. Since then the following impressive improvements have been made:
- The creation of the first gasification plant in the UK, converting waste into electricity which now powers 2,000 homes
- Three renewable energy systems have been installed in community buildings, creating new levels of environmental sustainability
- Isle of Wight homeowners are receiving financial aid towards improving insulation and creating eco-friendly houses
- Drought-resistant plants have been placed in public areas throughout the island
- Development has been approved to create new eco-friendly houses with solar panels and rain collecting systems
Isle of Wight
- Size : 23 miles by 13 miles
- Population : 142,000
- Claim to Fame: 14 award-winning beaches and miles of spectacular areas of natural beauty
New Eco-Friendly Projects for Eco Island
2020 is the target date to reach the environmental sustainability of Eco Island status. These are some of the eco-friendly projects in the pipe-line:
- developing tidal power as one of the renewable energy sources
- rebuilding one of the schools to reduce its carbon footprint to zero
- encouraging motorists to use electric cars by offering free parking areas specifically for them
- creating an awards scheme to reward local commercial organisations for eco-friendly work
- attracting new enterprise to the island to bring employment opportunities for residents
- developing “green ways” which provide alternative methods to car use
Eco Island Ambassador Dame Ellen MacArthur
Quoted in Positive News (No. 60 Summer 2009) Isle of Wight resident, Dame Ellen MacArthur said, ” I think the Isle of Wight is a fantastic location for harnessing energy but more importantly, it is about the people of the island being proud to live on the island and wanting to make a difference.”
Dame Ellen MacArthur broke the world record for the fastest solo sailing round the globe. As an ambassador for Eco Island, she gives her full support to this futuristic project.