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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Islands plan for more green power
Hydrogen lab in the Western Isles
The Hebridean Hydrogen Park could provide the area's power in future
The latest stage of a new £2.5m eco-friendly hydrogen energy project in the Western Isles has been unveiled.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) is now looking for experts to deliver its visionary "Hebridean Hydrogen Park".

The project will provide hydrogen for specially designed vehicles, a research laboratory and a backup power supply.

The isles are at the end of traditional fuel supply chains and are vulnerable to fuel shortages and price rises.

The project seeks to establish hydrogen production from the council's organic waste anaerobic digester and wind turbine.

It wants to supply hydrogen for council pool vehicles and other applications within the park including ¿tourism¿ vehicles, the university R&D lab and backup power supply applications.

Whilst reliant on imported fuels, the Outer Hebrides have one of the richest renewable energy resources in the world
A council spokesman

A council spokesman said: "In the Islands, long distances lead to a reliance on private transport and exposed climate leads to long heating seasons; the availability, cost and security of fuel supply are hence fundamental concerns for the future sustainability of fragile communities.

"Conversely, whilst reliant on imported fuels, the Outer Hebrides have one of the richest renewable energy resources in the world.

"Comhairle nan Eilean Siar recognises the role that hydrogen can play in providing the islands with energy security of supply in the future and are implementing research and demonstration projects to establish a skills base and infrastructure to enable capacity building for the future."

The estimated project budget is £2.5m, and the council has allocated £500,000 towards the project, with the remainder of the funding to be identified as part of the consultancy services.

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