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Self-sufficiency for Isle of Wight

A community group is aiming to make the Isle of Wight the first UK region to be energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2020.

The group, known as Eco Island, was reported by the BBC News website to have been formed four years by the island’s council, but is now community-led and co-ordinated by the Island Strategic Partnership.

It is aiming for power for the population of 142,500 to come from a waste to energy plant, solar panels and tidal and geothermal power.

The group also plans to export low-carbon power back to the mainland from the Isle of Wight, which currently draws 600GWh of electricity from the mainland.

Eco Island founder, David Green said: “The island is taking some of its destiny back into its own hands.”

Richard Benyon, minister for the natural environment and fisheries, said: “The Eco Island is a very impressive and bold ambition which is being followed closely by the government.

“We will continue to monitor the sustainable community strategy to see what can be learned for communities elsewhere in the UK.”

Houses throughout the island will be fitted with smart meters to tell householders exactly how much fuel they are using.

Mr Green added: “Technology is part of this solution, combined with hearts and minds it can make a massive difference.”