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Mitsubishi launches groundbreaking project that will revolutionize energy usage on remote islands: 'A community-centric approach'

This project could be the answer for island populations looking to become self-sufficient.

This project could be the answer for island populations looking to become self-sufficient.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Reducing reliance on an energy grid that is still overwhelmingly reliant on dirty energy sources is a great way to minimize the production of planet-warming pollution.

But for residents of remote islands far from the mainland, becoming self-sufficient in terms of energy supply could also be a real life-changer.

Mitsubishi is investigating how its heat pumps can improve power supply to residents of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway Bay in Ireland and in San Pietro Island near Italy.

The experiments began in May 2023, with Mitsubishi hoping to achieve a 10% energy saving, a 60% reduction in pollution, and a 50% increase in renewable energy use compared to a pre-defined baseline set by the European Union's Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe.

Part of the research is to determine how the islands can effectively participate in demand response control to avoid accessing electricity from the grid at peak times and alleviate issues associated with demand and supply. 

The company observed that remote islands face geographical and structural challenges when it comes to energy supply, while they are also heavily reliant on dirty energy, which produce harmful gases when burned that contribute to global heating.

"The project will demonstrate a community-centric approach to energy management for remote islands using distributed renewable energy generation and storage technologies with demand-response to balance power supply and demand," a statement read.

If successful, these islands can reduce reliance on conventional power supply, reduce emissions, and save money by providing residents with significantly cheaper energy.

Heat pumps can be used domestically, too, and not just in large-scale operations to provide power for a whole island. By using heat from the ground or the air, this technology can heat or cool a home at a fraction of the cost of a gas or electric boiler or an electric air conditioning system. 

The outcome of Mitsubishi's experiment could provide the answer for other island populations looking to become self-sufficient. 

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