Action Renewables, a Belfast-based adviser on renewable energy projects in Northern Ireland, is to head up a €3.4m EU project involving 12 partners that will aim to help transform the transport and energy behaviour of Europeans.
The project is known as Better Accessible Transport to Encourage Robust Intermodal Enterprise (BATTERIE) project. Its goal will be to look at innovative ways to integrate alternative fuels and smart technology into international air, road, rail and sea transport networks.
Twelve partners from Ireland, the UK, France, Spain and Portugal will be involved in the BATTERIE project, which is to receive funding from the European Regional Development Fund under the Atlantic Area programme, as well as support from the Department of the Environment and the Department of Regional Development in Northern Ireland.
The launch of BATTERIE took place at the EU Commission Office in Belfast last week.
Terry Waugh, deputy director of Action Renewables, said the project would aim to produce a number of outputs around alternative fuels and the use of smart technologies in transport.
"With rising utility prices and energy security issues topping national agendas, BATTERIE will focus on providing answers to the most pressing issues affecting member states. This will include hot topics, such as the future impact of rising fuel costs and fuel shortages, and identifying how smart technologies and alternative fuel use can rise to meet future challenges," he said.
Waugh added that it had taken two years to build the partnership.
"We are now looking forward to working with some of the EU’s top experts in the fields of transportation, energy, smart technology, logistics and regional development," he said.
The BATTERIE initiative will hone in on the five countries in the Atlantic area – Ireland, the UK, France, Spain and Portugal – to develop regional action plans for transport networks.
Other aims of the project will be to map out the future impact of rising fuel costs and fuel shortages and to examine the impact that smart technology and alternative fuels will have on interconnectivity between regions.