CKEA are delighted to hear that St Canice’s Credit Union, REIL and SEAI are partnering to bring credit union members in Kilkenny and Laois grants tailor made for home energy upgrades.
CKEA welcomes Budget 2017
Minister Denis Naughten of the Department of Communication, Climate Change and Environment issued a budget statement this week which identifies the interconnection between climate action and energy efficiency. The full press release from the Department is available on their website or further down this post. Carlow Kilkenny and Wexford Energy Agency Manager, Paddy Phelan, has welcomed the focus and supporting measures outlined by Minister Naughten:
“CKEA welcomes Budget 2017. It sets in train the budget allocation to deliver the much anticipated Renewable Heat Incentive programme promised since 2014. Will this be enough, if delivered, to ignite the massive challenge that lays in wait to achieve the Renewable Heat target for 2020? Only time will tell. Ireland Inc is currently set to significantly miss the target, resulting in long term fines of circa €100m per % point below the 12% Renewable Heat Target. Current reports for 2015 suggest that Ireland is circa 7.6% below that 2020 target.
The Energy Citizens role in sustainable community programmes is marked with an increase in SEAI programme funding for Better Energy Communities and the Warmer Homes Programme.
Paddy is also delighted to see the establishment of the National Dialogue on Climate Change and would be keen for CKEA to participate. Local Energy Agencies support climate change mitigation and adaption through the county based approach for Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Planning.
Budget 2017 Statement by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten: Broadband, Energy Efficiency and Digital Economy focus areas for Budget 2017
11 October 2016
- €100 million for energy efficiency projects €15 million for National Broadband Plan
- Capital allocation to increase by €45m, , to more than €170m
- Total 2017 Budget €529 million
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., today announced his Department’s Budget 2017 allocation. “Climate action, energy, broadband connectivity and the digital economy are amongst the most significant strategic sectors for Ireland’s economic, employment and social recovery, and Budget 2017 demonstrates committed and ongoing support for these key areas.”
Broadband Connectivity and the Digital Economy
Broadband connectivity remains a key social, economic and political priority.
The National Broadband Plan (NBP) will play an integral role in revitalizing businesses and communities across provincial towns in rural Ireland, and additional funding of€5m has been set aside to finalise the tender process in 2017 bringing the total allocation for the National Broadband Plan in 2017 to €15 million .
A further €8m will facilitate the reallocation of the 700mhz spectrum away from TV broadcasting to support broadband and mobile telephony plans in rural areas. In freeing up a very valuable spectrum band, this crucial investment will deliver better mobile data services (including 5G), particularly in rural areas.
€3 million will be spent on the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, which helps small businesses develop their trading online capacity, as well as offering training, mentoring and support.
Energy and Climate Action
Energy and climate action are inextricably linked, and the Minister has affirmed this Government’s determination to meet the Paris Agreement targets within the next 398 months.
To this end, €500,000 will be directed to the establishment of a National Dialogue on Climate Change, while an additional €24m – an increase of 35% on last year – will target expanded energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes across the country.
In 2017, at least €100m will be invested on energy projects, saving over 116,000 tonnes in carbon emissions every year, reducing overall dependence on imported fossil fuels, and supporting around 3,000 jobs.
The transition away from carbon-based fuels remains a long-term goal; €7 million has been allocated to a new Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme to help achieve this.
A further €2 million will be allocated to the Better Energy Homes Scheme to support individual householders in making energy efficiency improvements to their homes, while an additional €4 million will be allocated to the Better Energy Communities Scheme.
The Warmth and Wellbeing pilot scheme will also be expanded and its total allocation for 2017 will be increased to €8 million.
An additional €2 million is being provided for the Environment Protection Agency to target illegal dumpers and €13 million for landfill remediation will be spent next year to clean up our landfill sites.
These measures are additional or enhanced commitments in the context of an overall budget in 2017 of €529 million.
CKEA welcomes Budget 2017
Exciting news this week in County Kilkenny, the Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency (CKEA), O’Shea Farms in Piltown and Solar Electric are working on installing the largest Solar PV installation in the Republic of Ireland. O’Shea Farms have a year round electricity demand from refrigerated cold storage. They supply fresh produce to supermarkets across the country all year around. They plan to meet this base load demand with the installation of 250kWp, covering 1,569m² of roof area on and meeting 11% of the total site electricity demand. This project will set O’Shea Farms as the leaders in solar power generation in the Ireland. Jane Wickham, Paddy Phelan and Nigel Kwenda of the Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency are working closely with O’Shea Farms on the project management of this installation. The Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency was successful in applying for 20% grant for the capital cost of the project through the Better Energy Communities from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
The project received a lot of interest from multinational companies when Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency put it out to tender in early August. The contract was awarded to Solar Electric Ireland Limited from Co. Wexford. O’Shea Farms are currently in the construction phase of the project. Solar Electric Ireland have already delivered an order of 160kW worth of solar panels onsite and construction is to start this Thursday 1st October. The installation and commissioning of the project is expected to be completed by the end of October 2015.
The main advantages of onsite solar power generation at O’Shea Farms are as follows;
- Solar energy coincides with energy needs for cooling during the summer months. Therefore, a Solar PV System can provide an effective solution to supply energy during peak demands especially in hot summer months where energy demand is high.
- Solar power generation is carbon neutral hence; it will firmly ground O’Shea Farms’ sustainable practice credentials.
- Solar power generation does not require a primary energy source attributed with conventional power generation methods. Therefore, it reduces O’Shea Farms’ exposure to fluctuating energy prices.
- Solar power generation requires little to no operational and maintenance costs compared to other renewable energy technologies.
- On completion the 250kWp installation will be Ireland’s largest single Solar PV installation setting O’Shea farms as leaders in solar power generation in Ireland.
Santander, Spain hosted the recent Street Lighting EPC event. “STREETLIGHT-EPC” is setting up Regional EPC Facilitation Services (helpdesks) in 9 European regions for municipalities and SMEs as potential ESCOs. The partner regions are implementing energy efficient street lighting refurbishment projects using Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). This will help create knowledge and trust in both EPC and LED technology” (FEDARENE).
Old street lighting systems can account for 30-50% of municipalities’ total electricity consumption. Yet, current technologies offer 30-70% potential energy savings. These potential savings have been recognised and incorporated into European policies: EU Regulation 245/2009 sets phasing out requirements for nearly 80% of all currently used lamp types between 2012 and 2017. This means that these lamp types will no longer be available on the market for purchase.
Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) offers municipalities an innovative, but still under-used, solution to finance a transition to energy efficient street lighting with energy savings guarantees. Street lighting is a good “learning and testing ground” for EPC due to its lower technical and economic complexity compared to building-related EPC. Furthermore, the recent market introduction of LED technology offers high energy and cost savings with comparatively short pay-back times.
EPC Street Lighting – Successes
Palencia/Spain – a pioneer project
- Population: 81,000
- Urban area with 11,000 lighting points.
- Before renovation, mostly high-pressure sodium lamps and high pressure mercury lamps were used, frequently with low efficiency and insufficient colour rendition.
- In the context of a streetlight-EPC project, as a first step, 3,139 luminaires were changed to LED.
- An individual luminaire dimming control system was installed.
- Contract duration: 12 years
- Guaranteed energy savings: 75 %
- Total savings: 2,000,000 Euro
Wels/Austria – comprehensive LED project
- Population: 61,000 total street lighting system: 7,700 lights and 9,100 lamps
- Prior to the retrofitting project, mercury vapour discharge lamps (HQL), sodium lamps, plug-in solutions and fluorescent lamps were in use, of which 4,500 were older than 15 years.
- Between 2011 and 2014, 50 % of the lighting system was converted to LED technology.
- A third of the street lighting is dimmed to 50 % between 21:30 and 5:30, resulting in increased saving without compromising road safety.
- Investment by the ESCO: 1,656,000 Euro
- Contract duration: 7 years
- Achieved annual savings: 36 % (guaranteed)
It’s that time again! Global Wind Day 2015 is taking place on Monday 15th June, with events taking place here in Ireland, across Europe and around the globe. Global Wind Day is coordinated by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) to raise awareness of wind energy and its potential.
Last year was a great success with over 1,000 people, young and old visiting Irish wind farms. This year again will see wind farms across Ireland and Northern Ireland hosting an array of events to celebrate renewable wind energy.
The dates and activities vary, with some wind farms hosting public wind farm open-days and talks so that families can learn about wind energy and see turbines in operation, while others are hosting special events including community walks and runs, and some more still are inviting schools for fun, games and facts on wind.
Ballymartin Wind Farm, Co. Kilkenny.
Opening date & time: Thursday 18th June between 6pm and 8pm.
What’s happening: Opportunity for the community to visit the wind farm. Brookfield Renewables staff will be on hand to explain how the turbines work and how clean, renewable energy is generated. Children welcome.
Description: Community Open Day.
Organiser: Brookfield Renewable Ireland
Meeting place: Bus will be departing at 6.15pm from Mullinavat GAA Club Car Park and must be used for access as individual parking is unavailable.
Who’s the contact: Please email Marie Moloney on firstname.lastname@example.org
The most recent projections from the EPA indicate that Ireland could miss emission reduction targets by as much as 11%. However, agriculture can play a significant role in achieving further emission reductions and delivering renewable energy obligations. This can only happen with the introduction of a clear bioenergy and renewable’s strategy from Government.
This must include improved REFIT tariffs, the development of end-use markets for renewable crops and the co-ordination of activity between state agencies to ensure renewable energy obligations are delivered, emissions are reduced and job creation is supported in rural areas.
The greenhouse gasses attributed to the agricultural sector should be more accurately reported by fully recognizing the mitigation potential of carbon sinks from forestry, bioenergy, grasslands and aquaculture. These sinks are an important in significantly reducing emissions from the sector.
IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman
Investment in the renewable energy sector has ground to a complete halt because of uncertainty surrounding future supports for the sector. Government plans to introduce a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) next year to stimulate change from fossil fuels to renewable sources, such as forestry thinnings, for commercial and industrial heat production has resulted in a major fall off in investment, the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) claimed.
“Any part considering biomass as an energy source has postponed purchasing decisions until clarity is given on the RHI qualifying criteria and the tariff tiering/banding,” IrBEA claimed.
“The industry fear is that if greater clarity does not happen until sometime late this year or early 2016, then the capacity in the sector will be further depleted and the sector will struggle to respond to market demand post the introduction of the RHI,” IrBEA added.
It has called for the department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) to confirm that any eligible renewable installation, completed up to the date the RHI becomes operational, will benefit from the new support. This so-called ‘grandfathering’ commitment would ensure that projects can start planning, negotiate with suppliers, get supply chains organized and commence construction safe in the knowledge that they will not be excluded from the scheme.
“The exact same issue arose in the UK in 2008/2009 when an RHI scheme was first mooted. To prevent a complete market meltdown, the then UK minister for energy and climate change made an announcement in July 2009 that any biomass projects installed from the date of his announcement would retrospectively qualify for the RHI once it was introduced,” IrBEA explained.
IrBEA confirmed that it had written to Minister Alex White and his DCENR officials seeking a similar derogation to be introduced in Ireland.
The justification for an RHI is the contribution that can be made to Ireland’s 12pc heat target for renewable s by 2020.
The Government target is to replace about 200,000t of oil equivalent per year by 2020. This would avoid oil imports of about €120m per annum. On current uptake trends, Ireland could be hit with EU fines of up to €500m per year for missing the 2020 targets.
The Government plans to introduce a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in 2016 to stimulate change from fossil fuels to renewable sources for commercial and industrial heat production. An unintended consequence of that announcement last October (in draft Bioenergy Plan) is that the market has now ground to a complete halt due to the uncertainty created.
Any party considering biomass as an energy source has postponed purchasing decisions until clarity is given on the RHI qualifying criteria and tariff tiering/banding. The industry fear is that if such clarity does not happen until sometime late this year or early 2016, then the capacity in the sector will be further depleted and the sector will struggle to respond to market demand post the introduction of the RHI.
The justification for an RHI is the contribution that can be made to Ireland’s 12% heat target for renewables and the overall 16% renewables target by 2020. The sooner momentum is achieved, the greater the contribution towards these targets. On current uptake trends, Ireland could be hit with EU fines of up to €500 million per year for missing the targets.
The solution, urgently requested by IrBEA, is an announcement by the Minister for Energy to confirm that any eligible renewable installations, completed during the period from the date of the announcement to the date that the RHI becomes operational, will benefit from the new support as if the installation had been completed on the date the relevant scheme launches – a so-called “Grandfathering” commitment. It would ensure that projects can start planning, negotiating with suppliers, getting supply chains organised and commencing construction safe in the knowledge that they will not be excluded from the scheme.
The exact same issue arose in the UK in 2008/2009 when an RHI scheme was first mooted. To prevent a complete market meltdown, the then UK Minister for Energy and Climate Change made an announcement in July 2009 that any biomass projects installed from the date of his announcement would retrospectively qualify for the RHI once it was introduced.
IrBEA acknowledges that such a grandfathering commitment may create legitimate expectations with people who then proceed to install poor quality boilers and use undesirable fuel. As the credible voice of the Bioenergy industry in Ireland, IrBEA is committed to the growth of a sustainable sector and not only accepts these concerns but wants to be at the forefront of putting in place safeguards for taxpayers (funders of the RHI scheme) and end consumers (purchasers of goods & services).
We have therefore written to Energy Minister Alex White and his DCENR officials that for biomass boiler projects, only projects using equipment qualifying for inclusion on the Triple-E register maintained by SEAI will be eligible for inclusion in the RHI Scheme and projects must use sustainable biomass.
What is this about?
By anaerobically digesting food processing waste and/or animal slurries we can produce biogas, similar to natural gas that can be used for onsite energy – lowering energy costs, recycling valuable nutrients and lowering carbon emissions. Detailed examples will be highlighted and a discussion about the main aspects of building anaerobic digestion plants will take place. There is an entry fee of €50.
Who should attend?
Food Processors and larger farms who produce large amounts of food waste / slurry, and have large energy use on site.