ENERGee Watch Course 1 Data Collection (acquisition and treatment)

The ENERGee Watch courses began online back in September with Course 3 Indicators and Strategies on Adaptation to Climate Change. As the first cycle of courses come to an end we will reflect on the content of each course, its objectives, and the overall objectives of the ENERGee Watch Project. Course 3 information is available through the link above. Starting with Course 1 Data Collection (acquisition and treatment), this was one of four courses will take place across the three cycles of the ENERGee Watch programme. The ENERGee WATCH peer-to-peer learning programme aims to enable regional and local authorities to timely and accurately define, monitor, and verify their sustainable actions. The course material focused on regional/provincial authorities and their agencies. These groups are responsible for collecting and monitoring GHG reduction efforts and results. These groups were targeted to empower them to use best practices in their efforts. ENERGee Watch is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The programme will take place across three cycles. Each cycle has the same four courses and tutors and will contain a visit to the tutor’s country in future iterations should Covid restrictions allow. The content of the courses may change each year based on the feedback from the previous group in the previous cycle. Through this, the course can adapt to the needs of regional/local authorities. We are currently receiving feedback from the groups just finishing their courses in this iteration of the project.

We expect, by the end of the ENERGee Watch peer learning programme, regional and local authorities will have improved abilities and skills to collect energy and climate data, monitor said data, verify it, and then report the data for their sustainable energy action plans. We also hope that the peer-to-peer nature of the programme will foster future collaborations and partnerships.

Course 1: Data Collection (acquisition and treatment)

The overall aim of ENERGee WATCH is to launch a peer-to-peer learning program to enable regional and local authorities to timely and accurately define, monitor, and verify their sustainable actions. The learning process targets regional and/or provincial authorities and their agencies and observatories that are responsible for collecting and overseeing the monitoring of mitigation and adaptation indicators to empower them to make use of the best practices. Course 1 is broken into 4 sessions as follows:

  • Session 1: Baseline Emission Inventory
  • Session 2: Energy management
  • Session 3: Energy supply and production
  • Session 4: Transport

The handbook for ENERGee Watch Course 1 Data Collection is available for download here.

The target for Course 1 Data Collection

This course is aimed at professionals at the regional and local levels, that are responsible for energy data collection and would like to learn more on how to tackle challenges connected to gathering quality and comprehensive energy data. It is aimed at those who should or could play a key role in improving data sharing to accelerate the achievement of EU climate goals.

Mentors

Boštjan Krajnc, CEO of Energy Agency of Savinjska, Šaleska and Koroška Region (KSSENA), has 16years of work experience in the field of RES and RUE. In his professional career, Boštjan Krajnc has performed more than 50 trainings on energy management, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, financial mechanisms (ESCO), and on transferring EU Energy efficiency directives into national legislation.

3 Counties Energy Agency responds to Climate Action Plan

The publication of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2021 by Government last week was broadly welcomed by the stakeholders working to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and the resulting environmental damage that they cause.

3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) are positively enthused by the continued effort and commitment to solving the most pressing problem facing civilisation with a particular focus on de-carbonising the Irish energy system. 3cea also welcome the continuing focus on enabling communities, seeing this as important to the future management of our energy provision and use. But they also urge some caution.

CAP 2019 included an annexe with 183 specified actions, each with a timeline and specification of who was responsible for implementing the change. CAP 2021 lists 475 required actions. Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3cea, notes an important change.

3cea CEO Paddy Phelan on the ‘The Way It Is Show’ with Sue Nunn on KCLR:

Read more

3cea Joins the IGBC’s EPD Campaign

3cea is proud to announce that we are a signatory of the Irish Green Building Council’s EPD (Environment Product Declarations). Through the IGBC’s EPD Campaign, 3cea is committing to request that suppliers work towards getting an EPD by including an EPD request in our selection criteria. We hope this request for EPD and preference towards products with an EPD will drive the demand for transparent data and the first step towards circularity.

 

What is the EPD Commitment?

IGBC is asking specifiers of construction products to ask for Environmental Product Declarations and prefer products with EPD where possible within procurement restrictions and help drive the demand for better environmental data from manufacturers.

 

Environmental Product Declarations are 3rd party verified documents prepared by a manufacturer to set out the various environmental impacts of their products clearly and transparently. Standardised in EN 15804

 

What do they measure? Environmental Impacts during products stages​

 

  • Global Warming Potential (GWP)​
  • Acidification (AP)​
  • Eutrophication (EP)​
  • Stratospheric Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP)​
  • Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP)​
  • Abiotic depletion (ADPE and ADPF) and Primary Energy used​

 

To use materials where the manufacturer provides an EPD isn’t expected to automatically lower environmental impacts but will provide transparent data. This means it can be compared to different materials and their environmental impact which helps prevent ‘greenwashing’.

 

Why ask for EPD?

Under the new nZEB building regulations the carbon embodied in the materials will account for up to 50% of the total life cycle carbon emissions of the homes and buildings we design. Embodied C02 emissions are emissions that occur in the production phase of a product (including emissions from the production of the materials used and emissions generated during the production phase itself). So, for example, operational emissions are those generated by running a building, and “upfront ‘embodied’ emissions are generated by the construction of a building.

 

Without an EPD we lack the data to measure and reduce the impact of embodied emissions. Manufacturers who measure the impacts of their product through life cycle analysis (LCA) are then in a good position to reduce those impacts. By 2050 we need to reduce the carbon emissions from the construction and operation of buildings to zero and that includes materials.

 

We need to evaluate early design decisions which impact and influence the later design stages and results.

 

Why Commit?

 

Although many manufacturers in Ireland have or are developing an EPD, many manufactures don’t. This is because many say that they are not asked for and are compounded by suppliers or imported products not being aware that their product has an EPD. By publicly committing to promote the use of EPD amongst our staff and in our specifications, we can show manufacturers that there is a desire to seek out an EPD and show suppliers that it is something that can be obtained. The IGBC’s EPD campaign is mostly about raising awareness to encourage manufacturers and suppliers into an LCA way of thinking.

Kilkenny Community and Voluntary Awards – 3cea delighted to sponsor the Environmental and Sustainability Category

The Kilkenny Community and Voluntary awards will take place on 2nd December 2021 and is a collaborative effort between Kilkenny Volunteer Centre and Kilkenny PPN with support from Kilkenny County Council and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The aim of the awards is to recognise the commitment of the countless community and voluntary groups across Co. Kilkenny and the volunteers who work tirelessly to provide services to the old, the young, the isolated, the lonely, and the vulnerable in our community.

The awards will celebrate the vibrancy of the community and voluntary sector in Kilkenny and recognise the contribution that volunteers make to the fabric of our county.

Nominations are now open, and the people of Kilkenny are being called upon to nominate community groups and local volunteer heroes who are making a real difference on the ground.

Community groups across Co. Kilkenny can be nominated under the following categories:

  1. Arts, Culture and Heritage
  2. Community and Civic Pride
  3. Social Enterprise
  4. Environment
  5. Health and Social Wellbeing
  6. Social Inclusion
  7. Covid 19 Group Support

All shortlisted nominees will be invited to attend the awards ceremony in Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel on 2nd December and the winners of each category will receive a unique trophydesigned by celebrated craftsperson Eimear Conyardand prize of €500 sponsored by generous local business owners.

We also have a special award on the night called the Covid 19 Local Volunteer Hero Award.

For outstanding work by an Individual in the Community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

 

3 Counties Energy Agency offers free Audits to 150 Irish SMEs

Information Session on free Audits to 150 Irish SMEs to begin their sustainable journey: https://bit.ly/CANCapSME 

 

Businesses in the South East of Ireland can now access free energy audits under the Climate Active Neighbourhoods Capitalisation Project (CAN Cap) scheme.

 

Offered by energy experts, 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea), the free audits aim to help businesses improve sustainable measures and reduce costs. Businesses in the South East are urged to sign-up as there are only 150 free energy audits available.

 

Date for the Diary: Free Information Session Tuesday November 2nd at 12 pm

 

3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) has arranged a free online information session on Tuesday, November 2nd at midday to explain who can apply for the free energy audits, what SMEs can expect from it and how to apply for one of the limited places available. You can register for this event by clicking here.

 

The CAN Cap energy audit is available for free to businesses with fewer than 50 employees in the Southeast region from the following sectors:

 

  • Nursing homes and healthcare providers
  • Food producersfarm foods plants
  • Convenience grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Office blocks and property management companies

 

The audits are offered exclusively by 3 Counties Energy Agency having become Irish members of the global network, the Climate Alliance, based in Germany, a partnership of nine EU countries working together for climate action.

 

Alexandra Hamilton, Senior Energy Engineer with 3cea said

 

The free audits are an opportunity for businesses to reduce energy usage and costs, lower their CO2 emissions and make a very positive impact on climate change. Following completion of an audit, the business will receive an energy usage report. 3cea will advise on how to reduce energy bills and develop practical, sustainable energy measures. Companies may also qualify for further grant assistance for upgrades such as solar panels, energy-efficient heating or cooling systems, insulation, or upgrade to LED lighting. Our auditors will always advise on any grants that may be available.”

 

Free energy audits are available with no obligation, as part of an Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) Development Project called CAN Cap. Businesses that are interested in exploring can visit https://3cea.ie/cancap-offers-free-energy-reports-for-irish-smes/ and express their interest by filling out the CAN Cap enquiry form.

We’re Hiring!

Exciting job opportunities in Kilkenny! Closing date for all applications is Friday the 12th November 2021 at 5pm. Join our growing team and apply via 3cea.ie/careers

New Date Confirmed! Free webinar to highlight local opportunities for renewable energy projects

Organisers have now confirmed a new date, the new event date is scheduled on Thursday, 2nd December 2021 at 9:30-11:30.

More communities than ever before are coming together to develop renewable energy projects in their own localities, according to a Kilkenny-based energy engineer. A recent study conducted by Mullan Grid Consulting, for 3cea with funding from Kilkenny Leader Partnership, highlights the electricity grid’s capacity for renewable energy projects in County Kilkenny.

Register here: https://webinar-on-the-kilkenny-grid-study-findings.eventbrite.ie

Agenda

• 9:30am – Part 1 – Introduction

• 9:40am – Grid Study Findings

• 10:20am – Q&A

• 10:30am – Break

• 10:45am – Part 2 – Introduction

• 10:50am – Community Renewable Project

• 11:30am – Q&A

• 11:45am – End

After registering, you will receive further information from the team about joining the Event.

The event will be hosted on Zoom.

If you would like to be updated on when that event will be please email events@3cea.ie

 


 

The first session, hosted by Rory Mullan of electrical engineering consultancy Mullan Grid Consulting, will discuss the findings of a recent grid study carried out in the Kilkenny area. All energy produced by a renewable energy project must be transported via the grid to homes and businesses across the country. For a community renewable energy project to be feasible, there must be capacity available in the grid to take the energy produced. This session will help attendees to identify if there is an opportunity to connect to the grid in their area. They can also see where the ideal location for a renewable energy project would be.

Part two of the webinar will be presented by Tom Bruton, of BioXl, an energy consultancy with expertise in renewable energy. It will look at the key steps and considerations a community must take in the development of a renewable energy project, such as securing land rights, constraint mapping, planning assessments and submission, grid application submission, payment milestones, qualifying and tendering for auction, preparing legal structures and community investment proposals.

Gráinne Kennedy of independent energy agency 3cea (3 Counties Energy Agency) said that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation has experienced one of its busiest years on record in terms of the growing number of community groups that they are working with to reduce energy costs and cut down on harmful carbon emissions:

“What we have particularly noticed is a dramatic increase in community groups and organisations who are actively seeking information on how to undertake energy efficiency retrofits – be they community centres, sports clubs, parish committees, childcare centres, community health organisations such as organisations that provide accommodation and supports to the elderly, national schools …. the list is growing by the week.

“It’s a win-win situation for these groups and organisations. Through the SEAI Sustainable Energy Community programme that 3cea delivers, they’re supported with capital funding, partnerships and technical support on energy saving projects. And now, with the introduction of the government’s Renewable Energy Support Scheme, communities can set up their own solar farm or wind farm and sell that power to the national grid. Given that so many communities are taking an interest in their carbon footprint, the demand for information about community renewable energy projects has never been greater.”

To meet this demand, 3cea with the support of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership has organised a two-part online webinar aimed specifically at community groups in Kilkenny who are interested in developing a renewable energy project. The event takes place at 9.30am and 10.45am on Tuesday, June 22 through Zoom and community groups and representatives can register for this FREE online webinar at http://3cea.ie/event/

For more information on 3cea’s range of community programmes, visit: https://3cea.ie/sectors/community/

The Kilkenny Grid Study is available here for communities who wish to see the potential in their area for a renewable energy project.

To learn more about our community group projects, visit our communities page here.

Duncan Stewart keeps an eco-eye on Kilkenny

Duncan Stewart keeps an eco-eye on Kilkenny – Booking now open for the free Green for Micro conference

Irish environmentalist Duncan Stewart, well-known as the host of RTÉ’s Eco Eye since 2002, will offer his expertise and guidance to businesses across Kilkenny. Exclusively available to businesses in the South East, enterprises are invited to attend the free Green for Micro conference on Friday 15th October at 9.30 am, hosted online via Zoom. To register visit: www.localenterprise.ie/Kilkenny

The Green for Micro conference offers a unique opportunity to learn how to cut harmful emissions and make significant energy and bottom-line savings. It aims to support small businesses in the South East and break down environmental and sustainability challenges for their business.

Keynote speaker, Duncan Stewart, will share his insights on how vital it is for businesses to address environmental issues within their business and how this will ensure the sustainability of small enterprises into the future. Expert speakers from 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) and the Southern Region Waste Management office will share useful tips on how to make simple changes, for example, how to manage waste in your business and how to access funding support for greener practises. The panel of speakers will demonstrate how investing time and resources in green issues will ultimately benefit small businesses.

The programme will begin with an introduction and welcome from Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny. She commented, “We want to encourage small businesses to learn more about how they can help Ireland move toward a greener net-zero economy. Beyond that, sustainable decisions make financial sense. We hope people will join us on October 15th to find out more.”

Grainne Kennedy, Energy Engineer, 3cea said, “Even the smallest change in a businesses’ consciousness and tweaks to its manufacturing processes can make a big difference. Any business of any size can have a profound effect on the environment. We’re looking forward to telling people about the South East Green for Micro programme and how they can access funding to start their green journey today.”

Led by the Local Enterprise Offices in the South East, in partnership with 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea), the South East Green for Micro programme was launched in April 2019, funded by Enterprise Ireland to assist local businesses with their low carbon transition.  3cea, an independent, not-for-profit energy agency, offered technical assistance for the project, helping participating enterprises examine their energy, waste, water, procurement and transport needs and make more informed, environmentally-friendly choices.

 

For more information about energy grants available in the South East, visit www.3cea.ie. To learn more about the Green for Micro conference on Friday 15th October at 9.30 am, hosted online, visit: www.localenterprise.ie/kilkenny

 

Maribor Meeting

European Energy Agencies Gather in Maribor, Slovenia

3cea CEO Paddy Phelan represented Ireland at the FEDARENE annual meetings held in Slovenia from the 14th – 16th of September 2021

The Slovenian city of Maribor was the location for the 2021 FEDARENE annual meetings, where energy agencies from across the continent gathered for events which ran over three days. The European wide event involved many energy agencies from countries including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Ireland, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.

Paddy Phelan, 3 Counties Energy Agency CEO, attended the annual meetings and represented Ireland. Paddy participated in an exchange of best practices and inspiring projects related to energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate planning during his time there. Presentations were made from energy agencies on the topics of collaboration with public bodies, engaging with citizen energy groups, implementing local energy strategies and smart villages.

During the 2021 FEDARENE General Assembly, the members elected fellow Irish man Seamus Hoyne as the Secretary General once again. Congratulations to Seamus, who is re-elected in the position for the next 3 years. The FEDARENE members have chosen to keep Seamus in the position, praising him for the good work he continues to achieve.

Take a look at the photo gallery from the event below.

To learn more about 3cea’s involvement with European projects, visit our Innovation Webpage here.

Irish SMEs Enter The STEPS Voucher 1

Four Irish SMEs enter the STEPS Voucher 1 scheme, after being chosen from the second call of STEPS. Two of these have been chosen by 3cea who will act as the Business Support Partner, the other two will be assisted by Galway Energy Co-Op. The SMEs that 3cea will be assisting are Sunstream Energy based in Waterford and Crest Pro Power based in Sligo.

Crest Pro Power offers energy storage solutions for large businesses to enable them to store energy generated during low-tariff periods and use it at high-tariff times. This solution can be incorporated with a PV Solar system to store excess PV generation making it both cost-effective and more carbon-neutral than using solar PV alone. Crest Pro Power customers can benefit from revenue streams through demand response schemes where the customer can benefit from having the battery available to the Grid for fixed payments.

Sunstream Energy’s battery storage system comprises about 200 KWh (2 tonnes) capacity for the ice builder in combination with a 10 KWh Li-ion battery. Both storage mediums are charged using surplus solar PV energy taken in during the day. This excess energy is then used throughout the night when the refrigeration units would normally have to take from the grid.  The solar PV system, ice builder, refrigeration plant, and battery system hardware have found use in dairy farms with one already installed on a farm in Waterford. However, there are still further innovations to be made and knowledge gaps to fill and so Sunstream Energy hopes to build on their current product through the Interreg NWE STEPS programme.

As these Irish SMEs enter the STEPS Voucher 1, they will get the opportunity to fill these knowledge gaps. The first voucher support has the SMEs working with the STEPS knowledge partners across Europe to benefit from a plethora of experience and understanding around energy storage. Initially, all four Irish SMEs were working with the National University of Ireland Galway. Now, they will gain further expertise from a European Knowledge partner that’s specifically suited to their needs. These are TU Delft, Universiteit Twente, Universiteit Gent, The Faraday Institution, and NUIG.

After 6 months with their knowledge partner, one SME from 3cea’s cohort, and one SME from Galway Energy Co-Op’s cohort will continue in the STEPS business support programme and enter the Voucher 2 Support. This is the support that Tipperary-based Clean Tech are currently receiving. For Voucher 2 of the Second Call, the chosen SME in 3cea’s cohort will get the opportunity to test their energy storage solution in O’Shea’s farm. O’Shea’s Farm is a Kilkenny-based farm that provides fresh vegetable produce to supermarkets across the country, resulting in year-round electricity demand for refrigerated cold storage and grading equipment at their site. They currently have 250 KWp (Kilo-Watt potential) solar PVs installed on the farm which they are looking to extend. O’Shea’s Farm is hoping that an energy storage solution will allow them to store excess intake during the day, which can be stored as cold storage and used to power the refrigerators for the vegetables overnight. You can learn more about O’Shea’s farm and their involvement in the STEPS project from our STEPS Testbed Video

To learn more about STEPS and 3cea’s work in the Interreg NWE STEPS project see our dedicated STEPS webpage