Communities putting shoulder to wheel with renewable energy projects

More communities than ever before are coming together to develop renewable energy projects in their own localities, according to a Kilkenny-based energy engineer.

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 their energy costs and cut down on harmful carbon emissions:

“What we have particularly noticed in recent years 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, 22nd June through Zoom and community groups and representatives can register for this FREE online webinar at http://bit.ly/KilkennyGridStudy.

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.

* For any queries on this event, please contact Mari or Patrick on events@3cea.ie

For more information on 3cea’s range of community programmes, visit our Community page here.

Home Energy Upgrade

Homeowners highlight the benefits of upgrading their home

Homeowners report a major increase in warmth and comfort levels following their recent home energy upgrade projects.

Five homeowners, who recently upgraded their homes with 3cea, share their insights from undergoing a home energy upgrade project. The homeowners provide helpful tips and advice to those who are considering a similar project, while highlighting the benefits of an energy upgrade.

Sandy & Kevin’s Home

Sandy and Kevin were interested in upgrading their Waterford home and described their motivation for such a project. “We were keen to have a home that was warm and also environmentally friendly – as far as possible.”

Energy Upgrade

Sandy & Kevin’s Home

Sandy and Kevin describe how their home feels after the completion of the energy upgrades. “On the one hand it feels like a new house, it is cosy and there is always hot water, but it doesn’t really get stuffy either. On the other hand, it has retained the atmosphere from before. It was a much-loved family home for decades before the upgrade and that feeling has not been lost.”

Rachel & Denis’ Home

Rachel and Denis upgraded their Co. Kilkenny home with multiple measures to improve their energy rating and to reach the maximum comfort levels. “It was the cold of the house that motivated us to upgrade to the highest energy rating possible so that the house would be comfortable for us. We also wanted the heating system of the house to be environmentally friendly and economical.”

Home Energy Upgrade

Rachel & Denis’ Home

Following the completion of the works, Rachel and Denis were delighted with their upgraded home. “Our home is now warm all the time, with constant hot water and ventilation. It is a pleasure to live in! Triple glazed windows mean we have no noise from the animals outside, especially the crows!!”

Helen’s Home

Helen upgraded her home in Kilkenny City and explains how her home energy upgrade journey began. “In 2018 we purchased an old 1930s built house in need of major renovation.” Prior to any renovation or energy upgrade works, Helen describes the standard of her home. “The house was almost uninhabitable. Windows were rotten, no insulation, a decrepit heating system. But the structure of the house was good.”

Home Energy Upgrade

Helen’s Home

Following the implementation of multiple energy upgrades, Helen noticed a significant difference in the home. “The house went from being uninhabitable to a warm, comfortable and cosy home all year round that’s very economical to run. We increased the BER from an E to an A2.”

Eddie’s Home

Eddie upgraded his Co. Wexford home with 3cea in 2019. His motivation for this home energy upgrade project was to upgrade the entire home to a modern and comfortable condition, as the home needed a complete renovation. “When we purchased the house in 2017 it had been unoccupied since 2011. The only heating was an open fire and there was no insulation whatsoever.” With a considerable amount of work involved in the project, Eddie explains what his expectations were prior to the energy upgrades. “We didn’t really consider a target. We just wanted to make the house as comfortable as possible.”

Home Energy Upgrade

Eddie’s Home

Following the installation of energy upgrades, Eddie highlights the significant changes he noticed in his home. “The comfort levels in the house are excellent and our BER went up to an A2. The only energy bill we have is our ESB bill. It is early days yet, but it is very low so far.” Eddie now describes his home after the upgrades as “warm, bright and comfortable.”

Alan’s Home

Alan was motivated to improve the energy rating of his home in Dublin for the betterment of his family’s comfort levels, while also being aware of the impact his home had on the environment. “We wanted to live in a warm, comfortable and sustainable home for a young family with two small kids. Reducing our carbon emissions was also a factor.”

Energy Upgrade

Energy Upgrades Example – External Insulation & Solar PV

The family were over the moon with their new and improved home, and when describing the home following the works Alan said “our home achieved a super A1 rating. Overall, the home is extremely energy efficient. We are now using renewable power through the Solar PV with our smart home technology.”

To homeowners who are considering a home energy upgrade project of their own, Alan recommends “to trust the experts and choose an energy specialist like 3cea who will guide you through the process. It makes sense to upgrade from fossil fuels and you will save money/payback over time. 3cea are very knowledgeable with good communication throughout the works.”

 To read each story in full, visit our Home Energy Upgrade Stories here.

Home Energy Upgrade Journey

Homeowner Journey

We at 3cea offer homeowners a One Stop Shop service. We will guide homeowners every step of the way, from our initial home assessment right through to the completion of the project. We are listed as a trusted, project coordinator to deliver SEAI‘s National Home Retrofit Scheme and we can apply on behalf of the homeowner for grant funding of up to 35%.

To learn more about starting your journey towards a warmer, comfortable home, visit our Home Energy Upgrade – One Stop Shop.

If you are interested in taking the first step on the journey, you can fill in this form with your home’s details and a member of our Housing Team will be in touch.

3cea CEO Paddy Phelan discusses Microgeneration on Morning Ireland

3cea were asked to participate in a radio interview on microgeneration for the Morning Ireland show on RTE 1 Radio this morning.

The news piece featured on the show between 7 and 8am with a panel of speakers discussing the benefits to microgeneration.

The news piece included insights from Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, 3 Counties Energy Agency CEO Paddy Phelan, Tommy O’Shea of O’Shea Farms, Piltown Co. Kilkenny and Dara Lynott, CEO of the Electricity Association of Ireland.

Listen to the interview in full here.

 

 

In the Fast Lane with Biomethane in Transport Webinar

The EBA and NGVA are hosting a webinar highlighting biogas as an alternative to fossil fuels in the transport sector.

The European Biogas Association (EBA) and the Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe) are inviting you to join their webinar ‘In the fast lane with Biomethane in Transport’. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, 8 July 2020 from 9:30 to 11:00 CET (8:30 to 10:00 Irish time).

According to the EBA and NGVA Europe, the decarbonising of the transport industry is essential in order for each member state to achieve the ambitious EU climate targets. The use of biomethane in transport would support Europe in it’s clean energy transition.

Biogas, or renewable gases, are the leading alternative fuel type which can significantly reduce CO2 in the transport sector, while reaching carbon neutral mobility. The webinar follows the recently launched new EBA – NGVA Europe leaflet which focuses on the current uptake and future potential of biomethane in a decarbonised transport sector. Click here to see the leaflet.

The invitation to the webinar will follow shortly and will include the detailed program and login details. For now, you can save the event in your calendar here.

For more information, find out about our own transport services.

Irish Wind Farmers Association Annual Conference 2019

Description

Main Sponsor: ENERCON

IWFA Annual Conference Thursday 28th November 8:30am

Networking Evening Wednesday 27th November at 8pm
Venue: Lyrath Estate Hotel, Paulstown Road, Kilkenny, R95 F685

 

Lunch Sponsor: EnergyPro  |   Breakfast Sponsor: Temporis

Networking Evening
Wednesday 27th November 8pm

Our networking evening will take place on Wednesday, 27th November at 8pm at Lyrath’s Wine Cellar

  • Finger food menus will be available and orders will be taken from the bar.
  • Please Note: This networking event is available for the delegates, members, exhibitors, sponsors and speakers of the Annual Conference.

Accommodation: Our delegates attending the conference can avail of a rate of €115 single or €125 double one night stay including breakfast at the Lyrath Estate Hotel. To book, please contact the hotel directly at https://www.lyrath.com/

IWFA Annual Conference Agenda
Thursday 28th November, Registration open 8:30-9:30am

Registration Desk Open at 8:30-9:30am
Tea / Coffee and Biscuits will be served in The Exhibiting area between 8:30 to 9:30am

  • 9:30am Welcome Address Chair Grattan Healy
  • 9:40am Keynote Address Minister John Paul Phelan T.D Minister for Local Government and Electoral Reform “Wind Energy Policy and Planning”
  • 10:00am First Session | Commercial Rates / CAP / NECP / RESS / CEP | Chair Grattan Healy
  • 10:05am Brian Carroll, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, “Climate Action Plan, NECP, RESS”
  • 10:25am Marianne Clayton, Clayton & Segura Lawyers “Update on Commercial rates for windfarms as state aid”
  • 10:45am Andrew Ebrill, CRU, “Key Aspects of the Clean Energy Package”
  • 11:05am JP Wallace, ENERCON “Wind turbine technology – Evolution and Opportunities”
  • 11:25am Q&A
  • 11:40am Exhibiting Viewing & Tea/Coffee Break

 

  • 12:25am Second Session | Operational Issues Chair Tom Ryan
  • 12:30pm Rory Mullan, MullanGrid Consulting “Curtailment Challenges for 2030”
  • 12:50pm Ronan O’Meara, ENERGYPRO “O&M, Cables, Safety”
  • 13:10am Q&A
  • 13:25pm Lunch

 

  • 14:25pm Third Session | Planning Chair Thomas Cooke
  • 14:30pm Brian Keville, MKO “Planning challenges for consenting Irish wind projects in 2020 and beyond””
  • 14:50pm John Kenny BL “Developments on Planning & EU”
  • 15:10pm Q&A
  • 15:30pm Conference Close

 

Exhibitors & Sponsors

For further queries do not hesitate to contact us:

IWFA | +353 5677 90856 | events@mnag.ie

Energy and Rural Business Show preview: showcasing growing opportunities for on-farm renewables

Ireland has committed to producing at least 16% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 and the next Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) is said to be fully aligned with the need to prioritise climate action. Farmers looking to benefit from green initiatives are being urged to attend Energy and Rural Business Show, taking place at Hub at Cillin Hill, Kilkenny on 23 and 24 October 2019.

This year the show is boosting its offering by including both Energy Now Expo and Rural Business Expo, so farmers can hear from experts on diversification and the growing opportunities and grants available for on-farm renewables. Read more

Win a €250 One4All Voucher: take our survey! Urban Energy Demand Supplied by Rural Low Carbon Energy Supplies Survey – Transition to Biogas

We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in our survey.

And a special congratulations to Lara F. the winner of €250 One4All Voucher!

In case you missed the survey, but still want to participate, click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CJ7LL5T

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

3CEA invite you to take a survey on Urban Energy Demand Supplied by Rural Low Carbon Energy Supplies.

This survey is targeted at large industry networks & large energy users.

3CEA are currently involved with Interreg North West Europe Renewable Energy Regions project in partnership with 9 other partners (7 NWE countries) including our local partners Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Ormonde Upgrading Limited (OUL).]

Every fully completed survey will be in with a chance to win a €250 One4All Voucher. Read more

IRBEA Tour of Biomass Processing and Heating Facilities in the South East

The Irish Bioenergy Energy Association (IRBEA) invites you to a morning tour of biomass processing and heating facilities in Wexford, it will include visits to industrial and commercial biomass clients.  Participants will be taken from Kilmokea Country House in Wexford and brought to 3 sites of interest followed by lunch and two 20 minute seminars. There are limited spaces available so book early.

Date and Time: Wed 26 September 2018,   09:00 – 15:30
LocationKilmokea Country House, Great Island, Campile, Wexford (Map)

IrBEA Members: €60
Non-Members: €100
Tea, coffee and lunch is included.
REGISTER HERE 

Read more

Government launches domestic solar power grant for homeowners

Save money on energy bills.

The Government has launched a new grant scheme encouraging homeowners to install solar power generators.

The pilot scheme offers grants for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels and battery storage systems. SEAI grant offers homeowners up to €3,800 to support the installation of Solar PV panels and battery energy storage systems. This will reduce the electricity a homeowner currently purchases from a supplier and can save you around €220 a year in electricity costs by taking advantage of the scheme.  Read more

3CEA helped generate renewable energy on O’Shea Farms by delivering on a targeted energy saving project – O’Shea Farms are now providing Aldi with €70 million worth of Irish-grown potatoes.

O’Shea Farms is a family run business, they supply fresh vegetable produce to supermarkets across the country resulting in a year round electricity demand for refrigerated cold storage and grading equipment at their site. O’Shea Farms engaged with 3CEA back in 2015 to develop the renewable energy project at their site and installed the largest Solar PV system (250kWp) under the BEC programme run by Kilkenny County Council under their Sustainable Energy Action Plan. Read more