Better Energy Communities Grant 2021- Online Information Event

3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) will host a free online event to introduce the Better Energy Communities Grant which is currently open for applications for the 2021 programme.

Date & Time: Tuesday 24th November at 11am-12pm

Register for the event here.

The free online energy information event encourages businesses and community groups to hear from our experts in 3cea to discuss the benefits of the Better Energy Communities Grant.

Businesses, community groups, GAA clubs, crèche owners, schools and many more interested parties are invited to attend as each are eligible to receive up to 30-50% grant aid for their energy projects.

Our energy expert, Fintan O’Hora will host the event on Tuesday November 24th at 11am. Interested groups will gain the required information and support they need to get their Better Energy Communities Grant Programme (BEC) application over the line ahead of the December deadline. Read more

Budget 2021

The government announced Budget 2021 on Tuesday 13th October with many energy related updates.

The budget announced on Tuesday brings hope for a green recovery in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have broken down some key takeaways from Budget 2021 with particular focus on the area of energy.

Carbon Tax

Carbon tax has increased by 7.50 per tonne, with auto fuel immediately coming into effect from Tuesday night (13th October 2020). All other fuels will be in place from May 2021. This carbon tax will increase every year up to 2029.

Energy Efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy, €38 million has been allocated to support projects in the commercial and public sector.

This funding has doubled from 2020 which reflects the government’s commitment in achieving the 2050 goal of becoming a net-zero emission Country.

This year’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction brought success to community-led projects and the government have allocated €3 million in capital funding to locally-owned community energy projects.

An Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme for energy efficiency electrical equipment has been extended by 3 years.

Retrofitting

The government have pledged that over €221 million in funding will be allocated to retrofit schemes, covering both residential and community projects. €100 million of the allocation will be funded through the carbon tax revenue.

The overall figure stands at €286.5 million, which has been committed to retrofit activity, with the inclusion of social housing projects.

The Warmer Homes Scheme will provide retrofitting grants and the National Home Retrofit Scheme will also provide homeowners the opportunity to upgrade their home’s energy efficiency rating to a B2 standard.

The carbon tax is expected to finance over half of the funding needed for such energy efficiency measures.

Additional funding will be available for 1,500 new places in retrofitting courses.

Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) & Motor Tax

VRT and motor tax will increase in this Budget in relation to the emissions values from your vehicle. Lower-emitting cars will therefore receive lower VRT rates, with higher tax rates applied to the higher-emitting vehicles. As a result, electric cars will become more competitive as they will have lower motor tax costs.

The VRT reliefs that are in place for electric and hybrid cars will expire as these cars will be receiving the lower rates due to emitting less. NOx surcharge will increase for NOx emitting vehicles.

A 3rd motor tax table will be introduced in 2021 to reflect the new emissions test standards for cars registered from the new year.

Transport

Public transport is one area which is set to be allocated an increase. A €1 billion increase in public transport is planned for 2021.

The increased funding will be developing projects such as BusConnects, MetroLink, and the Dart expansion.

Sustainable mobility is a key area in decarbonising the transport sector and up to €1.8 billion will be allocated to improve public transport; carbon reduction programmes; active travel; and greenways.

2030 Regional Energy Transition Strategy

In January 2020, we launched our 10 year Regional Energy Transition Strategy. 3cea welcome the announcement of this Budget as it highlights the important low carbon choices that we will have to make to reach our goal of transitioning to a low carbon region by 2030.

To achieve the 2030 targets, we all must work together to deliver energy efficiency, clean energy, behaviour change and ultimately greater sustainability – this is what the Regional Energy Transition Strategy to 2030 seeks to address.

Read our 2030 Regional Energy Transition Strategy in full here.

3cea participate in virtual Toys 4 Engineers event

3cea recently took part in the Toys 4 Engineers event last week as the event went fully digital.

The Toys4Engineers is a national event with huge importance as it showcases the innovative talent in the engineering, pharma and tech industries.

The event has been running for the past four years and has become a firm calendar fixture as it caters for all, from start-ups to multinationals, who attend each year to network, engage in knowledge sharing, and to understand new innovations in the tech world.

The Toys4Engineers event which is organised by Waterford Chamber, in association with Waterford Institute of Technology, is usually run in the WIT Arena in Waterford. However, this year the event was fully digital due to Covid restrictions. Each company participating at the event was asked to develop a short video showcasing their business, products and services. The video would then appear during the Live Stream of the event over the three days, running from the 6th to the 8th of October.

Visit the Toys4Engineers website to see the 3cea videos promoting all aspects of our role within the region.

 

3cea

3cea CEO to speak at EU Regions Week 2020

3 Counties Energy Agency CEO Paddy Phelan will be speaking at the EU Regions Week on Thursday 15th October.

The European Week of Regions and Cities is currently underway. This annual four-day event showcases cities and regions in Europe by highlighting their capacity to create jobs, implement European policy, and show how local and regional level actions are beneficial to European governance.

In the second week of this year’s #EURegionsWeek, our CEO Paddy Phelan will be on hand to deliver a talk on the RegEnergy project. The theme for the second week of the event is Cohesion and Cooperation. Paddy will be a guest speaker in the Partnerships for Renewable Energy Regions Workshop on Thursday the 15th October.

Date: 15th October 2020
Time: 10.30 AM– 12.00 PM (Irish Time)

Agenda:
10.30 – 10.35 Welcome by Svenja Enke | Climate Alliance

10.35 – 11:00 THE FRAMEWORK
Overcoming legislative hurdles in different EU countries

Paddy Phelan | 3CEA, Ireland
Frederik Loeckx | Flux50, Belgium

11:00 – 11:10 Exchange with experts and peer learning

11:10 – 11:15 COFFEE BREAK

11:15 – 11:45 EXAMPLES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS

Innovative institutional, financial, supply-based and other support agreements

Sylvie Mingant | Brest metropole, France
Els van Praet | Ecopower – Citizen energy community, Belgium
Evelina Stoykova | Sofia Energy Centre, Bulgaria

11:45 – 11:55 Exchange with experts and peer learning

11:55 – 12:00 Closing by Svenja Enke | Climate Alliance

Moderator: Svenja Enke | Climate Alliance

For more information on the EU Regions Week, visit their website here.

To learn about the RegEnergy project, watch our Project Partner video:

 

EUCF First Call Receives Over 250 Applications

The EUCF initiative closed its first call for applications on the 2nd October 2020.

The European City Facility (EUCF) gained more than 250 applications from across the EU with Municipalities and Local Authorities, from all EU member states and the UK, submitting their sustainable energy project applications before the first call deadline earlier this month.

According to the EUCF, the countries from Southern Europe accounted for the highest number of applications with 48%, while Central and Eastern Europe, and the Nordic countries & Western Europe received 28% and 26% of the applications.

Under the EUCF initiative, successful Local Authorities will benefit from €60,000 of financial support which will be awarded to them shortly. This support will be used to develop investment concepts, involving both climate and energy plans.

The evaluation process is now underway with the results to be published towards the end of the year.

Ireland had a strong response to the first call, with Local Authorities from across the country  showing great interest and submitting applications to this initiative. For those applicants who were unsuccessful or who are preparing their investment concept, the second call is just around the corner as it will open in the Spring of next year.

To keep up to date with EUCF related news for Irish Local Authorities, follow us on Twitter.

Climate Change Advisory Council Annual Review 2020

Each year from 2017 onwards, the Council will review and report on progress made during the immediately preceding year in achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions. A report is then to be submitted to the Minister no later than 30 days after the completion of the review.

The Climate Change Advisory Council is an independent advisory body tasked with assessing and advising on how Ireland can achieve the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy.

Click here to read the Climate Change Advisory Council Annual Review 2020

Sustainable Energy Engineering – An insight into John Frister’s Work Experience at 3cea during Coronavirus

John Frister, a Sustainable Energy Engineering Student from WIT, recently completed his work placement with 3 Counties Energy Agency. We were very fortunate to be in a position to deliver John’s work experience virtually as many employers had to cancel or postpone work placements for students due to the global pandemic. We’ve asked John to share his experiences and challenges throughout his work placement journey. Read more

Gas Networks Ireland Innovation Fund Approved

The 3 Counties Energy Agency has had an application to the Gas Networks Ireland Innovation Fund approved.

3cea has recently been notified that an application for the Gas Networks Ireland Innovation Fund has been approved. The Innovation Fund approval provides 50% funding for 3cea to conduct a technical study around decarbonising the Gas Network. The study will be used to inform strategic decision makers on the potential of decarbonisation in the gas network, which supports many industries in the South East region. Read more

EUCF Workshop

As the deadline for the first call of the EUCF Initiative is early next month, a short follow up workshop is scheduled for Friday 18th September.

The workshop will be held for those Local Authorities that have not yet registered on the EUCF platform but are still considering applying. This session is primarily about allowing different Local Authorities to network with the intention of possibly working together or asking final questions on the initiative. Siona Daly, Ireland Country Expert will host the workshop. Read more

Sustainable Energy Communities – South East SEC Webinar Series

Online Information Events for Communities to be part of the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) Programme

The aim of these events is to provide basic information and introduce community groups from the South East to the SEC programme, highlighting the recruitment process, community engagement, grants, and funding opportunities. We will provide helpful tips on how to register as a Community for the SEC programme and what you need to do to be successful.

This webinar series will encourage communities in the South East of the country to engage with the SEC programme. The informative events will take place online with each event focusing on a separate topic.

SEC Webinar Series
The dates, topics and registration links are as follows:

22nd Sept: Recruitment Jane Wickham. Southeast SEC Coordinator | Register here
29th Sept: Community Engagement – Fiona O’Loughlin, Wexford SEC Mentor | Register here
6th Oct: Grants – Yvonne Byrne, Waterford SEC Mentor | Register here
13th Oct: Funding Opportunities – Therese Curran, Kilkenny SEC Mentor | Register here

Read more