Energee Watch Training Begins June 11th

Energee Watch is a network of organisations that exchange on the collection, monitoring, and dissemination of climate and energy data at the local and regional levels. The project builds on the Covenant of Mayors SECAP guidelines and was set up to assist cities and regions with implementing, monitoring, and verifying sustainable policies and climate action. Energee Watch Training begins June 11th for those that have registered for the first cycle. Registration for the first cycle is unfortunately closed.

When working towards targets such as the Horizon 2020 targets, policies are ordinarily set at the national level and Monitoring & Verification (M&V) is often not possible. This is because Local Authorities have varying levels of skills and abilities in planning, implicating, and monitoring. As a result, the European effort is a disjointed one with local restrictions impeding progress. Energee Watch (Funded by Horizon 2020) looks to overcome these issues. It is a peer-to-peer learning programme for cities and regions to timely and actively define, monitor, and verify sustainable energy and climate action. Energee Watch brings on several experienced regional energy agencies, a European network of cities, a not-for-profit- research organisation, and a university.

The main goals of Energee Watch are:

  • Share experiences and best practices in data collection, monitoring, verification, and dissemination of energy and climate data amongst GHG monitoring organizations, local and regional authorities​.
  • Build capacity of regional authorities in monitoring and verification practices for adaptation and mitigation actions​
  • Peer-to-peer learning programme and improve the replicability and comparability of measurement and verification practices

Peer-to-Peer Learning

The main outputs of Energee Watch revolve around its Training Courses, the first of which starts on June 11th for the Masterclass. Each year for the next three years there will be 4 courses, each course having its own expert mentor. Organisations have been asked to apply to receive this training, with only one person from each organisation allowed to join each course. The mentees for the first round of courses have already been selected but there will be an opportunity to join future rounds in the next two years. Each year, feedback will be taken from the mentees for monitoring and to improve the peer learning programme. The monitoring is to identify knowledge gaps and to ensure the learning programme is reaching its target. It also assists mentees with future replication of the training in their region’s own SECAP.

The first cycle Energee Watch training begins June 11th  and will be online-only run through the Veri online Platform. The four courses on this cycle are:

  • Course 1: Data collection (acquisition and treatment) – Mentored by Energy agency of Savinjska, Šaleška and Koroška region (KSSENA)
  • Course 2: Monitoring, reporting, verification: follow up on the implementation of actions – Mentored by Cyprus Energy Agency (CEA)
  • Course 3: Indicators and strategies on adaptation to climate change – Mentored by Regional energy agency of the Ile de France (IPR)
  • Course 4: Data display, dissemination, and validation by local authorities – Mentored by Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Energie Environnement (AURA-EE)

During this time, 3cea will be acting as the administrator for the online platform. This platform is only available to those partaking in Energee Watch.

Applications to the second cycle should open in late 2021/early 2022. Keep an eye on the 3cea website and social media for this. You can also sign up for our Newsletter here which will keep you up to date on Energee Watch and more. For more information on the Energee Watch project, see our dedicated website page.

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.

Kilkenny County Council

Kilkenny County Council achieve ISO 50001 Certification

Kilkenny County Council recently achieved ISO 50001 Standard for their energy use, guiding the council to the 50% energy efficiency improvement target set for 2030.

The ISO 50001 certification is a global standard for energy use and energy consumption. It recognises Kilkenny County Council‘s commitment to continuously improve their energy performance.

Kilkenny County Council ISO

Paddy Phelan, CEO for 3cea, Cllr. Andrew McGuinness, Cathaoirleach, Kilkenny County Council, and Anne Marie Shortall, Senior Executive Officer, Environment, Kilkenny County Council PICTURE: Vicky Comerford

Andrew McGuinness, Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, welcomed the news of the ISO 50001 certification.

“I am delighted that the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) following an extensive audit have confirmed that the Council’s energy systems comply with the ISO 50001 standard,” he said.

“This is the culmination of many years of work by the staff of Kilkenny County Council, in particular the energy team who have worked hard to achieve the standard and I commend them for their efforts.”

Senior staff in all departments in the council participate in their energy team. The energy team play a significant role in the management of energy from their office buildings, to public lighting and the council’s fleet of vehicles.

We at 3cea were delighted to support Kilkenny County Council in their journey to achieving the ISO 50001 energy standard.

Collette Byrne, Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council, highlighted the role each member in the council plays when it comes to energy management.

“Our commitment to improving energy performance is reflected in our Energy Policy and in our Climate Action Charter,” she said.

“The ISO 50001 standard will help us deliver the target of 50% improvement in energy efficiency over the next 10 years as set in the National Climate Action Plan.”

In terms of energy efficiency, Kilkenny County Council have also achieved the 33% target set for Local Authorities in 2020. This achievement, along with the most recent ISO 50001 accreditation, puts the council in a great position to tackle the ambitious targets set for 2030.

To continuously improve, the council take on many tasks such as, tracking energy consumption, setting energy targets, undertaking energy audits and looking to increase energy efficiency.

Over the years, Kilkenny County Council have conducted various projects to improve their energy performance. One such project is the Public Lighting Energy Efficiency project where the council upgraded 11,000 public lights across the county with more energy efficient LED lanterns (over 50% completed to date).

Similar projects include the upgrading of their buildings with improved heating systems and upgraded building fabric; energy saving controls and sensor systems installed in council offices and for their transport fleet, the council implemented an eco- driver training programme.

To learn more about how we support Local Authorities, visit our Public Sector page here.

H4.0E Spring 2021 Newsletter Now Available

The H4.0E Spring 2021 Newsletter is now available on our website. The fifth newsletter from the project highlights the news and updates from the first five months of 2021. There are updates from the European Pilot Sites; Gemeente Almere in The Netherlands, Province of Flemish Brabant, Kamp C in Belgium, Thoma in Germany, and our own Kilkenny, Carlow, and Wexford. There is an update on the Digital Platform being developed by Open Systems Lab . Finally, the Newsletter also gives updates on German partner EIfI-Tech’s activities in offsite & modular methods of construction as well as 3cea’s work on the long-term goals of the project.

You can download the H4.0E Spring 2021 Newsletter here

You can also read more on 3cea’s work on H4.0E by checking out our dedicated H4.0E website page here. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media and monthly newsletter for more regular updates on the H4.0E project.

Climate Action in the South East

Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford Communities Pioneer Climate Action in the South East

3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) welcomes Government’s announcement on Tuesday, 23rd March to approve a revised Climate Action Bill which includes specific targets on reducing carbon emissions over the next 30 years. The Climate Action Bill commits to a carbon neutral status for Ireland by end 2050 and halving the amount of greenhouse gas emissions within the next 10 years.

3cea sees the announcement as an opportunity to build on progress it has made in the region since it was established in 2002. The one-stop-shop is committed to driving social and behavioural change in the South East towards a low carbon economy. The non-profit agency drives sustainable energy projects offering commercial and business grants and supports, the Greener HGV Programme, National Home Retrofit Scheme, community and public sector projects working across homes, commercial properties, community, transport and agriculture and advice in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford.

Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) says it is the responsibility of each individual, business owner and community to come together to achieve Government’s ambitious targets and 3cea will be there to help. He explains,

“Whilst the Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford local authorities will be closely examining its strategic plan to facilitate and steer climate action in the area, everyone in the county has a role to play in achieving the ambition of the new Bill. In the south east region, we are in excellent position to develop an all-inclusive decarbonising plan in line with the requirements set out in the Climate Action Bill. There are some outstanding examples within local communities and industry, for example the Danone Plant locally has achieved zero carbon emission in its manufacturing. Likewise the local community groups taking energy action illustrate how each home, local business and individual can help contribute towards a carbon neutral Ireland. Small changes in our individual behaviour can change our carbon footprint and it all adds up.”

Read more

ISO 50001

ISO 50001 Certification for Wexford County Council

Supported by 3 Counties Energy Agency, Wexford County Council has achieved the globally recognised international energy management standard, ISO 50001, becoming more advanced in optimising their energy efficiency.

The ISO 50001 standard was developed to support public and private sector organisations committed to efficient energy management providing the most robust framework for achieving cost and carbon emission reductions. It demonstrates that Wexford is taking a systematic and logical approach in its responsibility to continually improvement energy management as part of Climate Action goals and commitments.

Commenting on the council’s energy management and ISO50001 certification,Councillor Ger Carthy, Cathaoirleach, Wexford County Council said ‘We are very proud to achieve this standard. In achieving this international accreditation energy performance improvement is on the top of the agenda for the organisation and I commend all involved for the great work done to date. Wexford County Council has committed to effective energy management and will meet 2020 public sector energy efficiency targets and has improved performance by 29% in 2019 when compared to the 2009 baseline period. The ISO50001 certification will be the basis of formulating a pathway to reach energy efficiency and carbon target for 2030 and beyond’.

Tom Enright, Chief Executive of Wexford County Council said ‘achieving this standard is a significant accomplishment given the diversity of services that local authorities offer. We are focused and fully committed to continuously improving energy performance in all our operations. This year will see the completion of an extensive public lighting upgrade resulting in significant energy and operational costs savings. Upon completion approximately 97% of the public lights within the county will have been converted to high efficiency LED technology.’

Read more

The Role of Bioenergy in Decarbonising Ireland

On the second day of the SEAI Energy Show 2021 The Irish BioEnergy Association (IrBEA) with 3cea CEO, Paddy Phelan, presented their thoughts on ‘The Role of Bioenergy in Decarbonising Ireland’. The presentation was chaired by Seán Finan from the IrBEA and featured Teresa Patton (Green Generation), Noel Gavigan (IrBEA), and Paddy Phelan (3cea) as panelists.

Teresa Patton Discusses Bioenergy in Transport

During the presentation, the panelists discussed some of the current uses of Bioenergy, where they believe this can go, and how Ireland is well-positioned to fully embrace Bioenergy as a renewable fuel source. Terresa Patton of Green Generation discussed the importance of a circular economy and how Green Generation is looking to take food waste and use anaerobic microbes to digest the food waste and produce biogas.

Terresa stated that the emissions in transport can be saved from using green gas and she sees long-distance trucks as being a clear target for biogas. Using a representative journey of a truck going from Dublin City Centre to the outer county region, Green Generation calculates that the truck will generate 11289 kg of Co2eq in a year. Replacing these emissions with biogas is the equivalent of planting 806 mature trees. One issue long-distance drivers will face in Ireland currently, should they choose to switch to a biogas alternative, is that there isn’t many biogas refuel stations across Ireland. This is something Green Generation believes needs to be addressed in the coming years.

Noel Gavigan Discusses Bioenergy to Meet Ireland’s Heat Demands

After Terresa Patton, Noel Gavigan discussed the potential for bioenergy production in Ireland and potential sources for that energy. Currently, the Irish heat energy demand is 56 TWh (Terra-Watt hours or 1000 GWh). However, Ireland currently has the resources to produce up to 76 TWh of heat energy from bioenergy sources. These include agriculture and food-processing by-products, through biogas production, and especially through woodchips of which we have an abundance. Noel highlighted that The IrBEA will be releasing their Heat Plan next week which will highlight where they believe the future of Irish heat energy can be sourced from, using renewable sources.

Paddy Phelan Calls for Government Focus to Shift to Bioenergy and Away From Renewable Electricity

The call from Paddy Phelan (President of IrBEA) is for government focus to shift away from renewable electricity, which has failed to meet targets in the past and has serious grid constraints, and instead begin serious consideration of bioenergy sources to meet renewable energy targets. A historical lack of sufficient policy development or supports to properly plan to decarbonize the heat and transport sector has made the past few years a frustrating time in the Irish Bioenergy sector. During his talk, Paddy highlighted how electricity accounts for 20% of Ireland’s energy demand, whereas heat accounts for 40% and emits 22% of the total C02eq emissions. This highlights a clear need to position focus on renewable heat energy, where bioenergy is well-posed to reduce carbon emissions and fulfill the Irish heat energy demands as seen from Noel’s talk.


“There have been decades of under-delivery in this Heat and Transport Renewable Electricity Targets. The 2020 Renewable Electricity Energy Targets falling well short across Heat and transport.
Renewable Electricity and Electrification of heat and transport has been the policy focus, but the reality is that with grid constraints, curtailment and grid improvement infrastructure projects are not able to keep pace with the decarbonising targets for many years now.
I believe that BioEnergy as an indigenous, locally sourced dispatchable energy source that can deliver large emissions reductions across every energy community in Ireland.”

Paddy Phelan, CEO 3cea, President IrBEA


Renewable Energy Ireland’s 40 by 30 Renewable Heat Plan

To support this vision of the heat energy industry, coordinated by The Irish Bioenergy Association, Renewable Energy Ireland and its members across all of the renewable sectors and technologies have come together to launch the 40 by 30 plan (or Heat Plan as described by Noel Gavigan) next week. This plan establishes a vision for 2030 on how the Irish government through comprehensive and well-thought-out actions can deliver 40% renewable heat by 2030 across. The plan has identifies the potential resources, technologies, costs and sets out a clear pathway and new vision to deliver the 7% carbon emissions reductions required.

Closing out his talk, Paddy Phelan called on government and ministers to act immediately following the publication of the 40 by 30 Renewable Heat Plan and adopt it from Renewable Energy Ireland into the upcoming revision of the Climate Action Plan. Paddy stated that it’s time to ramp up the supports around BioEnergy to decarbonize the sector, refocus policymakers, and deliver the required actions to support the transition of heat and transport away for fossil fuels to areas such as imported gas and oil to deliver the significant emissions reduction potential from the BioEnergy Industry.

To learn more on the role of bioenergy in decarbonising Ireland and bioenergy in Ireland see the IrBEA website

And keep an eye out on our website for the release of the 40 by 30 Renewable Heat Plan.

 

STEPS Design for Safety in Battery Systems Symposium Hosted by University of Twente

The STEPS Design for safety in battery systems, hosted by University of Twente (UT), took place last month on Friday 12th March. This Symposium was focused on emphasising the importance of safety when designing battery systems and addressed the latest and most important battery safety developments around the world.

The below report is taken from Interreg NWE Report on the same Symposium which can be viewed here

With more and more people turning to renewable energy, the urgency to develop batteries is high and there is no time for the technology, “to prove itself and mature,” said Professor Braham Ferreira during the Symposium. This high pressure to develop has consequences for safety. As Deepak Pratap Singh stated, the pressure to develop quickly pushes for scientific breakthroughs that do not align with reality. Hence, as batteries develop at a fast pace, the requirements for design for safety in a battery system must too.

In her presentation, Rianne ‘t Hoen described how every energy storage system contains high energy densities. When this energy is released uncontrolled, it poses a clear risk. It is crucial to research the hazards of different battery systems and be aware of their hazardous elements such as the energy sources, the chemical sources, the materials, and the environment. Fire brigades in particular should be informed on the different hazardous elements within various battery systems so they can react accordingly in an emergency. Folkert van der Ploeg, Fire officer Twente Safety Campus, explained: the fires caused by batteries are different to ‘normal fires’ and mostly unknown to fire fighters. Nearly all speakers highlighted that the development of EU legislation and safety standards is fundamental to designing safe battery systems. As discussed during the Symposium, there is not one key solution to creating safe battery systems. To improve the safety of our battery systems we need to develop the technology, standards, and our knowledge about the systems components and the system as a whole.

See University of Twente’s Youtube channel for the highlights of the STEPS Design for Safety in Battery Systems symposium.

Also, see our own news and updates of the STEPS programme here.

3cea CEO Paddy Phelan Appointed As President of IESA

3cea CEO Paddy Phelan has been appointed as the president of the Irish Energy Storage Agency (IESA) after current president Peter Duffy announced he will step down. This appointment adds to Paddy’s current list of positions on public boards, including President of the Irish BioEnergy Association, Executive Committee of the Irish Wind Farmers Association, Member of the Chambers of Ireland Low Carbon Taskforce, and Committee Member of European Biogas Association.

The Irish Energy Storage Association (IESA) was established to promote the benefits of energy storage in Ireland. IESA represents the interests of the Irish energy storage sector, shares knowledge and experience with energy storage players worldwide, and works internationally by signing International Affiliation Agreements with representative storage bodies from other countries.

The purpose of IESA is :

  • to represent parties in the energy storage space across a range of applications including; the provision of system services, exploitation of arbitrage opportunities in the energy sector, and maximisation of the benefits of renewable energy on the island of Ireland. This would involve a wide range of technologies including batteries, flywheels, super capacitors, hydroelectric, compressed air and thermal storage.

  • to follow DS3 developments and respond to Consultations representing the views of IESA members.

  • to actively promote energy storage on the island of Ireland in order to meet the needs of the I-SEM and assist in combating climate change. IESA aims to meet these needs through providing new system services to the Transmission System Operators.

To read more about the IESA and their activities, see the IESA Website.

3cea would like to congratulate the outgoing president of the IESA, Peter Duffy on two and half years as the president of the IESA and wish him the best on his retirement.

We look forward to continually working with the IESA to meet Ireland’s current and future energy storage needs. To read more on how 3cea are currently working towards bettering the competitiveness of Irish energy storage SMEs, see our work in the EU Interreg NWE STEPS Programme.

 

STEPS First Voucher Applications Being Considered

STEPS First Voucher Applications are currently being considered and the Irish SMEs are expected to be announced later this month. STEPS (STORAGE OF ENERGY & POWER SYSTEMS) is an Interreg NWE funded project that will assist 3cea to identify small-scale energy storage systems suitable for two testbeds in our region. The project gives funding and testbeds to SMEs to allow them to develop their products and increase their Technology Readiness Level (TRL). To read more about 3cea’s activities in STEPS, see here.

The project started in 2020 and in March 2021, over 60 SMEs across Europe applied to access the support vouchers that the scheme offers. The first voucher support will initially give the SMEs €12K of support to develop their products. The Irish SMEs are being selected and will be matched with supporting universities, both NUIG and elsewhere in Europe. 3cea will be in the position to confirm the successful STEPS first voucher applications from our region within the next month. Those SMEs that are not selected for the 1st Voucher Support are invited to apply again for the second call opening in June 2021. To learn more about the STEPS project and how you can apply, see the STEPS Business Support Programme on Interreg NWE’s site.