Posts

Save the Date for the 2nd Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH) International Conference

The 2nd Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH) international conference will take place on 28-29 June 2022 in Zagreb under the theme “Moving towards energy autonomy: How to guarantee social inclusion”. The conference is co-hosted by the Energy Poverty Advisory Hub initiative, the city of Zagreb and DOOR, the civil society organisation devoted to the promotion of sustainable energy development. Register here.

The geopolitical context and the energy market reality that it creates have made it even more challenging for not only energy-poor consumers but all EU citizens to cope with soaring energy prices. The pressing need for just energy transition is now more needed than ever. REPowerEU is the EU’s new plan aiming to diversify gas supplies, speed up the roll-out of renewable gas and replace gas in heating and power generation with the ultimate goal of phasing out the dependence on fossil fuels from Russia before 2030. The ambiguous plan comes as a response to soaring energy prices and as a complementary plan to the European Green Deal, the EU’s overarching growth plan to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

This shift towards a faster and more sustainable energy transition for all can become an opportunity for mitigating energy poverty. What are the lessons learnt from the current geopolitical crisis and how can the EU, national and local governments work together in turning this challenge into an opportunity for tackling energy poverty and ensuring just and sustainable energy for all?

During the conference of the leading EU initiative on local action against energy poverty, EPAH will bring together local governments, EU representatives, policymakers, energy agencies, civil society organisations and all stakeholders active in energy poverty. The agenda will include a mix of keynote speeches, debates, interactive workshops and field visits that will allow the participants to debate, learn from each other and share practices as to how the EU, national and local actors can work together to contribute to the rapid energy transition and reduce energy poverty for all including energy-poor and vulnerable consumers

The EPAH International Conference is open to all interested stakeholders to join in Zagreb upon registration. Some sessions will be broadcasted online.  Stay tuned on the EPAH website for more information and spread the word across your network. The agenda is also available on the EPAH Website.

Housing 4.0E Conference Comes to a Close

The Housing 4.0E conference was hosted in late May 2021. This conference joined the Floriade Expo in Almere, Netherlands. This was a fitting setting for the event given the theme of the Floriade Expo being ‘Growing Green Cities’. It featured guest speakers from our partner organisations as well as industry experts and shared insights the pilots have yielded thus far. The conference was set up to inspire attendees and highlight the accomplishments of the project thus far. It featured keynote speakers, debates, and practical workshops.

The event was opened by Ank Bijleveld (NL), Mayor of Almere, and hosted by Natasja van den Berg (NL), an expert in citizen participation and sustainability. The keynote speakers included (click for presentations):

The two debates held across the two-day conference covered; “What are the major lessons learned with the pilots and what needs to be done with it?” and “How to Scale-up and Innovate in the Building Industry”. These debates were a mixture of H4.0E ambassadors, partners, and stakeholders.

The Floriade Expo is a world horticultural exhibition that takes place in the Netherlands once a decade. This iteration is taking place in Almere and runs from 14th April 2022 to 9th October 2022. The theme for the expo this year is ‘Growing Green Cities’ in collaboration with national and international participants at the Expo. Floriade’s theme Growing Green Cities presents the creative, green, sustainable solutions required to make this a reality. This theme is more important than ever as by 2050, some 68% of the global population will live in cities on a mere 2% of the earth’s surface area.

Some Highlights From The Conference

“Enter the arena” and “Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground” were some of the calls to action that were made by Jan Rotmans at the H40E conference.

 

Presentation of The Guidebook by Ivar Diekerhof.

 

Joke Dufourmont shows the advantages and processes of building homes from sustainably grown timber.

 

“Being an Ambassador is about Connection” Marion Jammet, Chris Troniseck, and Nathan Van der Bossche take part in the Ambassadors Debate. The debate discussed the major lessons learned with the pilots and what needs to be done with it?”

 

Ralf Kampe leads one of the breakout rooms during the conference where he presented the Low Carbon Fabric First Approach.

 

Alastair Parvin from Open Systems Lab opens day 2 of the Conference. Alastair i presented the Platform in development as part of the H4.0E project which will allow individuals to design their own NZEB and ZEB houses.

 

Debate between H4.0E partners, ambassadors, and stakeholders on ‘How to Scale-up and Innovate in the Building Industry’.

 

“Scale, speed, quality, affordability, and low energy – How do we do it?” Ireland needs 30,000 houses in 5 years. 3cea senior engineer and Chair of Association Irish Energy Agencies, Alexandra Hamilton, discusses how do we get there while keeping emissions low and quality high.

 

Architect and Irish TV producer, Duncan Stewart closes the Housing 4.0E Conference recapping some of the lessons from the speakers and having a discussion with attendees.

 

Irish Energy Storage SME Daretech, Awarded STEPS Voucher 2

After a number of Irish SMEs entered the STEPS Voucher 1 scheme from the second call, two are now ready to progress to the Voucher 2 scheme. The first of these is the Energy Storage SME Daretech. Based in Cork, Daretech are now ready to start testing under ‘real-life’-conditions, as they prepare to install their battery solution into the Kilkenny based O’Shea Farms.

The STEPS Business Support Programme is an Interreg NWE funded project that brings together business support and knowledge partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The STEPS project aims to improve the competitiveness of northwest European battery storage SMEs. The first voucher support partners these SMEs with knowledge partners (NUIG in Ireland) to help them develop their solutions and fill any knowledge gaps they may have. The second voucher will allow a smaller number of SMEs install and test their battery solutions in real-life conditions. This allows the SME to gather data on their battery’s performance. The overall goal of these vouchers is to improve the Technological Readiness Level (TRL) of their product.

The Energy Storage SME Daretech develops smart hybrid power solutions for marine applications. They’re based at The Entrepreneurship in Cork. The Entrepreneurship is a specialised marine technology start up space within Marei, which itself is a Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine Innovation. The Centre comprises over 200 researchers focusing on defined global challenges such as Climate Action and the Blue Economy. Through the integration of locally generated renewable energy and advanced storage technology significant efficiency increases and cost reduction is accomplished while simultaneously reducing emissions in the marine environment. Daretech designs, builds and operates these smart hybrid power systems for marine applications.

Hybrid power systems can be used as a sustainable alternative to a diesel generator in any application. The system is a scalable, modular hybrid energy system that Daretech are developing for applications that do not have access to shore power or face extensive grid charges due to peak power demands. It comprises a smart battery system with a diesel generator, and optional integration of renewable energy source (solar, and/or wind). All of these elements are based on proven technology, adapted to the specific requirements of the marine environment. The system can incorporate any form of renewable energy generation that might be available at a particular user’s site. An automated control system which allows seamless operation of the hybrid system with a redundant diesel generator for backup that introduces efficiency and storage technology to the marine environment.  The operating principles of our hybrid power systems are:

  • The electrical load is usually a fraction of generator capacity.
  • Excess generator capacity is used to charge the battery system.
  • Electricity for appliances is provided from the battery system.
  • The system is fully automated between generator and battery controls.

The implementation of this technology allows the operator to both reduce their base-load power related emissions while reducing fuel consumption and either avoiding or greatly extending periods between servicing for diesel generators. The system has been specifically designed to be operated in harsh environments and provides a robust and user-friendly solution for these markets.

Daretech Battery Solution

Daretech applied to the STEPS programme “in order to leverage the expertise that was available from the Project Partners”. They had been undertaking a lot of research and development in-house, and were keen to obtain a third-party independent verification of the analysis they were performing on their benefits of operational hybrid power systems at customer sites. In voucher 1, Daretech worked with energy modelling specialists from NUI Galway taking their operational data and performing independent analysis to determine the system benefits in terms of fuel saving, emission offset, and overall return on investment. The outcome of this stage validated the quantified benefits that Daretech have provided to their customers, and the method by which we determine them.

We aim to find new markets and applications for our hybrid power systems. Our long-term goal is to bring more hybrid systems into operation to reduce costs and emissions on customer sites.

Darren Hayes, Co-Founder of Daretech

Daretech will test their battery at O’Shea Farms. O’Shea Farms is a farm based in Pilltown, Kilkenny that provides fresh vegetable produce to supermarkets across the country. This results 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 that provides about 200,000 KWh a year. They are looking to add 414 KWp to two more buildings. O’Shea Farms 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. This will give them a better return on their investment than they would get returning the energy generated to the grid.

O’Shea Farms in Pilltown, Co.Kilkenny

Daretech are set to install their battery into O’Shea Farms in late summer 2022. They will then test the battery for 6 months, while receiving support from 3cea. When asked about their experiences in the STEPS project so far, Daretech co-founder Darren Hayes said:

“The STEPS programme is an excellent support for small businesses – it’s given great access to expertise and testbeds in order to grow our understanding of the technology and demonstrate how it can meet customer needs.”

Although we will not have any more calls for SMEs to join the STEPS Business Support Programme, you can still benefit from it. If you’re an energy storage SME, check out the STEPS State of the Art report and keep an eye out for the announcement of upcoming webinars discussing some of the findings from the project. To learn more about STEPS, check out our dedicated STEPS webpage here.

3cea Pilot State of the Art Energy Efficient Homes in Carlow & Kilkenny

Construction has begun 8 new energy efficient homes in Carlow & Kilkenny that are part of a NWE Interreg Housing 4.0 Energy (H4.0E) an EU project to lower embodied emissions in house builds and in time reduce the cost of construction by utilising a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) model and ensuring the houses are built to nZEB (near Zero Energy Building) standard by using prefabricated timber-frame closed panels or low-carbon GGBS cement composites and energy-saving efforts like installation of Photovoltaic cables and heat pumps. The 2 bedroom and single bedroom houses are located in St Mary’s court in Carlow town, in Mullinivat and Graiguenamanagh (at the old Fire Station)  in Co. Kilkenny.

Construction site for H4.0E houses in St Mary’s court, Carlow town.

Construction site for H4.0E houses in St Mary’s court, Carlow town.

“3cea were delighted to lead this initiative and to secure Irish funding of over 600K from a Europe-wide fund of 4.2 million made available by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interred NorthWest Europe scheme to make this pilot project happen,” said Communications Officer Colin Healy. “H4.0E-nZEBs or ZEB builds are a must for future construction to meet both Ireland’s housing needs and carbon mitigation goals. The Irish H4.0E pilots are not using full DfMA methods in the pilot project, but when they come fully on stream through the availability of the H4.0E Platform being developed by Open Systems Lab (OSL) as part of the H4.0E project we anticipate that building costs will be reduced by 25% using these methods. The H4.0E houses in the upscaling process will be far cheaper to run and substantial carbon emission reductions will be achieved both in embodied and operational carbon. Heating and domestic hot water are where most of the energy will be used and these are warmer better-insulated homes. All houses are fitted with heat pumps.

 

The houses, referred to as H4.0E houses are part of a plan to develop affordable zero-energy houses by applying new technology to building and running the houses. A carbon reduction of at least 50% to 80%, when compared to a standard concrete/brick build house,  will be achieved. All units will be completed towards the end of this year and will be used for social housing by Carlow and Kilkenny County Councils.

You can learn more about H4.0E and 3cea’s activities in the project through our H4.0E Webpage.

Events

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria