EcoSmart External Insulation Ltd. is an energy efficiency company based in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon in the West of Ireland. EcoSmart External Insulation Ltd. provides external insulation services nationwide to all parts of Ireland. The owners of EcoSmart External Insulation Ltd. are both from an engineering and architectural background and initially formed a partnership in 2009, after working together since 2007 on construction projects using Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF).
As a result of the economic downturn and subsequent changes in the construction industry in Ireland, the partners decided to continue working together and focus on renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency in construction. In 2011, they formed a partnership with a UK construction company and formed a new company Cara EcoSmart Ltd. where they were worked on projects in the UK funded by the Green Deal Scheme. Cara EcoSmart Ltd. required a robust quality assurance system, and adopted and modified one which was used by other partners in the company. This knowledge transfer proved very valuable when tendering for contracts in Ireland.
In 2013, they formed EcoSmart External Insulation Ltd., and the construction sector slowly started recovering in early 2014 with people investing more on home improvements. The SEAI reintroduced and increased grant funding to approximately €4,500. This depended on the scale of energy efficiency measures undertaken. The availability of this grant made a very big difference in the mentality of people and they were prepared to undertake energy efficiency upgrades.
The Advice Notes aim to provide introductory material for entrepreneurs, startups and SME’s, considering to enter into the renewable energy sphere and based in the NPA regions partners to GREBE. The scope of the Advice Note covers regional, trade and industry, renewable energy (RE), technology information from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Finland. Different partner regions have different level of deployment of the various RE technologies covered by the Advice Notes. Thus, the level of information will vary depending on the level of deployment for each technology. For example, wind is not deployed on a large scale in North Karelia (Finland); however, it is widely deployed in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The focus of the Advice Notes is on regional information of some of the main economic characteristics sited as imperative, when making an informed choice, regarding which RE technology may be the optimal choice for a new business venture:
Costs and economics associated with the relevant technology
Support schemes available, relevant to the technology
Government allowance/exemptions, relevant to the technology
Funding available for capital costs of the relevant technology
List of the relevant to the technology suppliers/developers, with focus on local/regional, suppliers/developers and the products and services they offer.
The first wind turbines for electricity generation were developed at the beginning of the 20th century. Thus, wind technology is one of the most mature and proven technologies on the market. In 2015, the wind energy industry installed 12.8 GW in the EU – more than gas and coal combined. Onshore wind is presently one of the most economically viable RE generation technologies. In areas with good wind resources, generating electricity with wind turbines is already competitive. Thus, wind turbines offer the prospects of cost efficient generation of electricity and fast return on investment. The economic feasibility of wind turbines depends primarily on the wind speed. Usually, the greater the long term annual average wind speed, the more electricity will be generated and the faster the investment will pay back. The map below gives an overall picture of the wind potential across the globe, showing that the NPA region has a great potential to harness the benefits associated with wind energy generation.
The Dingwall Wind Co-op was developed by David and Richard Lockett (the owners of the land) in partnership with Sharenergy, a co-operative helping to set up RE cooperatives. The turbine operates on the property of the Knockbain Farm near Dingwall. The Locketts’ acquired planning permission and grid connection, after they approached Sharenergy, which assured they can help them with the share offer to the rest of the community. The co-op structure, mitigated some of the risks associated with developing a wind project. Furthermore, Richard specified that he was fond of the idea of shared ownership.
The Wind Co-op owns and runs a 250kW wind turbine (WTN 250) just above Dingwall in Ross-shire. The turbine is the first 100% co-operatively owned wind development in Scotland. The Co-op was launched in September 2013 and the turbine was commissioned in June 2014. The Co-op has 179 members, 90% of whom are from the local area. The shares are between £250 and £20 000, with an average about £4000.
The co-op contributes to a community fund estimated at between £2000 and £8000/year. Members of the Co-op receive a return on their investment and EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme for Investors) tax relief. The landowners, who originated the project, receive a rental payment for use of their land.
On June 13th 2018 Eimur introduced the 14 ideas submitted in their idea challenge on the utilization of low to medium enthalpy water resources in food processing. Eimur is a public-private partnership/cluster in the field of energy, increased utilization of geothermal resources and innovation in north Iceland.
The ideas were all around food processing and were all various, ambitious, innovative and with high possibility of growth so the judges had difficulties choosing between. The idea that won first place in the competition evolves around an innovative vision on utilization of insects. They want to develop a solution from variable resources, biomass, geothermal and fishing industry. Then they looked at the insects which are also a part of the nature. Therefore decrease the pressure on fishing industry with a new and growing industry, the insect culturing. The second place had vision around shrimp farming and more specifically geothermal water shrimp farming. Here below are some pictures of the winners.
In an interview with the general manager of Eimur, he described how difficult it was to choose between these 20 ideas. All of them were very well thought and professionally organized. He furthermore talked about the necessity of innovation around our pure natural resources in a rather low polluted environment and therefore create products with certain quality.
A New chief executive is being recruited for the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) to champion the case of the growing bioenergy sector, including wood energy, biomass, anaerobic digestion and biogas and energy crops.
The new recruit will lead and manage the busy Association’s activities and will operate under the direction of the President and the Board of Directors. He/she will also lead, manage and oversee the administration and business of the Association, Des O’Toole, IrBEA President, said.
“IrBEA is looking for candidates with a minimum of three years proven management and leadership in a member association, or an SME, with a degree-level qualification, familiarity with good corporate governance practice and an understanding of the Renewable Energy/Bioenergy sectors in Ireland. They should have some experience of working with stakeholders in the sector and in the relevant Government Departments.”
IrBEA is a members’ association with approximately 170 members. It features a number of sub-groups covering, typically, Bioenergy Northern Ireland, Biogas and Anaerobic Digestion, District Heating, Domestic Biomass Fuels, Energy Crops, REFIT and Grid Connections, Renewable Heat Incentive. The Association sponsors and provides administrative support to the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme.
The new Chief Executive will be required to work with the President and Board of Directors to define and implement strategy in accordance with the constitution of the association. He/she will provide effective leadership to the staff of the Association and be responsible and accountable for the proper management and safeguarding of all funds under the control of the Association, consistent with good financial management.
The position will be offered as a two-year contract, with a 6-month probationary period. The new Chief Executive will be expected to work full-time from the IrBEA office which is currently located in DCU Alpha, Glasnevin. The salary is negotiable.
Completed applications should be emailed to the IrBEA secretary, Padraic O’Neill, at email@example.com by 12 pm on Friday 6th July 2018. A detailed job specification including the full requirements of the application process are available on the Association’s website irbea.org
Action Renewables is hosting a European Energy Policy Conference on Thursday 21st June 2018 in the Crowne Plaza, Shaws Bridge, Belfast. The marketing team are making final preparations here at Action Renewables to come up with a new concept of delivery that will keep the audience engaged and provide an enjoyable day of events. Here is a short preview of what is to come:
Registration will open from 9.00am at the Crowne Plaza, Shaws Bridge, Belfast
The morning session of the Conference aims to showcase policy in 5 EU Renewable Energy Projects in Northern Ireland with a particular focus on the GREBE EU Project
Guest speakers will include – SEUPB and representatives from GREBE, Renewable Engine, RECENT, SEAFUEL and REDAWN
Outline of how the GREBE project has identified elements of good policy which could be applied to Northern Ireland.
The afternoon session will include: –
Action Renewables Energy Association (AREA) – Technology Workshops
Guest speakers will demonstrate the most recent developments in Renewable Energy Technologies.
Action Renewables is acting as a facilitator for a Collaborative Network trying to stimulate green gas in the transport sector. Partners in the collaborative network are Translink, Belfast City Council, B9 Solutions, Queens University Belfast, Agri AD, Granville Ecoparks, Hydrogen Green Power and Red Kite Management. These partners have been working together since October 2017. The Network will carry out a scoping study to determine what opportunities exist in the development of a supply chain for the production and distribution of biogas, particularly in respect of the transport sector.
Key objectives are to look at:
Technical and cost requirements involved in producing green gas, biogas and green hydrogen
The size of the potential market for gaseous biofuels
The export potential for gaseous biofuels produced in Northern Ireland
Financial return/business models associated with the use of green gas in various sectors
How an innovative fuel supply chain in Northern Ireland could align itself in order to comply with the requirements of the new RTFO scheme
Benefits of delivering an alternative fuel supply network in terms of emission reduction; air quality; job creation; and potential inward investment
Identifying enabling technologies, skills and resources necessary to take advantage of these new opportunities
Identifying the relevant skills gaps and how best these can be mitigated against either from within the group or by seeking additional expertise from other sources
Recommendations that will best accelerate the longer-term growth of participating companies as a result of having taken part in the project
The appetite to create a formal biogas supply chain collaborative network whose members can collectively and individually grow their businesses and the sector
It was Invest Northern Ireland that launched the Collaborative Network Growth Programme in Northern Ireland in December 2016. Invest NI allocated £5.7million funding over five years to help stimulate innovation among local businesses. One hundred per cent funding up to £25,000 is available to industry-led networks requiring facilitation support to scope innovative collaborative projects.
At the launch it was said that “Innovation is absolutely essential to wider economic growth and the Collaborative Growth Programme will support SMEs to combine expertise, funding and contacts to develop new products and services and open up new business opportunities worldwide.
Action Renewables will publish The Green Gas Collaborative Network findings in a report due out in June 2018.