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.
This project was a demonstration project under the GREAT Project (Growing Renewable Energy Applications and Technologies) which is an EU funded project under the INTERREG IVB NWE Programme. GREAT aimed to encourage communities and small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) to develop technological solutions for Smart Grid, Renewable Energy and Distributive Generation; to research and develop policy issues for regulatory authorities and to provide structured co-operation opportunities between SMEs and research institutes / technology developers.
Údarás Na Gaeltachta was lead partner on the GREAT Project, with two full-time staff allocated to the co-ordination and implementation of their project aims. Each Leim Enterprise Centre was selected as a demonstration site. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) also provided funding for this demonstration project under the Better Energy Communities (BEC) programme, and Údarás Na Gaeltachta utilized the expertise available in the SEAI in the development of the smart grid.
The FREED project is inviting applications from companies to develop innovative energy technologies. Aimed at businesses that are currently active in the Energy Technology sector, FREED are offering financial support to develop and take innovative energy technologies to commercialization. A maximum sum of €30,000 per innovation may be made available to successful applicants as well as in-kind support offering incubation capabilities, market access and unique access to private investment. Each innovative technology selected will be promoted through the project across the partner region in the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) area.
Information on each country specific tender call can be found on the FREED website below:
Candidates are to submit technology innovation proposals, which address identified challenges in the following areas:
- Intelligent grid (IoT): including but not restricted to smart illumination; 5G solutions; electrical and heat distribution networks; intelligent energy systems; remotely controllable loads; distributed grid management; power electronics; “virtual” power stations; demand side & control system management; upgraded power grid; solutions for zero-emission zones in smart cities; data analysis, integrated computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS), decentralised and off-grid solutions
- Energy storage: including but not restricted to advanced battery technology; energy for transport sector; thermal energy storage, hydrogen energy storage; hybrid energy storage systems, domestic and commercial scale heat recovery systems; small scale solar PV with integrated battery storage, decentralised and off-grid solutions
- Smart and efficient buildings and environment: including but not restricted to ultra-energy efficient building management solutions and services; BMS and metering technologies; ICT solutions to encourage monitoring; smart HVAC linked to renewable energy; smart temp and humidity control for built heritage sites; energy cost reduction technology for water treatment
- Renewable energies: including but not restricted to solar PV, anaerobic digestion, bioenergy and related supply chains inc. biomass CHP; marine and hydro renewable energy; 2nd generation biofuels; technology to increase usage of on-site renewables; advanced heat pumps, solar thermal, decentralised and off-grid solutions
A condition of being awarded the contract is that technology development and the commercial development of the output must take place in the NPA region, as defined by the European Union Interreg Programme.
FREED (Funding Resources for Innovation in Energy Enterprise Development) a three year project funded under Interregs Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA). FREED will support existing and start-up SME’s to utilise and develop innovative energy technologies as viable business offerings. The project, which is led by the University of Oulu in Finland, is a collaborative partnership involving private investment firms, R&D institutions, colleges of education and public bodies from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Norway, The United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland. For further information about FREED please visit the project website http://www.freedproject.eu/