A Climate Change conference will take place in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday October 6th from 09.30 until 16.00. This event is being organised by The Sisters of Mercy in the Galilee Community (www.galilee.ie). Minister Denis Naughton DCCAE will deliver the opening address.
Speakers include Professor John Fitzgerald, Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Committee; Jim Scheer, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland; Dr Simon O Rafferty, Environmental Protection Agency; Kate Ruddock, Friends of the Earth and SEAI Board member; Dr Lorna Gold, Trócaire; Gary Tyrrell, An Taisce Climate Ambassador Programme; Mel Gavin IT Sligo; and local climate ambassadors Seamus Dunbar from the North Leitrim Sustainable Energy Community, Francesca Franzetti the Leitrim Cool Planet Champion, and Dr Micheal Morkan who will describe his own personal experiences with a low carbon transition.
Topics discussed on the day will include: What is Climate Change? Mitigation and Adaptation Measures in Ireland; Delivering on Ireland’s Low Carbon Transition – Progress and Challenges; Climate Transitions; How a Circular Economy Supports the Low Carbon Transition; and many more.
There will be electric cars available on the day for test driving; grant information from SEAI for homeowners, and other renewable energy companies exhibiting PV and biomass products.
It is FREE to register (Click here) and lunch is kindly sponsored by the Western Development Commission through the LECo (Local Energy Communities) Project.
This year, the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) network is celebrating achieving network membership of 200 communities from all across Ireland and we would like to invite you to the next annual Sustainable Energy Communities event on 8th September in Athlone Institute of Technology.
During the day we will host a number of workshops to help our Network members engage with all of the energy users in their community, to develop an energy master plan and to consider appropriate renewable energy projects.
A full overview of the day and the agenda are attached for your information.
Becoming an entrepreneur can be challenging, therefore it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Most business owners now recognise the importance of energy efficiency measures and sourcing renewable energy where possible. This is due to the cost savings these options can offer, allowing businesses to reinvest in other activities. Saving 20% on your energy bills can generate returns which are equivalent to a 5% increase in sales1.. Additionally, as consumers are becoming more environmentally aware, there are increasing expectations on suppliers, across all sectors, to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, particularly in relation to renewable energy.
A survey completed by Orsted, highlighted that 73% 2. of consumers would choose a retailer that used renewable energy over one that didn’t. Improving your reputation and becoming environmentally conscious needn’t be something that will interrupt or hinder your businesses operations – it can significantly increase your competitiveness.
Committing to renewable energy:
Businesses who want to commit to renewable energy can do so through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) either from an electricity supplier or direct engagement with a renewable electricity generator, in more recent times this has been referred to as a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement.
Alternatively, a business can invest in renewable technology to generate renewable electricity, which satisfies either part or all the businesses electricity demand. On a global scale, RE100 is a collaborative initiative, which some of the world’s most influential companies have joined and committed to 100% renewable electricity. Companies who have committed to RE100 primarily adopt the methods mentioned above to ensure they achieve their targets.
With a steady uptake of ‘green procurement’, which focuses on sourcing and purchasing products and services that use fewer resources and minimises their impact on the environment, there is certainly reason to get your business ‘going green’. In Northern Ireland, the ‘Sustainable Development strategy’ recognises the importance of responsible procurement in the public sector to ensure the effective and efficient use of resources. This was developed to select suppliers who have a sound environmental standing. Therefore, with environmental awareness and targets only set to increase in the future, it stands to sense for businesses to begin exploring their options in relation to sourcing renewable energy, if they have not already done so. This will enable them to ensure business operation remains competitive.
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.
Combined heat and power (CHP) is a method that delivers both heat and power on site in a single, highly efficient process, normally over 80% efficiency. CHP creates electricity and as a by-product of the generation process it produces heat. Wood biomass is fed into the CHP system similar to a normal biomass boiler and the produced gas is then fed to an engine which is connected to a generator generating electricity while the heat produced, can be fed into a heating system. Biomass is the world’s fourth largest energy source, contributing to nearly 14% of the world’s primary energy demand.
Small scale (<100kW) and micro-scale (<15kW) biomass CHP are particularly suitable for applications in commercial buildings, such as hospitals, schools, industrial premises, office building blocks, and domestic buildings. Optimum system design and implementation is crucial for cost-effective operation and it is established that the best economic performance come about with high load factors when the maximum amount of both electricity and heat sold on-site is maximised.
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 Irish Government has pledged to ban the sale of new cars with tailpipes by the year 2030, as part of its commitment to environment issues. Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten said that he told his European counterparts at a European Council meeting this week that Ireland “had set itself an objective” to ban the sale of all new cars with a tailpipe by 2030.
But he said that in order to do that, the European automotive industry needed to ramp up its efforts to reduce emissions and produce zero emissions cars. “They really need to drive ambition in this area so that we can reduce overall carbon emissions within the transport sector that make up one quarter of all carbon emissions within the EU.” There are widespread plans to ensure there are zero-emission vehicles on roads. Alternative fuel options are being looked at to introduce green-energy fleets for Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and school buses. Ireland could be forced to pay up to €75 million each year if it doesn’t meet its EU renewable-energy targets by 2020 – with many experts and politicians saying it won’t meet those targets.
Naughten also discussed how to tackle cigarette butt litter with his European counterparts. Every single cigarette butt has 12,000 micro strands of plastic in it. As a result on a global level, we have 1,900 million strands of plastic going into our water streams every single second. And it’s not just a problem of microplastics getting into our waters, also the cigarette filters themselves are there to block tar and other chemicals going into the smoker’s lungs. “But they end up in our water courses, in our rivers having an impact on aquatic life, and in our fish stocks.” The 2017 National Litter Pollution Report showed that half of all street litter is made up of cigarette butts. It’s understood that on-the-spot litter fines are going to be increased from €150 to €250 in an attempt to tackle the problem.
The Nordic countries have been joining forces in the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership, SHHP, since 2006 with the purpose of deploying hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and constructing and clustering hydrogen refueling stations. Thanks to this, the region has distinguished itself as one of the earliest areas in the world where the latest hydrogen technology is demonstrated.
One of the advantages of hydrogen is that it can store energy from all sources, including renewable energy sources. Hydrogen as an energy carrier is a very flexible alternative. Therefore hydrogen will play a key role in the necessary transition from fossil fuels to a sustainable energy system.
And at the moment it seems like the transportation sector can use renewable energy produced hydrogen to replace fossil fuel – as the market experience roll outs of both refueling networks and transportation vehicles.
Electrolysis – where electricity splits water to hydrogen and oxygen, is a useful method for producing hydrogen from renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydro power. In this way hydrogen can play a role to balance the grid.
As with other fuels and energy carriers, hydrogen must be handled with special requirements. Since hydrogen has been used in the industries for over a century, we have very good knowledge of how to deal with it in order to minimize the risk of incidents.
Modern batteries have less energy loss than fuel cells and will play an important role in future transport. But the disadvantages with batteries are that they demand long charging times and are quite heavy. The combination of fuel cells and batteries in vehicles has proven very beneficial. Supplemented with fuel cells, electric cars will dramatically increase range and the refuelling takes only a few minutes, but in the transportation sector you also would need a lot of power to move heavy cargos – that means a lot of battries in each vehicles, not a problem for long distance trucks.
Network of refueling stations
The Scandinavian hydrogen cooperation consists of regional clusters involving major and small industries, research institutions, and local, regional and national authorities – Showing a multitude of pathways for hydrogen supply using local resources. The national networking bodies – Norsk Hydrogenforum in Norway, Hydrogen Sweden in Sweden and Hydrogen Link in Denmark – act as coordinators.
The Scandinavian hydrogen cooperation has as it’s goal to create one of the first regions in Europe where hydrogen is available and used in a network of refuelling stations.
All activities are based on effective collaboration across the borders and are backed with strong public and private support in terms of funding, attractive financial tax exemption schemes and investments. The main goal is to create one of the first regions in Europe where hydrogen is available and used in a network of refuelling stations. The first step is to connect the largest city in Scandinavia in a network of refueling stations:
The challenge would be to move this network of refueling stations further north. The plan is to move the hydrogen corridor further north – step by step.
Hydrogen – a solution for the transportation sector
The EU-parliament passed the directive Clean Power for Transport in September 2014, which will secure the roll out of alternative fuels such as methane, hydrogen and electric charging infrastructure with common standards throughout the EU. Plans on a national level for fossil free energy systems are in place both in Sweden, Norway and Denmark – and all of the Scandinavian countries have ambitious goals for replacement of fossil fuels in the transportation sector.
The dependence of fossil fuels in the transport sector is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Scandinavia. To be able to lower carbon dioxide emission, the overall energy consumption needs to decrease and the use of renewable energy increase.
The Hydrogen value chain
The Scandinavian hydrogen cooperation will strive to build up knowledge of strategies for business models for development and operation of hydrogen infrastructure for vehicles, as well as for establishing production and distribution of hydrogen. In this situation it would be necessary to look closer into the hydrogen value chain: solutions within production, storage, distribution and use of hydrogen that meets the renewable society challenges.
The Scandinavian hydrogen cooperation wants to strengthen the use of hydrogen in the transportation sector – so that hydrogen could be a replacement for fossil fuels in the transportation sector in the future – also in the northern parts of Norway.