Monday, 9 November 2015

Green Drinks 3rd November - Community Energy

The November Green Drinks, on Tuesday, November the 3rd, saw Kate Ruddock of Friends of the Earth Ireland talking on Community energy - how small local community groups can together use energy and resources most efficiently, and in a way that does least ecological damage. This has been slow to take off in Ireland compared to other countries, for various reasons, including a difficulty in selling excess energy onto the national grid. However, with enough determination, communities can achieve successful projects that provide them with self sufficiency in clean renewable energy.  

One of the most hopeful projects is happening on the Aran Islands, where the islanders are aiming to make the islands completely self sufficient in energy using wind power by 2022. Another place where this has been done is in Templederry, Co. Tipperary where the Templederry Community Group have constructed a windfarm.

The government is also going to introduce a White Paper for a scheme to allow local communities to form co-ops and invest in windfarms. It is hoped that this will chart a way forward for local communities and also help to lay to rest some of the controversies that have sprung up around windfarms in recent times. Progress towards renewables is happening, even if the pace of change is often frustratingly slow.

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