June 15: Faughary windfarm opening

Faughary 03

Aedín McLoughlin, Irina and Santi at the Faughary windfarm

The GEAI team was invited to the official opening of the Faughary windfarm, near Manorhamilton (Co Leitrim). The team were shown the turbines inside and out, including the operations room in the middle of the turbine. “Everybody present was amazed at how quiet the turbines are on a beatiful but very windy day”, Aedín McLoughlin said.

More pictures on Flickr.

Millions of euro spent on imported energy in Manorhamilton

Manorhamilton households spend more than €2 million every year on transport and other energy uses. This is the startling total determined through an Energy Audit carried out by GEAI and Love Leitrim volunteers. The study calculates that the 563 households in the town spend over €500,000 on electricity and over €600,000 on other fuels (oil, gas and solid fuels), an average of €2,200 per household. A total of €1 million is also spent on petrol and diesel, an average of €1,600 per car owner. “What this means is that over €1.5 million of Manorhamilton’s disposable income is spent on imported fossil fuels every year and therefore lost to the economy!” said GEAI Director, Aedín McLoughlin. “People don’t realise the very real potential of renewable energies to reduce imports, generate income and jobs for local communities and provide energy security for the future. The Manorhamilton community, having turned its back on fracking, is now looking at alternatives and is finding out that renewable energies, as well as lowering carbon emissions, can also benefit the health and economic growth of its town.” The survey is part of the “Renewable Energies – Prosperous Communities” event taking place on 24th June in the Bee Park Centre, Manorhamilton. It will be a day of presentations, workshops and discussions with many interesting speakers and topics of discussion. Pauline Gallacher from the Neilston Trust (Scotland) and Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader will be the main speakers, but this is not going to be the usual conference where local people simply listen to experts. The aim is that everyone attending will get a chance to speak and be heard.

Book1

Registration for the event

Unique approach to community ownership of renewable energy

Logo

Renewable Energies – Prosperous Communities is a unique event, combining presentations, workshops and discussions, taking place in Manorhamilton on June 24th. The day-long gathering will raise awareness of the opportunities open to local communities to benefit from renewable energies, look at the potential of wind energy and biomass to generate income and jobs for the community and identify local champions of renewable energy sources and uses.

The event is organised by Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) and Love Leitrim, both environmental NGOs. Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader, and Pauline Gallacher from the Neilston Trust (Scotland), will be the main speakers, but this is not going to be the usual conference where local people simply listen to experts. The aim is that everyone attending will get a chance to speak and be heard.

“We hear a lot about climate change and how renewable energies coRuld lower our carbon emissions”, said Dr Aedín McLoughlin, Director, GEAI. “What we don’t hear enough of is the potential of renewable energies to generate income and jobs for local communities if they are in community ownership. Scotland has 72 times more community-owned energy than Ireland, with roughly the same population!

“How is it that developers are allowed to build massive wind farms in rural areas, make fortunes from them and only give token “benefits” to local communities?” she asked. “Currently, rural communities are in decline and lack sustainable employment. Rural communities have no idea of the potential of renewable energies to generate local income and jobs and it is time that this situation changed.”

Programme
Registration
Speakers and Volunteers

GEAI supports Leitrim County Council anti-fracking motion

iIPFxxAvBxys

Good Energies Alliance Ireland strongly supports the anti-fracking motion passed by Leitrim County Council by an overwhelming majority on Monday 11th. The motion, submitted by Mary Bohan (FF) calls for a “a vote of no confidence in the CDM Smith’s consortium of researchers appointed by the EPA to carry out the research programme in relation to fracking”.

CDM Smith is a pro-fracking organisation, involved with shale gas companies in Poland and Canada, the Irish Times revealed last month. The EPA-administered research opposed by the Council is led by CDM Smith. It will last for another year, with final reports due in September 2016. “The problem is that the research study is led by the industry, which is not qualified to do public health studies and whose findings would be suspect”. GEAI director Aedín McLoughlin said.

“We are delighted that this motion got such support by Leitrim County Council. It shows that the councillors are prepared to stand behind the ban on fracking they imposed last year and will not support an investigation of fracking that is carried out by a company with vested interests”, GEAI director said.

“This motion also called for research on fracking to be carried out by the Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer”, McLoughlin said. “This should consist of an up-to-date and comprehensive review of the public health impacts of fracking. We have been asking for this since we know the truth about CDM Smith”, GEAI director stated.

New York State banned fracking after a review of the Public Health impacts of Fracking by the Department of Health, followed by consideration of the review and a full ban on fracking by New York State Governor Cuomo. “ We want the same in Ireland” Aedín McLoughlin concluded.

Ireland deserves a better Climate Bill

Environmental-Damage-2

Ireland deserves a better Climate Action Bill to play its role in tackling climate change. The current Bill “will fail to deliver the low carbon future it aims to achieve unless critical weaknesses are addressed”, according to an independent report by environmental lawyers Client Earth.

Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) criticised the lack of ambition of the new bill since its publication in January. Now this independent analysis confirms that “the opportunity to lead the way towards a carbon neutral future has been thrown away”, GEAI director Aedín McLoughlin said. “There are no targets for lowering carbon emissions, not even a mention of the mandatory targets set by the EU. Neither is there commitment to contributing to the Global Climate Fund, a shame for Ireland.”

The report was commissioned by the Irish coalition Stop Climate Chaos (SCC) and also compares the Government’s Bill with climate legislation around Europe. The study finds that the lack of 2050 targets for carbon emissions produces critical uncertainty for investors and the status and membership of the Expert Advisory Council undermines its independence. Unless revised at Committee Stage in the Dáil, due this month, the Bill will do little to help Ireland meet its international commitments or move the economy onto a less polluting pathway.

Last September the Taoiseach Enda Kenny talked at the UN Climate Summit about “long terms objectives for 2050 of an 80% reduction across electricity, transport and built environment”. “Where are those targets now?” asks McLoughlin. “This Government  has failed to show commitment, imagination or leadership in the drafting of the Bill.”

COPYRIGHT

® All rights reserved to GEAI 2018