Unique approach to community ownership of renewable energy


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.”

Speakers and Volunteers

Renewable Energies – Prosperous Community!

solar-energy-1Manorhamilton is the focus on 24th June as we turn our attention to the potential of renewable energy and energy efficiency to give communities better quality of life, generate revenue and create jobs. Taking Manorhamilton as our target, GEAI members and volunteers, together with a local high-level steering group, is looking at how the community can take ownership of their energy future and benefit from a low-carbon economy. “The Manorhamilton community has clearly stated that it does not want fracking under any circumstances. There is an alternative vision – one of clean energy sources and uses that generate local jobs and local revenue; create warmer and healthier homes, and in addition, fight climate change,” said Aedín McLoughlin, GEAI spokesperson. An event is being organised in Manorhamilton on 23rd June that will give local people and others interested an opportunity to look at the possibilities and raise enthusiasm for a prosperous low-carbon future. It will include demonstrations of possible renewable energy sources, discussions on the potential for the town, case studies from other areas and descriptions of ways in which the community can benefit from their own energy resources. More details later.

Global Frackdown in Manorhamilton

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Last Saturday, 22nd September was the Global Frackdown day. A crowd gathered in Manorhamilton’s centre to mark the day. The group Love Leitrim had organised many activities: a concert, painting, stalls, etc.
Shopkeepers, farmers or football lovers… many people were there who oppose fracking and to show their love for Leitrim.
Many parents and children came between 3rd and 6th pm. Many bands and soloists played on a little stage: Cathy Jordan, Seamie O’Dowd, members of Kila, and Ray Coen.
(Photos A.G.)


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