June 29: Trip to the Aran Islands

After our event “Renewable Energies – Prosperous Communities” we went on an Energy Tour in Inishmore with the Aran Islands Energy Co-operative. We learnt about the foundation of the co-operative, visited  examples of PV solar, air to water heat pump and houses deeply retrofitted and we were told about the history of wind energy on the islands. The aims of the Aran Islands Co-Operative is to make the islands self-suficient in energy by 2020 and to ensure enough power to support many new businesses on the islands.

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The GEAI team with Dara Ó Maoildhia

More Pictures on Flickr.

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June 15: Faughary windfarm opening

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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.

Unique approach to community ownership of renewable energy

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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 rejects decision to extent peat burning plants lifetime

Good Energies Alliance Ireland joins the Environmental Pillar in condemning the decision to extend the lifetime of two peat-burning power stations in the Midlands beyond the present agreement of ceasing operation in 2019. The stations are located in west Offaly and at Lough Ree. The decision to extend their operation was revealed a letter to Bord na Móna workers from the company’s chief executive Mike Quinn.

“The present generation of electricity by burning peat goes completely against Ireland’s requirement to reduce carbon emissions and choose renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels. Ireland’s energy generators do not seem to realise that business as usual is not an option any longer”, GEAI spokesperson Aedín McLoughlin said.

“This decision demonstrates clearly the result of not having definite targets in the current Climate Bill. There is no requirement on companies to meet the challenges of reducing our carbon emissions and no alternative plans put forward”, GEAI spokesperson stated.

Good Energies Alliance has advocated since its creation in 2012 for a transition towards a carbon neutral Ireland. “We have the solution at hand, we can power ourselves without endangering the planet. Ireland has a great potential for wind, solar energy and biomass power. We are a small country but we can become a great example for the rest of the world. Continuing to burn peat sends out all the wrong signals,” Aedín McLoughlin concluded.

Wind Energy – GEAI Position Paper

By John Arnold

By John Arnold

Good Energies Alliance Ireland supports wind energy, but not as it has being implemented in Ireland up to now. The main conclusion is of our paper position paper is:

“The development of wind energy is an essential part of the decarbonisation of energy production in Ireland but such developments must have genuine benefits for and buy-in from the Irish people “

This publication is the result of months of research by our EVS volunteer Irina Tiugan. It analyses arguments and counter-arguments concerning Ireland’s planning process and extent of public consultation, the impact of intermittency on wind energy efficiency, and environmental concerns. It also describes case studies from Scotland, France and Germany and draws conclusions from them.

“With this Position Paper we want to contribute to a scientific-based debate around wind energy in Ireland, as well as to help in building a more sustainable and fair country”, Irina said.

Feel free to download and share our position paper. And come back to us with your feedback in our email, website or our social media!

 

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