Inishowen Sustainable Energy Community leads the way
Inishowen Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) plans to become a renewable energy centre of excellence.
The Inishowen community, located in Inishowen, County Donegal won the SEAI Inspirational Energy Community Award 2021.
50%energy savings at local farm
€2,500+energy savings/ yr at Bocan creche
A-ratedbuilding for Ireland’s most northerly home
Established in January 2019, Inishowen Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) is the result of a collaboration between lead partner Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP), Inishowen Co-Op, Donegal County Council, and a diverse range of stakeholders across the Inishowen community. It was established with a common focus on sustainability and a vision to change the energy landscape in the region.
Inishowen SEC has engaged a broad cross section of the community to plan, support and deliver an Energy Master Plan (EMP) for the region, which officially launched on July 8th, 2021.
There has been active engagement with the community in respect of renewable electricity generation including, tidal/coastal, solar and wind energy farming. The process of selecting a consulting partner to assist with grid assessments under the RESS scheme has already commenced.
The SEC has also been involved in several projects in supporting energy upgrades using SEAI grants, including Ireland’s most northerly home, which was upgraded from a G BER rating to an A rating. There were many initiatives, including the installation of a geothermal heat pump at the local community creche which is generating savings of €2,500 - €3,000 per annum. The installation of solar PV panels at a local family farm has resulted in energy savings of up to 50%.
“If another SME was to look into it, I would completely recommend it. It’s one less cost that we have to be looking out for all the time.”
Inishowen/Carndonagh Town has recently been selected as a pilot area by Donegal County Council to develop a community ‘Decarbonisation Zone’ as part of the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2019. A Decarbonisation Zone is an area identified by a local authority, in which a range of climate mitigation measures can co-exist to address local low carbon energy, greenhouse gas emissions and climate needs. There is the real opportunity to pilot a green and sustainable development programme in Inishowen.
The goal is for the Inishowen Peninsula to become carbon neutral by 2050. Residents are committed to supporting their community to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs.
As a member of the SEAI’s energy community network, Inishowen SEC has ambitions of becoming a renewable energy centre of excellence leading the way in community-based conservation and renewable energy solutions and production.
“We’re absolutely delighted on behalf of Inishowen SEC to win this award. It’s great for everyone that’s been involved over the long number of years getting to this point. We really look forward to pushing things forward and this will give us a shot in the arm to do so,” said Paul McGonigle, Inishowen Development Partnership – Inishowen (SEC).
2021 SEAI Energy Awards
A total of ten awards were presented to individuals, businesses, communities, and public sector organisations in recognition of their commitment and dedication to sustainable energy and climate action.
The online awards ceremony was hosted by broadcast journalist, Andrea Gilligan, who was joined by Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan T.D. and Duncan Stewart, the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy Award.See our 2021 winners