Community groups need to be consulted as early as possible in order to gain their support for the development of renewable energy projects

Project Insights

  • €284,414

    Total Project Costs
  • 4 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2018

    Year Funded

Project Description

In this project an online platform will be developed which will empower rural communities to identify the optimum renewable energy solution for their community, decide how risk and revenue will be shared and raise finance at key project stages through crowd funding. This project has three main components; 1. Social Engagement (Dr. Gerard Mullally - UCC Department of Sociology): The developed software will be co-designed with community groups through regular stakeholder workshops to ensure that it meets their expectations in terms of transparency and functionality. ; 2. Techno-economics (Dr. Cian Desmond, UCC - MaREI): The software will allow community groups to assess the techno-economic viability of a variety of renewable energy technologies using up to date costing, details of support mechanisms and technology performance characteristics in the context of their own renewable energy resource and land availability.; 3. Crowd Funding (Dr. Rob Gleasure – UCC- School of Business): The use of crowd funding will be key to facilitate cooperation between rural and urban communities to develop renewable energy projects and to maximise the number of active energy citizens benefiting from these projects.; The tools developed in this project will facilitate a bottom up approach to community renewable energy development. Whilst a professional developer or project manager will be required for ultimate delivery of the project, the involvement of the impacted community from inception and the absolute transparency afforded by the online platform will maximise both social acceptability and community benefit.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €284,414

Funding Agency: SEAI

Year Funded: 2018

Lead Organisation: University College Cork

Collaborators: Cork Smart Gateway

Cian Desmond

Lead Researcher