Learn more about the remarkable and innovative projects of the SEAI Energy Award Winners 2020.
Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy
Seamus Hoyne has been involved in R&D in the energy sector since the nineties. From 1998 to 2012 he was the Managing Director of the Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA) and grew the organisation to one of the leading Energy Agencies in Ireland and Europe. He is now the Chair of TEA. He has been involved in over 25 EU funded R&D Projects including the 5 year EU CONCERTO Project SERVE, which saw an investment of over €10million in sustainable energy in North Tipperary.
In 2017 he was appointed as Development and Public Engagement Manager within Limerick IT. He now leads the Development Unit there. He is the Principle Investigator for the Centre for Energy Efficiency and Deep Decarbonisation which is focused on supporting communities, enterprises, and industry to develop and engage in sustainable practices and processes. He has recently secured €7.5m to establish a Digital Academy for Sustainable Built Environment to scale up delivery of education on energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable construction.
Emerging Sustainable Energy Champion
We are seeing some inspiring young leaders shine through in the their determination and work to deliver positive climate action. This year’s SEAI Emerging Sustainable Energy Champion is a fifth year student at Loreto Dalkey, Dublin. Her keen interest in the environment especially in sustainable energy, along with being a Green Schools member made her a prime candidate for this award. Not only has she attended the RTÉ Youth assembly, she was also invited to a conference in Malta due to work she has done in her community. This student has a bright future and is a real champion of sustainable energy.
Energy Team of the Year
Astellas Ireland (AICL) Kerry Plant is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, manufacturing a range of medicinal treatments. These are supplied globally from the Killorglin facility in Co. Kerry. The Astellas Kerry Energy Management team works in conjunction with employees and senior management, to continuously improve energy performance onsite Over the past three years, the team has delivered an energy reduction of 15% by lowering energy use, reducing the carbon footprint and increasing renewable energy integration. This supports the site’s approach to the mitigation of climate change. The Astellas team are also actively engaged with the local community through supporting and sponsoring local school initiatives and participating in the Tidy Towns.
Large Business - Exemplary Energy Management
Danone Wexford sustainably manufactures high quality infant formula. The site produces leading brands like Aptamil, Cow & Gate and Nutrilon for consumers in 41 countries around the world. Danone Wexford is the first Danone Specialised Nutrition factory to achieve certification to the latest ISO 50001:2018 standard. Over the past 10 years the site has invested €10 million to transform itself into a carbon neutral facility whilst doubling production volumes and delivering energy savings of 35%. Through Project Vulcan - Danone Wexford was a key stakeholder involved in developing a sustainable local woodchip producer group in the South East of Ireland. With Danone’s support, this project created many local jobs and now supports over 400 farm families and small forestry owners. Danone also committed to purchase the wood fuel providing a stable demand from the start. Danone Wexford is the first infant formula production plant in the world to be certified carbon neutral.
Small and Medium Business - Exemplary Energy Management
Terra Spirits & Liqueurs
Terra Spirits & Liqueurs located in Bailieboro, Co. Cavan is Ireland’s largest family owned producer of Irish Cream Liqueurs which are exported to over 60 markets worldwide. In recent years, Terra has invested significantly in energy efficiency and decarbonisation and has reduced energy consumption by 20%. Projects delivered include; two phases of solar photovoltaics, heat pump installation, wastewater reduction, heat recovery and the transition from oil to Bio LPG. Terra recognise the combined benefits of reducing the site’s environmental impact through energy reduction measures whilst delivering cost reduction, quality improvement and overall customer appreciation. Terra Spirits & Liqueurs have definite plans to continue the sustainable culture in the organisation long into the future.
Public Sector - Energy Leadership
Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council (DCC) is the largest Local Authority in the country. Employing 6000 staff, the Council delivers over 500 services to the people living, working and visiting Dublin city. There is extraordinary support from the Senior Management team to address the 5 key Climate Action Areas, which include: Energy and Buildings, Transport, Flood, Nature and Resource. DCC has delivered energy savings of 34% since beginning its energy journey. It has used innovative contracts to achieve its objectives, exhibiting to other public bodies what can be achieved through replication and coordination. The Council recognises the multiple benefits of energy efficiency such as alleviating energy poverty in social housing and, through sustainable urban mobility plans, improving the air quality in the city.
Inspirational Energy Community
Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community
Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community is a very well-established and professional organisation who is providing end-to-end service from education on energy efficiency and renewable energy, to administration of grant applications, and coordinatinating upgrades. This community has made a real impact on energy use in Dunleer with over 200 premises significantly upgraded. It has also provided a one-stop-shop type retrofit model by bringing together the different community partners for successful projects, including technical, educational and financial.. The experiences gained by this community have been shared with others to support their energy journey.
Excellence in Energy Research and Innovation
National University of Ireland, Galway
NUI Galway has a leading international reputation in research and technology development. The VorTech research team, based within Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering & Science, is part of the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway. The team works primarily within the strategic research priority area of "Environment, Marine and Energy" with a focus on water and wastewater engineering, sustainability and technology development. The VorTech technology (Vortex Powered Aerator – VPA) aims to revolutionise the energy intensive aeration process within wastewater treatment plants. The team demonstrated the technology in practice, leading to 30% energy recovery. A spin-out company has been formed, VorTech Water Solutions, and aims to deliver energy savings at wastewater treatment plants both in Ireland and at international level and to deliver huge benefits in waste-water treatment plants in Ireland and on a global scale.
Energy in Buildings
SSE Airtricity Energy Services
SSE Airtricity Energy Services is a leader in building energy upgrades with considerable experience in energy efficiency technologies such as external wall insulation, energy efficient windows and doors, heat pumps, energy efficient boilers, airtightness and ventilation, solar PV systems, battery systems and electric vehicle charging points. Moyola Court in South Dublin consists of two rows of terraced houses owned by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. These houses were built in the 1970’s and were in poor condition when SSE were approached to do the deep retrofit refurbishment works. Supported under the SEAI Deep Retrofit programme for the installation of innovative heating technologies, advanced insulation, and renewable generation and storage resulted in these inefficient units to become some of the most efficient and comfortable in the country. The BER ratings improved from G to A3 which had a hugely positive impact on the residents.
Innovative Deployment of Renewable Energy
Green Generation Ltd
Green Generation is a Kildare-based company, using anaerobic digestion to convert agricultural and food waste to renewable energy. Green Generation harnesses natural microbial activity to break down organic waste into biogas and an organic fertiliser by-product. Half of the biogas is used to produce renewable electricity which is sent to the national grid. The rest is upgraded to "biomethane" which is injected into the natural gas grid. Unsold food from Tesco is fed to the Anaerobic Digester, and the biogas generated is sold back to Tesco for use in their stores. The plastic packaging from the food is processed to manufacture durable plastic products, using 'waste' heat from electricity generation and finally the digestate from the process is once again used as fertiliser to grow food. This is an excellent example of the circular economy in practice.