The standard of applications for the 2021 SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards was exceptionally high. View the successful shortlisted projects for 2021.
See all of the finalists in each category below.
Emerging Sustainable Energy Champion
For her demonstrated interest in sustainability and climate action and her outreach work amongst her peers.
Rosie’s tireless activism and passion for climate action started in secondary school and has continued throughout her time as an engineering student in UCC. In her work with the International Energy Research Centre, Rosie has contributed to a variety of EU projects. She has researched energy efficiency and renewables for the Lighthouse on Skellig Michael. Rosie is also a member of the Engineers without Borders programme and has participated in schools outreach programmes and mentored TY students. Her love of maths and physics along with her commitment to climate action make her a superb finalist in this category.
For his climate activism both inside and outside of school.
At only 12 years of age, Paddy is already known as a dedicated and passionate climate activist. The first ever documentary he watched, David Attenborough’s ‘Galapagos’, and a school trip to Dublin Zoo inspired him to take a great interest in sustainability and tackling climate change. Committed to doing something to help, he embarked on learning all about renewable energy, environmental protection and sustainability and joined his Green Schools Committee. Paddy went on to win a prize at the INTEL Mini scientist schools competition for TAPP, an eco-friendly 3rd world irrigation system, using plastic waste. Paddy was a Dáil delegate for the Youth Assembly on Climate Change, and his continued activism includes a proposal to his school principal on making his school more energy efficient which has now been passed on to the board of management.
Energy in Buildings
University College Cork/Tyndall National Institute
For their sustainable conservation and energy retrofit of a heritage building in Cork
The University College Cork/Tyndall National Institute upgraded a protected structure constructed in 1903 to a high energy performance building. An example of an early industrial building in Cork, a full Energy Efficient Design process started at concept design stage. The goal was to optimise the building capacity whilst transforming the dark spaces into light filled environments. The goal was to promote core values of wellness, sustainability and encouraging scientific interaction. Smart building technology was a key component of the design and smart sensors were used in the lighting along with demand control on heat, light, power and ventilation. Energy use is also monitored in real time.
For their benchmark energy upgrade to the regional Distribution Centre in Newbridge, Kildare.
Lidl Regional Distribution Centre in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, is a benchmark for future Lidl distribution centres across Europe. Home to one of Ireland’s largest rooftop PV arrays. The system incorporates over 4,000 panels spread across an area of 10,000m2 and provides 25% of the buildings annual electrical requirements. A heat recovery system from the refrigeration system also provides underfloor heating. Natural light has been maximised and a rainwater harvesting system accumulates 1million litres of water annually. Biodiversity measures on the site include the planting of wildflower meadows and native Irish woodland, as well as the installation of beehive, bird and bat boxes and an insect hotel.
Wexford County Council - College View Deep Retrofit
For their ambitious upgrade of social housing in Wexford Town
Wexford County Council undertook a significant upgrade of housing constructed in the 1970’s. These houses started with BER ratings of F and G. Following the renovations, all homes have been upgraded to A1, A2 and n A3 BER ratings. Tenants report high satisfaction levels and the transformation of their homes both functionally and aesthetically. The College View project has been used as an exemplar case study in many industry conferences, public sector events and local authority housing presentations.
Energy Team/ Energy Manager of the Year
Pfizer Grange Castle
For being the first Pfizer site in the world to develop a plan for carbon neutrality by 2030.
The Grangecastle site is the first Pfizer site in the world to develop a clear plan for carbon neutrality by 2030. The energy team engaged with over 150 people who either directly or indirectly impact energy on site. From this, they developed credible initiatives to support their 2030 goals. They commenced a range of diverse projects and initiatives since 2012 which include; operational controls, process changes, design reviews, large capital investment and awareness initiatives, all within a highly regulated environment.
National University of Ireland Galway
For their energy team, headed by Michael Curran, which has successfully achieved 40% energy savings.
The NUI Galway energy team are key members of the Community and University Sustainability Project which brings together Senior Management, Students, staff, academics, researchers, Health Service Executive, Galway City Council and local community groups. NUI Galway are on a journey to reduce energy on campus, formalised in 2012 with accreditation to ISO50001 and this has allowed the energy team successfully to achieve 40% energy savings by 2020. In 2021 NUI Galway were ranked 14th in World Universities for SDG 7: Energy.
Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown County Council
For its continuous ongoing improvement in all areas of energy across all departments.
The cross-departmental Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown energy team is representative of their significant energy use, including public lighting, transport fleet and large buildings. Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown has improved its energy performance by 51% in 2020, compared to the baseline year of 2009. They are continuously improving energy efficiency and carbon reduction through their ISO 50001 Energy Management System. Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown’s goal is to create sustainable and cost effective zero-carbon green towns and villages and to act as an exemplar.
Excellence in Energy Research and Innovation
GlasPort Bio Ltd
For their GasAbate agricultural product which allows greater use of agricultural materials.
GlasPort Bio is a SME based in Galway that has developed a solution to allow greater use and reuse from perceived waste agricultural materials. Their GasAbate product is added to stored slurry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase biogas production following Anaerobic Digestion. The product has the potential to reduce national emissions and enhance the renewable energy output of slurry.
For their cost saving technology to reduce mooring loads for floating offshore wind
Dublin Offshore is developing a load reduction device for the floating offshore wind market. The load reduction device uses buoyancy and weight to reduce mooring loads and enable cost reductions. The project demonstrates how marine technology can be delivered quickly and at low cost, availing of Ireland’s extensive testing and support infrastructure.
Sustainable & Resilient Structures Research Group, MaREI Centre, Ryan Institute & School of Engineering, NUI Galway
For their turbine blade testing facility for state-of-the-art tidal energy research
The Sustainable & Resilient Structures Research Group developed a state-of-the-art structural testing facility for tidal turbine blades. As the tidal energy sector strives for commercial viability, this facility takes away the risk in the development of its’ technologies. Following testing campaigns, operational trials have commenced in Alaska and Scotland. The Research Group is made up of a multi-disciplinary diverse team that are working at the cutting edge of sustainable energy research.
Innovative Deployment of Renewable Energy
Falls Hotel & Spa
For their Hydro Electric Turbine Project that has provided 70% of their annual electricity since 2018.
The Falls Hotel & Spa is a family run hotel at the gateway to the Burren UNESCO Geopark in County Clare. Installing a hydro-electric turbine on the river adjacent to the hotel has provided the Falls hotel with up to 70% of their annual electricity requirements since 2018. In March 2021 the hotel was declared a carbon neutral property by Green Hospitality and awarded their GreenMark recognition.
For the innovative renewable technologies installed at their Regional Distribution Centre in Newbridge.
Lidl Regional Distribution Centre is home to one of Ireland’s largest rooftop PV arrays. The system incorporates over 4,000 panels spread across an area of 10,000m2 and provides 25% of the buildings annual electrical requirements. In addition, a heat recovery system from the refrigeration system provides underfloor heating, natural light is maximised and a rainwater harvesting system accumulates 1million litres of water annually.
Inspirational Energy Community
Inishowen Development Partnership- Inishowen SEC
For their ambitious vision to make Inishowen, Co. Donegal a renewable energy centre of excellence.
Established in January 2019, Inishowen Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) is the result of a collaboration between Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP), Inishowen Co-Op, Donegal County Council, and a diverse range of stakeholders across the Inishowen community. Their vision is that the Inishowen Peninsula will be carbon neutral by the year 2050 and the Inishowen SEC has ambitions of becoming a renewable energy centre of excellence.
Dalkey Sustainable Energy Community
For their community collaboration and shared vision in tackling climate change in Dalkey, Co. Dublin.
Dalkey Sustainable Energy Community (DSEC) was setup by Dalkey Tidy Towns’ (DTT) Sustainability Team. Working together with households, businesses, stakeholders and the SEAI to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, their shared vision is to adapt community to the challenges of our changing climate, considering climate risks and opportunities in decision making. They ran a ‘Save Energy at Home’ show which had 500 attendees who promote behavioural change in their local community, they have completed a home energy survey with 100 participants and distribute a monthly newsletter to over 3,000 recipients on hot topics in energy efficiency and climate action. They are committed to engaging with everyone in the local community to inspire a commitment to sustainable energy.
Ringsend / Irishtown Sustainable Energy Community
For their work in Ringsend / Irish Town in developing local community engagement with sustainability.
The Ringsend / Irishtown Sustainable Energy Community (RISE-C) formed in 2017 to work on building capacity for sustainable energy in the community, emerging from existing community initiatives aimed at sustainability and local engagement. The SEC has established connections with local partners and other communities and is working to further develop community participation in the SEC through social media and local news outlets. In 2019, RISE-C received funding from the SEAI Communities Grant to complete several demonstration projects including solar PV installation in the Fair Play Café which includes a screen display in the café that highlights the electricity being generated in real-time; it has been particularly effective in highlighting the potential for renewable electricity and provoking discission around sustainability.
Large Business - Exemplary Energy Performance
Pfizer Grange Castle
For their active programme to achieve carbon neutrality which has already seen reductions in CO2 emissions.
The site at Grange Castle is the first Pfizer site to clearly outline plans of achieving Carbon Neutrality. Since their energy programme was introduced in 2012 it has evolved from an engineering led system to an organisational wide programme. ISO50001 was achieved in 2016 and although production numbers have doubled since 2012, their CO2 emissions have reduced by an impressive 18%. An active and engaged member of the Large Industry Energy Network, the diverse range of projects and initiatives achieved by Pfizer Grange Castle, including commitment from leadership and active collaboration across multiple staff, stakeholders and consultants to achieve results, is an excellent model for any large business looking to tackle their own energy outputs.
Dairygold Food Ingredients
For their wide range of strategic activities in reducing CO2 emissions.
Dairygold Food Ingredients includes four sites across Munster. A strategic goal for Dairygold Food Ingredients is to reduce their CO2 emissions and to improve each sites energy efficiency. This also includes supporting on-farm carbon reductions from their milk suppliers. Since 2012, Dairygold has invested over €180m to improve energy efficiency and in the drive for decarbonisation.
Small and Medium Business - Exemplary Energy Performance
For their commitment to improved Energy Performance and achieving zero carbon emissions by 2030
Over the past five years, KORE has implemented major reform in reducing their energy demand and carbon emissions. KORE Insulation participates in many retrofit schemes across the country and have also implemented a range of energy saving measures in their own factory. KORE is focused on reducing their carbon emissions and have installed a solar PV renewable energy system, amongst other upgrades. KORE have set a goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Falls Hotel & Spa
For their commitment to sustainability in Ennistymon in Co. Clare.
The Falls Hotel & Spa, a family run hotel based in the Burren UNESCO Geopark, worked over a five-year period to reduce their CO2 emissions, being declared a carbon neutral property in early 2021 by Green Hospitality and awarded their GreenMark recognition. The Falls Hotel sustainability journey has included planting native Irish saplings to offset carbon and using hydro power from the powerful cascades that give the hotel its name.
For their Caustic Cooling project in Foynes, Co. Limerick.
This project is a great example of how an energy audit can give you an opportunity to look at the energy usage across different processes. Chemifloc’s caustic cooling project provided the opportunity to spot clever ways of saving energy. After completing an energy audit, the project looked at the good principles of chemistry and engineering to combine two processes so that they complimented each other. As a result, instead of requiring energy input, both processes became energy neutral. The project was supported by the SEAI EXEED scheme. Other energy projects are also scheduled for Chemifloc Shannon and Foynes including a major project with >€1M capital spend to replace an existing raw material currently used with one with a much lower carbon footprint.
Leadership in the Public Sector - Exemplary Energy Performance
For their commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025.
An Post’s CEO has committed to net zero carbon emissions from An Post operations by 2030, with a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 and a net zero carbon emissions target for 2030. By the end of 2021, An Post will have approx. 1,000 electric vans in use. An Post has positioned sustainability as the guiding principle for transformation within their business.
For being designated as carbon neutral in 2020 and their comprehensive energy monitoring system.
Dublin Airport was designated carbon neutral by the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme in 2020. A comprehensive energy monitoring system has been vital in providing the data required to assess realistic energy savings from projects, helping the business case for projects. Dublin Airport’s energy reduction journey has taken in staff from across the organisation to achieve their goals and is not limited to the work of the energy team.