Energy Efficiency The SEAI and the Local Energy Agencies are key to promote action on energy efficiency at national, regional and local level. The focus on energy efficiency in the RSES reflects the actions outlined in the Climate Action Plan 2019, the National Mitigation Plan and the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for Ireland No. 4 2017-20. Energy efficiency policy for the Region will support the work of the SEAI and the Local Energy Agencies including goals for: Economy: Measures which reduce reliance on the use of imported fossil fuels and enhance economic competitiveness and support the reduction of emissions. Households: Measures to improve the energy efficiency of households and address energy poverty through domestic supports under the Better Energy Programme, including the Deep Retrofit Pilot Scheme. Capacity Building Capacity Building can boost the development of energy efficiency with the support of the local authority-led Local Energy Agencies and input from the Regional Skills Fora to develop upskilling programmes and expertise needed to facilitate a regional energy efficiency retrofit scheme.
generation units compared to individual, building-level heating plants also allows for decarbonisation. District heating systems are well placed to use sustainable energy sources such as biomass and geothermal energy sources.
Thedevelopment of hydro energy represents a significant opportunity for the development of renewable energy in the Region. The planned Silvermines Hydro Electric Power Station would generate electricity during high demand periods as water from a higher elevation reservoir is released to a lower reservoir, flowing through giant turbines. It is pumped back up to the higher reservoir during low electricity demand periods. This energy storage project is the only electricity generating plant planned for Ireland included in the European Network of Transmission Systems Operators for Electricity (ENTSOE) plan for 2018 to 2028.
Measures to support the development of sustainable energy at community level will be enhanced by the LECo project funded by the EU INTERREG programme, the REACT project, funded by Horizon 2020, and Údarás na Gaeltachta and SEAI’s joint programme – The Regional Energy Development Programme and the establishment of a Regional Energy Bureau.
Clean Electric Heat Technologies & District Heating It is an objective to support development of district heating schemes by promoting innovation in the use of recoverable heat sources and related technologies. The development of new low carbon heat sources should include non-fossil fuel heat sources including clean electric and renewable gas heat technologies in the Region.
Future Proofing and Retrofitting It is an objective to support implementation of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, the implementation of mitigation measures outlined in their respective SEA and AA and investment in initiatives to improve energy efficiency and future proof our Region’s residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and public building stock, including retrofitting in urban and rural areas and reduce fuel poverty. RSES supports the promotion of sustainable buildings that achieve certification under systems such as the Home Performance Index, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design at local authority level.
Southern Regional Assembly | RSES
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