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If we are serious about a low carbon economy, then society must transform

The time for talking about a realistic future for sustainable energy is over. We are already on the pathway towards a low carbon economy, but the real question is will we get there in time. Ireland needs action, and fast, to reach our 2020 targets and to commence the activities that will bring us towards our 2030 targets. Can we hit our 2020 energy efficiency target?Without a dramatic change in course, we will likely miss our 2020 renewable energy target, probably getting to 13% versus a target of 16%. We are likely to miss our energy efficiency target by a similar amount. Come 2020, the penalty for not hitting this t Read More

 
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O.M.G.

I enjoy watching the occasional disaster movie, like The Day After Tomorrow. Hollywood has long-understood the vicarious thrill audiences get watching the protagonists lives teeter on the brink of danger as the result of some unstoppable force of nature. The best disaster movies create a sense of foreboding and doom that both frightens and entertains in equal measure. The proximity of the impending doom is always a critical factor. The timescale is necessarily compounded for maximum dramatic effect. The glacial pace of sea levels rising, eventually flooding a city over the course of 100 years is hardly going to set pu Read More

 
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Kids, they get it!

SEAI's One Good Idea Competition offers opportunity to growSEAI's One Good Idea competition invites students to create an awareness campaign. They have the opportunity to develop skills such as research, communication, creativity and science. It gives them an opportunity to take a simple idea and develop it into something that can have a real impact on the world around them. The students who take part in the competition range from 9 to 17 years and they are the ones to watch in the future. It is hugely rewarding to play a part in their success and give them a way to share their hard work and passion. The 2017 National Read More

 
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SEAI's National Deep Retrofit Conference 2017

Toward's Zero 21st June, 2017, Aviva Stadium, DublinUp to a million homes built in the last century perform very poorly on the building energy rating (BER) scale. This results in significantly higher energy bills for homeowners, not to mention the effects of a poorly insulated home on the health and wellbeing of people living in the building. The deep retrofitting of these homes is one of our greatest energy efficiency challenges but it can also be viewed as a major economic and employment opportunity. Deep Retrofit ChallengesChallenges include:the significant learning curveovercoming scepticismthe scale and capacity Read More

 
Launch of the Sustainable Energy Awards

The SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards

SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards - putting excellence on a pedestal Excellence in Energy ManagementIt's plain to see that there's an awful lot of sustainable energy activity going on around the country. Large and small businesses are pursuing energy efficiency to improve their bottom line and the public sector are making major inroads on their 33% savings target, acting as an exemplar for others. Homeowners are their homes, using less energy and making them cosier and cheaper to run. Communities are coming together to see how they can transform their buildings and looking at new ways of sourcing their energy. Researcher Read More

 
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Starting the deep retrofit journey

SEAI announces inaugural deep retrofit conference for June 21st, 2017We are delighted to announce the start of a new journey for Ireland's building retrofit industry. This journey begins with SEAI's inaugural National Deep Retrofit Conference on June 21st in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.A new home built today, under the current Building Regulations, should typically achieve a Building Energy Rating (BER) of A3 or higher. A similar home built in the early noughties might have achieved a C or D rating, consuming about up to four times as much energy. And a home built in the sixties, when there were no energy performance re Read More

 
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The SEAI Energy Show - The serious business of sustainable energy

 Sustainable energy is serious businessAction on sustainable energy is now more important than ever with recent SEAI data showing that the economic recovery brings the unwanted consequence of an increase in energy use. In 2015, energy use grew by 5%, the first substantial growth in five years. There is a burning imperative to make our whole economy more sustainable in energy, through greater efficiency and greater use of renewables.The sustainable energy agenda is serious business which the business sector takes very seriously. Large energy users, SME’s and public bodies are constantly looking for ways to reduce their Read More

 
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Explore how Ireland uses energy

SEAI energy data portalIn the current age of fast paced and tweet sized communications, getting the message through on the big ideas around the need for a world transformation to sustainable energy technologies and practices is becoming more challenging. Since the decisions that need to be made around energy infrastructure development are costly, both on the supply side (electricity generation, renewable heat production, grid infrastructure, storage etc.) and the demand side (building and house energy efficiency upgrades), they can't be based on back-of-the envelope calculations; but who wants to read a 80 - 100 page Read More

 
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Ireland's Wave Energy Opportunity

The ocean is Ireland’s greatest energy resource. I was reminded of this when I visited the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site recently, traversing the waves on board the Kerry Head. I was out on Galway Bay to view the quarter-scale Sea Power Wave Energy Convertor for the first time since it was deployed on the site in early November of this year.Ireland’s location at the westernmost edge of Europe places us at the receiving end of a vast transmission line of energy, with waves generated across the expanses of the Atlantic Ocean converging on our shores. The energy that could potentially be captured from Read More

 
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COP22 - High Expectations Follow Paris Agreement Ratification

       I’m just back from COP22 in Marrakech where I was part of the Irish Delegation following technology transfer and development issues for Ireland. Even in the week that I was there (the conference is still on) there were highs and lows.Ratification DayCOP22 opened on the crest of a wave with the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement entering into force on 4 November 2016. I repeatedly heard delegates and countries representatives, who were in Paris last year, say that they would never have expected the Agreement to be ratified just one year later.  (Remember the Kyoto Protocol took eight years to be ratified).  Read More

 
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EV Daydream

On my cycle to and from work each day, the occasional thought wanders through my head as I pass by the never ending line of vehicles stuck in traffic puffing out gases and soot along the canal.  Usually I promise myself I will buy a facemask and go over once again the practicalities of this considering the runny nose which the cold air brings on.  As a compromise, I actually try and breathe when I think the air is clearer, between cars or ahead of them, how nerdy is that?One thought occurs, imagine living in Victorian London choking to death on the coal fumes produced in the city, how did people survive?  I suppose ba Read More

 
Peter Hanley - EV taxi driver

Electric cars. Are you plugged in?

‘It’s like sitting in marshmallows!’ laughs Peter Hanley, a Dublin taxi driver and Nissan Leaf owner, explaining how one passenger couldn’t get over how comfortable the car was and that was how they described it. I got chatting to Peter while making a short video case study for our website recently. Obviously having an interest in Electric vehicles (EVs) myself, I wanted to hear more about his personal experiences. As it turns out he’s had the car for the past 12 months and so far is really enjoying the savings he’s making as well as the conversations it throws up. ‘The car is so relaxing to drive, more than I could h Read More

 
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Irish researchers advance cutting-edge solutions for a low carbon energy system

The recently published National Strategy and Roadmap for Energy Research in Ireland sets out an ambitious vision for world class energy-related research in this country. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) plays a key role in delivering on this vision through promoting, coordinating and assisting research, development and demonstration of sustainable energy technologies. This is a central part of SEAI’s remit which is to support solutions to overcome technical and other barriers to market deployment of sustainable energy technologies and to provide an authoritative evidence-base to inform policy making. Read More

 
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Senior management commitment is bedrock of public sector energy efficiency

As you drive along a well-lit street, attend a parent-teacher meeting, visit a local library or simply turn on a tap, the energy used to power these public services is probably not at the front of your mind.However this energy costs the public sector, and the State, almost €700 million annually which is why it matters to all of us.In the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan the government set a target for the public sector to be 33% more energy efficient by 2020. This is ahead of the general 20% target for the economy, recognising that the public sector should lead and be an exemplar to others. Perhaps even more cri Read More

 
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GIS: Helping maximise the value of Ireland’s renewable energy resources

SEAI launched a new Energy Geographical Information System (GIS) in 2015 to support the development of new sustainable energy schemes in Ireland. We are honoured that this effort and investment was recently recognised with a Special Achievement Award in GIS at the 2016 Esri International Conference in California in June. The award recognises and rewards organisations that have used GIS to improve the world and set new precedents throughout the GIS community. SEAI was the only Irish winner among 167 winning organisations from over 300,000 eligible candidate projects across a broad range of sectors.The power of GIS syst Read More

 
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Galway Bay – playing a big role in harnessing Ireland’s ocean energy

SeaFest GalwayIt’s extraordinary that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about 70% of the surface of the world i.e. the seabed. That was one of many new things that I learned at SeaFest, a four day maritime conference and festival held at the start of July in Galway.SeaFest, now in its third year, is a collaboration by numerous organisations that support the marine sectors in Ireland and this was its first time to be staged in Galway. The record 60,000 attendance across the open events and the various conferences demonstrates the interest in all things marine. It was an ideal host location, particul Read More

 
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Energy Communities - Learning from the Past and Our Peers

I’m always surprised how many people I talk to, outside of the energy industry, that don’t realise that on average Ireland currently generates almost a quarter of its annual electricity requirements from renewables. In fact of the 2020 sustainable energy targets, we are actually making best progress in the area of renewable electricity. The majority of this comes from wind. Often, on very windy days, the contribution from wind to electricity generation can be over 50%. Despite these great inroads, there is a need for a significant second push to get us to the required targets by the end of 2020. For this to succeed, i Read More

 
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Competing forces in our energy system

At SEAI we are committed to publishing up-to-date statistics so that data users, including the public, policy-makers, scientists and industry, are equipped with the necessary data and indicators to help address Ireland's energy challenges. Around this time every year we issue provisional energy balance figures, to give an early indication of initial energy trends for the year past. The figures just published for 2015 demonstrate some of the competing forces at work within our energy system, for example, economic growth, renewable energy deployment and fossil fuel prices.On economic growth, we see early indications of Read More

 
Public Sector Report launch

Public Sector Energy Partnerships – Pursuing the Prize

SEAI Shortlisted for the EU Sustainable Energy AwardsThis week at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, we were delighted to hear the news that our Public Sector Energy Partnership programme has been shortlisted for this year's prestigious EU Sustainable Energy Awards. The programme is one of only nine shortlisted from over 200 nominations Europe-wide, so already we are in esteemed company. My colleague and I will attend a gala event in Brussels on June 14th to find out if we take the winning spot. Fingers crossed.Now I know it could sound a little arrogant to say that I wasn't at all that surprised by the deci Read More

 
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Big Round of Applause for Energy Champions

SEAI has just launched the Sustainable Energy Awards 2016, calling on organisations large and small to build on the €1billion in energy savings already achieved by competition entrants over the last 13 years. We applaud those entrants and category winners, as we do every year. But what about all the other energy champions who haven't been nominated or shortlisted for an Award. We shouldn't just overlook these unsung heroes, who humbly pursue their trade in the background.In the past couple of years we have experienced very welcome GDP growth. Fortunately this economic growth has not been accompanied by an equivalent g Read More

 

Internet of Things Key to Reducing Home Energy Use

It might surprise you to know that the residential sector accounts for a quarter of Ireland's energy use and produces a quarter of our energy related CO2 emissions. (Energy in Ireland 2015 report) Quite frankly that is unsustainable. There really has to be a better ways for us to heat and light our homes and use appliances, that could cost us less personally and help us all play our part in meeting our climate change obligations. The long term target has to be zero-energy homes and disruptive technology will be a key driver.Over the past few years hundreds of thousands of homeowners have upgraded their home heating an Read More

 
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Opportunity knocks for Ireland’s Clean Energy Sector after COP21

Every year The Energy Show shines a light on the burgeoning sustainable energy sector. This year, following COP21 in Paris things might feel even more upbeat. In December history was made when 200 countries reached an agreement signalling the beginning of the end for fossil fuels and carbon in global energy systems. As a result Ireland will undergo fundamental changes in where we get our energy from and how we use it. The benefits include reduced import dependence, increased security of supply, more affordable energy and also environmental benefits.This ambition is reflected in the recently published Energy White Pape Read More

 
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