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Comhar SDC has published a policy paper on Community Renewable Energy in Ireland.

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Comhar SDC has published a policy paper on Community Renewable Energy in Ireland.


This policy paper explores the status of community renewable energy in Ireland, identifies the barriers to developing community renewable energy and outlines potential options to overcome these barriers.


A balanced renewable energy solution for Ireland should be an integrated mix of large, small, community and micro-scale development from various sources. Community based energy generation can play an important part in job creation, local income generation, enhancing support for renewable projects and ensuring community involvement in Ireland’s transition to a low carbon society.


However, communities face several barriers which make it difficult to establish renewable energy projects. This paper identifies these barriers and looks to international experience, academic journal articles and reports from different stakeholders to identify potential options for encouraging community renewable energy.


Download the document here: 2011-11_CommunityEnergyIreland_rpt.pdf


Title and excerpt from summary:


Community Renewable Energy in Ireland:

Status, barriers and potential options

Policy Paper1

November 2011

Comhar SDC and Trinity College Dublin


Executive Summary

The aim of this research is to examine the status of community renewable energy in

Ireland, to identify the barriers to developing community renewable energy and outline

potential options to overcome these barriers. This research involved a combination of

desktop research and stakeholder engagement.


Renewable Energy in Ireland

Renewable energy contributes to meeting three important energy goals; energy security,

cost competitiveness and environmental sustainability. Ireland has ambitious climate

change and renewable energy targets, which are framed in the context of international

and European agreements, as well as its own independent targets.

In Ireland, renewables only make up a very small percentage of current energy

consumption and primary renewable production is low compared to other European

countries. However, this situation is starting to change and renewable sources of energy

have grown rapidly this decade, particularly the share of electricity from renewable

energy. The share of heat from renewable energy also demonstrates a modest increase.

The main sources of renewable energy in order of contribution to Gross Final

Consumption are wind, biomass, hydro and liquid biofuels. Ireland has excellent wind

resources and it is the most rapidly growing source of renewable energy in Ireland.

Bioenergy also constitutes a large percentage of renewable energy and dominates

Ireland’s renewable energy contribution to thermal energy requirements.



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