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Community Energy

We need to get off fossil fuels fast.  Ireland has excellent renewable energy resources, but our energy system uses fossil fuels for about 80% of its energy needs in transport, heating and electricity. 

At Friends of the Earth we are working to make sure that Ireland’s energy system is fit for the future, with no more investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, no more exploration for fossil fuels and an energy system that values and supports citizens and communities participating in and benefiting from our renewable energy transition. 

 

Logo PortraitWe have teamed up with energy co-operatives around Ireland, and Community Power, Ireland’s first community owned electricity supplier to build Ireland’s first community based virtual power plant. And today, you can support too if by switching your electricity to Community Power.  We switched the Friends of the Earth office so that we are buying our electricity from community owned hydro and wind power, and we are saving money too!  

 

Click here to switch to Community Power!

We know many of the rules that govern how energy is produced, sold and shared here in Ireland does not work for small or local energy groups, and that is just not fair. 

For the Love of SolarSo, we are demanding policy and legislative changes to allow microgenerators participate fairly in the energy transition. Sign our petition here to demand a change in the planning permission restrictions so that the solar rooftop revolution can be unleashed and small solar generators can sell their excess power producing income for themselves and their communities. 

Our For the Love of Solar demands:

  • To allow small and community owned renewable energy projects a fair opportunity to connect to the national grid and build community owned projects, such as solar or wind farms.
  • To ensure that Ireland implements the EU Clean Energy Package into Irish law, on time and in full. This Directive gives citizens and community energy groups new rights to store, sell, and trade in renewable energy and is a game changer for all European citizens. 

Click here to sign our petition!

And, we are putting solar panels on schools. With our ‘For the Love of Solar’ solar schools project, we have sourced funding to install solar panels on schools. Our schools competition asked schools to come up with local projects on climate action, and the winners will get solar panels for their school roof!

We're also engaging the public through workshops, street stalls, webinars, training sessions and much more. Join our mailing list for updates on this campaign and ways to take action.

Catch up on Community Energy - October 2020

Issued in the blog on October 19, 2020 at 11:30:00.

Copy of Catch up on Community Energy FB

After years of campaigning on Community Energy, things are now looking bright! Last month Eirgrid held the first ever Irish renewable electricity auction, which gave the go ahead to 82 wind and solar parks, including two community owned solar parks from our partners at Community Power.

Community Power is Irelands first every 100% renewable and community owned electricity provider. You can switch your home or work electricity provider to Community Energy and know that you are supporting the change with clean, green and sound energy. 

Read the full entry »

Community Power Success!

Issued in news on September 11, 2020 at 09:39:00.

Cutting the ribbon with templederry community

Community Power Success!
New support for community owned renewables puts power in the people's hands

The results of the first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme Auction (RESS 1) were announced today, granting support for 82 wind and solar projects (including 8 community led projects).  This support scheme will see a further 2,200 GWh of renewable electricity generated in Ireland.

Among the winners includes two solar parks with Community Power in Counties Mayo and Galway. 

Read the full entry »

Catching up on Community Energy

Issued in the blog on June 17, 2020 at 23:01:00.

Upperchurch_School pic with logo in sky

Covid-19 created some delays for our Solar Schools 2020 winners but we will soon be back on track getting solar panels on their roofs. This year we had 8 winners and 8 runners up. Our winning schools will be generating their own clean energy and championing the solar revolution in Ireland.

Congratulations to all our winners!

We can’t wait to work with these primary and secondary schools and get going with their local climate action projects.

Special congratulations to St Munchins in Limerick who became the newest Solar School this month! Their newly installed6 kw array of solar PV panels will generate about 5,070 kWh per year for the school, to power lights, computers, photocopiers etc., saving about €800 while avoiding 3,000kg of CO2 a year.

Solar Panels on School

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Energy Democracy & Community Power Webinar

Issued in the blog on March 25, 2020 at 18:26:00.

Watch it back in full, online! (1)

Thank you to our panelists and participants for tuning into our webinar 'Energy Democracy & Community Power' yesterday evening.

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trócaire, Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency and John Fogarty of Community Power, Ireland’s first community owned electricity supplier joined us for a lively discussion on the question;

How can we build energy democracy in our communities so that everyone has access to community power?

 

If you missed it, you can watch it back here in the video below.

Join the energy revolution, switch your electricity supplier to Community Power today - click here to make the switch!

For more on Trócaire - click here, and for more on Tipperary Energy Agency - click here.

Solar Schools 2020 and the winners are

Issued in the blog on March 13, 2020 at 09:36:00.

Solar Schools Flyer_0001

Voting and judging for Solar Schools 2020 is now complete.  The winners were judged by an independent judging panel following the results of an online public vote. 

Schools were tasked with coming up with an idea for a local climate action project.  And as expected, students in Ireland have fantastic ideas.  The winners will now complete their climate action project, and will get solar pv panels designed and installed at their school. 

We are very grateful for financial support for this project from the following organisations.  It would not be possible without them. 

funders

The winners for Solar Schools 2020 are:

Primary Schools
Winners

Guardian Angels, Blackrock, Co Dublin
St Brigids National School Grange, Co Carlow
Scoil Naomh Brid, Co Donegal
Mercy Moyderwell, Tralees, Co Kerry

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Energy Democracy and Community Power

Issued in the blog on March 10, 2020 at 12:22:00.

Edited poster energy democracy webinar

This event, due to happen in Nenagh, has now moved *online.

The date and time remain the same: Tuesday March 24th at 7pm

*Those who register will receive an email with a link to join a Zoom webinar, with instructions on how to join. We still have a limited number of places for the webinar so registration is on a first come first served basis.

How can we build energy democracy in our communities so that everyone has access to community power?

Read the full entry »

Power for the People

Issued in news on March 09, 2020 at 17:34:00.

Logo Portrait

Power for the people  - Renewable Electricity auction now open for community energy

The first auction for the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 1) is open for applications from today, Monday 9th March, with the first auction due to take place over the summer. It is the first time community led renewable energy projects will be recognised and supported in Ireland.

Over 3,300 Gwhrs of renewable electricity will be auctioned for all renewable electricity technologies in this auction, which is expected to deliver a 30% increase. Communities are encouraged to develop their own renewable energy projects through the separate community preference category.

Kate Ruddock, deputy director at Friends of the Earth commented,

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Solar Schools - For the Love of Solar

Issued in the blog on February 24, 2020 at 22:09:00.

web - Copy

Voting is now live for the Friends of the Earth Solar Schools 2020 competition!!

Our 'For the love of solar' competition is deisgned to help schools all over Ireland to go solar. With thanks to our generous funders, next week we willl be announcing at least 8 schools as winners of solar panels, 4 primary and 4 secondary schools.  But really, we think every school should be a solar school. In fact we think every school, community building, sports club and local authority should go solar, to generate clean renewbale energy right from their rooftops. 

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We've Switched our Power - and you can too?

Issued in the blog on February 20, 2020 at 12:18:00.

Logo Portrait

We have been working for years to support policy and legislation changes to enable people and communities take part in the energy transition.  And now, it's becoming real!  Our great friends and partners in the development of Ireland's first Community based Virtual Power Plant, Community Power have become a licenced supplier of electricity, and we've just switch our office electricity so we are buying electricity that is clean, renewable and owned by citizens and communities. And today, if you have a house, business or community enterprise, you can switch too!

Read the full entry »

For The Love Of Solar! 2 Weeks To Go!

Issued in the blog on January 31, 2020 at 14:12:00.

Solar Schools Flyer_0001

WIN SOLAR PANELS for your local school!

Young people all over Ireland calling for climate action while sitting in classrooms and learning in old buildings powered by fossil fuels. Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth are building a movement behind solar power in Ireland, that’s why we are running a competition to put solar panels on schools

Enter Now!!

This competition is an excellent opportunity for communities to participate in renewable energy generation, and schools are the ideal place for valuable community-based education to occur. The competition will play an important role in encouraging communities to take the first step on their sustainable energy journey.

Read the full entry »

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