One hundred community energy co-operatives in Ireland have signed a proclamation laying out their vision for local community projects that improve energy efficiency and promote green energy. They say that a move to local generation could save money and investment closer to communities growing employment and making them more sustainable.
The Community Energy Proclamation lays out its vision for a different energy future: “Our Vision is for a transition to a clean, secure energy future for our citizens in an Ireland where communities, whether organised as co-operatives, voluntary associations or individual citizens, are active participants in energy planning, conservation, energy generation and energy distribution or ‘Community Energy’ as it is more commonly known.”
An increase in locally generated energy can make demands on the electricity grid and this concern has been raised. Environmental campaigner Duncan Stewart said this concern is no longer valid. He pointed to new smart micro energy grid technology as an enabler for the trend and important in hastening the move to a low carbon economy.
The Proclamation calls for changes to financial incentives and support structures also. In particular, a “renewable heat” incentive could assist district heating schemes.