NUI Galway, lead coordinators of the €3.7 million pan-European Horizon 2020 project, ENERGISE (European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy), along with their partner collaborators, have launched an online database of best practice examples of energy initiatives from 30 European countries including Ireland. The database was launched this week in Brussels as part of European Sustainable Energy Week.
In ENERGISE, sustainable energy consumption initiatives are defined as activities that deal with reducing energy related carbon dioxide emissions from households. This can either be in reducing the actual energy consumption or substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.
In response to the increasingly urgent climate change challenge, the European Commission is promoting several climate and energy targets with the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonise the economy. However, the current pace and scale of change is insufficient to achieve the necessary sustainability transitions in the energy system as there is an increasing realisation that meeting energy targets is highly dependent on several complex aspects of final energy consumption patterns or energy demand.
Recognising these concerns, the innovative ENERGISE research initiative aims to achieve a greater scientific understanding of the social and cultural influences on energy consumption. The project develops, tests and assesses options for a bottom-up transformation of energy use in households and communities across Europe.
The ENERGISE research team has conducted a systematic classification of over 1,000 existing sustainable energy consumption initiatives from 30 European countries. The open access online database informs users about the content, scale and objectives of sustainable energy consumption initiatives that specifically address final consumption, as well as providing an assessment of how the challenge of addressing excessive energy consumption is understood.
Dr Frances Fahy, lead coordinator of the ENERGISE project from NUI Galway, said: “The database and interactive map will be an invaluable resource for energy practitioners, researchers, community groups or anyone seeking good practice examples of energy initiatives from all over Europe.”
Examples of sustainable energy consumption initiatives in Ireland and how they approach the challenge of climate change and the need for energy use reduction:
- Changes in Complex Interactions – Cloughjordan Eco-Village in Tipperary – An eco-village that promotes sustainable ways of living and encourages knowledge exchange across different levels of society.
- Changes in Everyday Life Situations – Power of One Street – This initiative was about changing energy practices, educating those involved in the study about how to reduce their energy consumption, and setting them a challenge to do just this.
- Changes in Individuals’ Behaviour – Be Your Own Energy Manager – This is a ‘train the trainer’ programme which began in a housing estate in County Louth.
- Changes in Technology – Renewable Energy Dublin (CODEMA and Dublin City Council) – The project promotes the uptake of renewable energy in Dublin through free access to and interaction with up-to-date information on renewable technology installations and capacity in County Dublin.
The ENERGISE project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for three years (2016-2019). The consortium includes ten research partners (universities, research institutes, enterprises and NGOs) from Ireland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
For more information about ENERGISE or if you if you know of sustainable energy consumption initiatives that are not yet included in the database, visit: http://www.energise-project.eu/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: NUI Galway