The Loop Head Peninsula is preparing for the 21st Century’s energy revolution

Loop Head Together looks deep into its energy needs
1 year 8 months ago

Leading on from the creation of the Loop Head Energy Action Partnership (LEAP) in early 2020 by local development organisations on the Loop, Flensburg University and AstonECO Management, a programme for LEAP is now nearly underway for 2021.

Along with the creation of an energy model capturing the current reality on the peninsula, LEAP will be running a 6-week evening introductory course to prepare for the 21st Century’s energy revolution on the Loop Head Peninsula.

The course will facilitate an easy understanding of the key concepts of energy. It will also examine the links between energy, local livelihoods and community development. It will develop critical thinking and provide access to information and resources to affect useful change. By the end of the course, participants will be able to use the Loop Head Peninsula Energy Balance Model to examine alternative energy options going forward.

The course will assume no prior knowledge of energy. The entry requirement is to be motivated to examine how the energy cycle of the Loop might benefit from change.

The training will take place each Monday and Wednesday online from 8pm to 10pm. See www.loopheadtogether.ie for an outline of the course. Please contact John at john.aston@astoneco.com 0852153765 if you would like further information or to take part in the course. The course will start on the 1st Feb 2021, and will run until the 10th March 2021.

This will run as a Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board pilot project under a partnership with Loop Head Together, with support from the West Clare Municipal District SEC, SEAI and Clare Local Development Company. The existing partners of Flensburg University, Loop Head tourism and AstonECO Management will continue to support, as will the new partner of the Samso Energy Academy.

Leading on from the creation of the Loop Head Energy Action Partnership (LEAP) in early 2020 by local development organisations on the Loop, Flensburg University and AstonECO Management, a programme for LEAP is now nearly underway for 2021.

Along with the creation of an energy model capturing the current reality on the peninsula, LEAP will be running a 6-week evening introductory course to prepare for the 21st Century’s energy revolution on the Loop Head Peninsula.

The course will facilitate an easy understanding of the key concepts of energy. It will also examine the links between energy, local livelihoods and community development. It will develop critical thinking and provide access to information and resources to affect useful change. By the end of the course, participants will be able to use the Loop Head Peninsula Energy Balance Model to examine alternative energy options going forward.

The course will assume no prior knowledge of energy. The entry requirement is to be motivated to examine how the energy cycle of the Loop might benefit from change.

The training will take place each Monday and Wednesday online from 8pm to 10pm. See www.loopheadtogether.ie for an outline of the course. Please contact John at john.aston@astoneco.com 0852153765 if you would like further information or to take part in the course. The course will start on the 1st Feb 2021, and will run until the 10th March 2021.

This will run as a Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board pilot project under a partnership with Loop Head Together, with support from the West Clare Municipal District SEC, SEAI and Clare Local Development Company. The existing partners of Flensburg University, Loop Head tourism and AstonECO Management will continue to support, as will the new partner of the Samso Energy Academy.

“From our first conversation with John O Malley, senior executive officer CCC, and subsequent meetings with Gloria Callinan, CLDC, Gearoid Fitzgibbon, SEAI, and Triona Lynch, LCETB, it’s been nothing but positive action. The first meeting was held just before Christmas and here we are in mid-January with the course program being finalized by John Aston of Astoneco, and the first workshops being rolled in February. That is testament to really great inter agency co-operation.” Cllr. Joe Garrihy

“I’m delighted to see the Loop Head Together group being used as the pilot for this course, there has been a very busy year for this group and shows how a community that has a strong strategic focus, and is prepared to work together to achieve it. When we set up the West Clare MD sustainable energy community one of the first things we felt needed doing was to inform and capacity build our local community members so everyone really understood the opportunities that renewable energy offers us here on the west coast. This course is a great first step and we are delighted to see this workshop being rolled out so quickly.”

Cllr. Cillian Murphy

Category

Our Mission

To cultivate clarity, partnerships and management processes within and between organisations, communities and authorities to make projects that everyone wants.

Our Values

Respect. We respect each other, our clients, our partners and the right of everyone to take part in decisions that affect them.

Clarity. We strive for clear understanding by all stakeholders of current realities, objectives, risks, aspirations and opportunities, in order to enable informed decisions.

Creativity. We work to stimulate creativity in thought and action, with a view to reach common objectives and mobilise required innovations.

Can-do. We believe there are solutions to our shared challenges and we know that together we can realise them.

Our Vision

Organisations, communities, government bodies and individuals are successful through contributing to a prosperous and sustainable society.

Programme Overview

This document gives an overview of the project and some of its key considerations.

The project researched, developed, trailed & critically examined a successful approach* to enable developers and project neighbours to design energy projects wanted by both, through an inclusive and informed decision making process.

Results, guidance and case studies are provided to build confidence in the use of this approach

* Successfully applied to over 20 infrastructure, energy and natural resource projects in 10 countries.

Situation Analysis

When it comes to wind farms in Ireland, there are those who are totally in favour, those who are totally opposed, and many in between. Where do these vastly differing viewpoints come from?

Listening to, understanding and acknowledging the perspectives of neighbours, industry and government enables effective discussions in the decision making process.

Literature Review

Early on in the project, the solutions being offered through the building of a Social License to Operate (SLO) were examined through this literature review. The review digs deep into the opportunities & challenges therein.

The SLO concept is used extensively in the extractive industries. More recently it has been applied to wind farms.

Core to the approach is the examination and addressing of distributional and procedural justice issues as well as potential negative externalities associated with their operations

Guide to earning local support for energy projects in Ireland

While project developers put significant effort into a project’s readiness for finance, a strategic focus on what the project means for local communities is equally important.

This often requires a place where all potentially impacted individuals can find out the full facts of what is being proposed, before a project is designed.

But how can such a process be established? This guide looks at a process to do this.

Local Support Checklist

Experience from projects with potential community impacts – be it renewable energy infrastructure, natural resource developments, tourism or infrastructure – shows that there are some basic steps that a project developer, and a community, ignore at their peril.

This Quick Guide acts as an aid memoire to ensure these steps are taken in time.

Case Studies

Busy people want to see that an approach can deliver before adopting it. Especially an approach that requires some change and significant investment in time and resources.

If other peers in the industry have not tried it out yet and proven it works then this is more so the case. It would be nice if all solutions were de-risked before having to choose them. But being a leader in the field also has its benefits.

A series of projects have been undertaken to help demonstrate and build confidence in the approach outlined in the Guide to design projects wanted by both neighbours and developers.

To focus in on detail, each project demonstrates different combinations of aspects of the Guide.

Some of these case studies are named and are ongoing; others have preferred to remain unnamed for now.

 

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Next steps

Turning current community concerns into strengths through re-imagining how the wind industry designs projects is a great opportunity to significantly improve the earning of local support.

It also has great potential to contribute to another government policy pillar besides that of decarbonisation our economy: namely to meet our sustainable development goals.

To facilitate this, an accelerated process to address the concerns of decision makers so they have the confidence to embrace this opportunity is needed.

This section documents further work and research that will help this happen.