An average Irish person consumes a staggering 3,600 litres of water per day, 97% of which outside the home. The indirect use includes water used to produce the goods and services we consume – or ‘embodied’ water. This blog of the Institute of International and European Affairs provides a striking visual as to how we use water – 87% for agricultural products, including 27% for meat, 10% for milk and 8% for cereals. As in many develop Western countries, Irish consumers and businesses have externalised their water footprint, importing water-intensive goods from abroad. But as climate change and population growth place increasing pressure on water resources, it is imperative for businesses and governments to cut direct water consumption and supply chain consumption to sustainable levels. Find out more about ways for businesses and governments to cut direct water consumption and supply chain consumption to sustainable levels by watching Prof. Hoekstra’s (University of Twente, NL) presentation at the IIEA.
Xavier Dubuisson, MD of XD Consulting, was invited to give a presentation at the Solar Energy Workshop “Reviewing the status and strategy of Ireland’s Solar Industry” organised by the Tyndall National Institute in Cork last week. This event was organised by Tyndall in conjunction with the International Energy Research Centre (IERC) and supported by Enterprise Ireland through the ENIAC FP7 project ERG (www.eniac-erg.org). The grathering and presentations demonstrated the vibrancy and quality of the research activity undertaken by Irish academic institutions and industry, and the linkage it has at international level. There was also a robust debate about the need for solar technology, in particular PV, to come out of the woods in Ireland and to be given an integral and significant part in the sustainable energy policy agenda here.
In his talk, Xavier gave an overview of XD Consulting’s work with Sustainable Energy Communities and the initial results of our Renewable Energy Roadmap project with Transition Kerry and Kerry County Council. He emphasized the rationale for solar photovoltaic energy to play a central role in community-based green energy initiatives and discussed his most recent findings on the economics of PV in Ireland – showing return on investment of at least 8% (IRR) in commercial-scale projects with conservative assumptions. With all the talk in town being about grid-parity of PV in sunnier climates (Eddie O’Connor states in his last blog that new solar PV and new coal are almost at the same price in South Africa and New Zealand), we are not far off PV becoming competitve in Ireland. Do not hesitate to contact us for details on our analysis and the services we provide in the area of solar technologies.
A selection of slides from Xavier’s presentation:
Xavier Dubuisson participated to a seminar organised by Transition Town Corca Dhuibhne in Dingle on Saturday 26 January. The event focussed on local energy planning and the role of communities in taking responsability for the development of their future energy systems. The event took place at the Goat Street Cafe (well worth a visit for coffee or lunch if you are in town) and was attended by a lively, passionate group of people. Here is a copy of the slides used by Xavier to introduce the Kerry Sustainable Energy Community Roadmap study undertaken by XD Sustainable Energy Consulting on behalf of Transition Kerry and Kerry County Council, and to offer a vision for the movement towards 100% renewable energy communities.
Community group Transition Kerry has launched a project which aims to make Kerry the first county in Ireland to produce 100% of its energy from local renewable sources. It will demonstrate how Kerry can switch from its high reliance on imported fossil fuels to a decentralised energy system harnessing local energy resources for the benefit of its community. Instead of haemorrhaging hundreds of millions of euros every year in energy bills, the people of Kerry can invest in their own sustainable energy infrastructure. The project will be mapped out by XD Sustainable Energy Consulting Ltd over the next 6 months in co-operation with the Kerry Sustainable Energy Community initiative. This research has been commissioned by Transition Kerry and is co-funded by South Kerry Development Partnership and North East Kerry Development Partnership. The research project will involve three steps: Firstly, it will analyse the current energy usage in the county, the cost to its economy and how much of this could be saved. Secondly, it will investigate the potential of different renewable energy resources, such as wind, sun, wave and biomass and then recommend the optimal energy mix for a 100% locally-produced renewable energy supply. Thirdly, the group will investigate suitable models for community-led development of renewable energy projects and define a practical roadmap for the next 20 years that will maximise job and wealth creation in the county.
Ciaran Nugent, Chair of Transition Kerry Energy Group said “We are very excited by this project. It will give us a strategy to move forward with the practical implementation of our 100% renewable energy vision for the county. We look forward to engage with the people and businesses of Kerry in that regard”.
In the short term, the work of this study will contribute to the much needed Covenant of Mayors report, which is due to be submitted by Kerry County Council in January 2013.