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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.