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IERC Hosts EnerConf: Consultation Workshop

Posted on: 04 Jul 2022

IERC Hosts EnerConf: Consultation Workshop
Brian O Regan IERC, Gregg Allen CEO Community Power and Padraig Lyons IERC

IERC Hosts EnerConf: Consultation Workshop - The Future of Community Energy in Ireland and the 5th Meeting of the Global Observatory on Peer-to-Peer, Community Self-Consumption and Transactive Energy Models (GO-P2P).

The IERC held a series of events to bring attention to and address some of the challenges associated with the development of energy communities. Experts from across the globe came to Tyndall National Institute, Cork.

The sessions of the consultation workshop, held on the first day of the conference, aimed to answer some of the most challenging questions around Community Energy:
•    Why do we need community energy to enable Ireland’s low carbon future?
•    What are and will be the key barriers and enablers to community energy?
•    What do policy makers to develop local energy markets?

The conference comprised of a mixture of guest speakers, a panel session and multiple breakout sessions to get to the heart of these questions and was attended by 75 experts from across the globe who attended both in person, in Tyndall National Institute and online. 

The keynote speaker for the workshop was Community Power CEO, Gregg Allen. Community Power is Ireland’s first community owned licenced electricity supply company. Gregg took the audience on a fascinating journey beginning with the initial vision of a community owned windfarm, in 2000, to the final energisation of Templederry Windfarm in 2015 and looking forward to its further development in the coming years. 

The second day of EnerConf comprised of the 5th Meeting of the Global Observatory on Peer-to-Peer, Community Self-Consumption and Transactive Energy Models (GO-P2P).  The Global Observatory is a forum for international collaboration to understand the policy, regulatory, social and technological conditions necessary to support the wider deployment of peer-to-peer, community self-consumption and transactive energy models. The Observatory includes over 200 participating experts on peer-to-peer energy trading/transactive energy and community/collective self-consumption models from all over the world, representing academia, industry, and non-profits.

Dr Pádraig Lyons, Head of Group in IERC, who chaired the panel session at the consultation workshop stated:
“It is clear that community energy can have a significant role enabling the targets for decarbonisation for 2030 laid out in the Climate Action Plan and ultimately our journey towards net zero. Getting community buy-in for new renewable energy projects and infrastructure is going to be really challenging and community energy can help with this.

Furthermore, incentivising and encouraging customers to consume and produce energy in the right places and the right time on electrical networks will be crucial. Community energy can also support this. Much needs to be done however in terms of policy and incentives to make this a reality. We are looking to support the community energy ecosystem with this workshop, supported by experts in this field from across the globe, and share concrete steps to enable Ireland a leader in a community energy enabled low carbon future.”

The IERC will produce a report, later this year, summarising the key outputs from the workshop, to ensure that Ireland’s community energy ecosystem benefits from the robust discussions and opinions shared, from the assembled experts from across the globe, which will support the advancement of community energy in Ireland.