Renewable Energy

Smart Move

Why the government must get smart metering right
The introduction of smart metering later this year presents a great opportunity to engage Irish people en masse into substantially reducing their energy consumption, simply by showing them how much electricity they’re consuming, and how much the cost varies at different times of the day. However, as Richard Douthwaite warns, there is a real risk that smart metering may come in a form that benefits the electricity companies and not the end-user.

Static electricity

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The announcement in 2007 of the introduction of Smart electricity metering led to widespread hope that Ireland could set a global example by empowering consumers to cut electricity use and generate their own renewable electricity. John Hearne investigates current progress on the initiative, and discovers signs that Ireland’s approach to smart metering could represent a missed opportunity.

Renewable Energy Grants (Jeff Colley)

The first scheme of renewable energy grants for Irish homeowners, the Greener Homes Scheme, was launched on Monday 27th March 2006 and will make grant funding available to homeowners looking to install renewable energy heating technology
The first scheme of renewable energy grants for Irish homeowners, the Greener Homes Scheme, was launched on Monday 27th March 2006 and will make grant funding available to homeowners looking to install renewable energy heating technology

21st century fox

Detached home gets passive house makeover in Foxrock
Government incentives are crucial to sparking a massive energy upgrade of our housing stock, but practical examples are just as important. Keen to push his home's energy performance to the limits, one Dublin homeowner overhauled his entire building fabric and installed renewable heating systems and heat recovery ventilation. Lenny Antonelli visited the house.

How low can we go?

As our recognition of the problems of dwindling fossil fuel supplies and climate change grows, the need to reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of our homes becomes increasingly apparent. Leading energy consultant Patrick Waterfield describes why and how we should switch to zero heating homes.
As our recognition of the problems of dwindling fossil fuel supplies and climate change grows, the need to reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of our homes becomes increasingly apparent. Leading energy consultant Patrick Waterfield describes why and how we should switch to zero heating homes.

Measured efforts

How SEI’s pilot energy refurb initiative is shaping up
Earlier this year constructireland.ie broke the news of the introduction of the pilot Home Energy Saving Scheme, a new grant funding programme designed to stimulate the en masse refurbishment of Ireland’s poorly performing existing housing stock. John Hearne travelled to one of the pilot areas to see how the scheme is working on the ground, and discover how the scheme is developing.

Full Circuit

Why Ireland’s electricity market must balance local AND global transmission
Planning ahead for Ireland’s electricity supply is by no means a simple matter, given the range of unprecedented issues that are coming to the fore.  Massive cuts in emissions must be achieved, whilst decisive action is required to ensure adequate supply of electricity at a time when usage is spiraling. Richard Douthwaite explains the balance that Ireland must achieve between efficient local generation and usage and ensuring optimal interconnection to global renewable electricity supply

Heat of the Moment

Heating Technologies Explained
John Hearne spoke to a number of independent energy experts to develop an impartial view of the main sustainable heating options.

Critical mass

Critical Mass
Thermal mass can significantly influence a building’s space heating requirement – in some cases the effect is to increase it, and in others to reduce it. Leading energy consultant Ciaran King of Emerald Energy explains how this occurs, and by describing an assessment of the topic, provides some rules of thumb regarding when thermal mass may be beneficial, and when it may be detrimental.

Super powers

Super Powers
The development of sustainable building in Ireland has had to wait for the public to become concerned about energy supply, climate change, and the implications of living in draughty, damp buildings.  Much of the established low energy know-how emanates from countries where cold winters drove innovation. Drawing from 50 years of research and development between the Canadian government and housing industry, the Super E programme may be just what Ireland needs, as John Hearne discovered at a new development in Rosslare.