Environmental groups have criticised the EU's new Energy Efficiency Directive for failing to mandate member states to make big energy savings over the next decade.
According to the European Commission, the plan will deliver 20% energy savings across the union by 2020. However, Friends of the Earth said the directive would "not make savings to the extent promised, or on the scale needed to fight climate change".
Energy minister Eamon Ryan has announced that the government plans to recoup some of the profits big electricity generators have made through the EU's emissions trading scheme.
The mainstreaming of sustainable building technologies is manifesting itself in a growing number of developers seeking to find the greener option. Jason Walsh describes a recent project where airtight timber frame construction meets high-tech solar thermal in a North Dublin House of Tomorrow funded scheme which is delivering low carbon results
The need to reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption from buildings has never been more immediate. There is a growing consensus that we must reduce our dependence on rapidly depleting, carbon intensive fossil fuels, which, amongst other things, will involve overhauling how buildings are designed, constructed and used.
Lime-hemp is developing as a bio composite construction material with serious ecological and energy advantages. Patrick Daly, lecturer in Environmental Design at DIT Bolton St. asks if this is the environmental material of the future and explores its mainstreaming potential.