An EU funded project on sustainable technologies involving communities in Dundalk, Switzerland and Austria has achieved in excess of €20 million in energy savings, €10 million of which were achieved in Dundalk.
The outcomes of the HOLISTIC Project (Holistic Optimisation Leading to Integration of Sustainable Technologies In Communities) were presented to the international partners at the final project board meeting in Dundalk which was hosted by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Louth County Council.
The three international towns involved in the HOLISTIC project were Neuchatel in Switzerland, Modling in Austria and Dundalk.
The six year project, had a budget of approximately €10 million, over €3m for each community.
It leveraged over €50m in additional investment, and enabled the completion of 25 sustainable energy projects across Europe.
Brian Motherway, Chief Executive of SEAI said that in Dundalk, the project assisted the development of the national Better Energy Communities Programme which this year assisted 47 projects with local investments of over €20 million.
He said the government has given a firm commitment that initiatives like HOLISTIC in Dundalk can be replicated with the announcement of additional stimulus funds to be provided to the SEAI Better Energy Programme in 2014, which includes Better Energy Communities.
Councillor Eamon O’Boyle, chairman of Dundalk Town Council said it “was a fantastic project to be involved in where Dundalk benefitted from almost €10 million in energy savings. As a community, Dundalk has led from the front and shown great example by embracing sustainable energy technologies”.
Projects in Dundalk included a pilot of smart meters and home energy efficiency upgrades to Local Authority homes, along with efficiency improvements to the Louth County Hospital and O’Fiaich College.
The HOLISTIC (Holistic Optimisation Leading to Integration of Sustainable Technologies In Communities) project was one of nine projects successfully evaluated by the European Commission to work on a Concerto II project. It is one of two projects in Ireland working under this programme; the other project is the Cloughjordan sustainable village project.
The Irish partners in the HOLISTIC project are:
4. ESB Networks
5. Louth County Council
6. Dundalk Town Council
7. Louth VEC
8. Louth Creative Craft Hub
The CONCERTO initiative is part of the Europe’s Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, supervised by the DG Energy of the European Commission.