18/12/2012 Opportunities in the Green Economy Booklet Launched

18 December 2012

Press Release

Opportunities in the Green Economy Booklet Launched 

Donegal County Council is pleased to launch a booklet outlining the proceedings of the “Opportunities in the Green Economy” Conference held in Lough Eske Castle in September 2012. These proceeding are a valuable record of the Conference, and will become a vital reference for an important developing sector within the county. The proceedings will also be available on www.donegalcoco.ie website as an e-book for online reading.

The Mayor of Donegal Cllr. Frank McBrearty stated that “this conference brought together experts in the sector of renewable energies, a sector of vital importance and of huge potential for the County. It was a unique opportunity to place Donegal at the centre of the offshore renewable energy market and the best service port for the operation and maintenance sector, a sector that has a potential for 20,000 long term job opportunities”.

The conference was delivered as part of the EU INTERREG IVC funded CO2FREE project and included a range of keynote addresses from speakers such as Michel Lamblin, Director of the INTERREG IVC Programmes, Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, Neil Doherty from Sgurr Energy, Sustainable Engineering Worldwide, Paul Williamson from Maine Wind Industry Initiative and Jouko Parviainen from Josek Ltd in Finland.

The County Manager, Mr Seamus Neely speaking following the launch of this booklet stated that “this conference highlighted for us the potential opportunities that the emerging Green Economy has for Donegal including the potential to reduce energy usage to sustainable levels, to maximise the use of green renewable energies, to reduce carbon and improve the environment, to substitute imports and achieve energy security whilst also promoting local economic development and job creation. The proceedings from this conference is an important record and will be used as an important tool to influence and inform policy not only at a local and national level but also at a European level”.

The CO2FREE project focused primarily on sharing best practice approaches around Europe on energy efficiencies, transportation, and renewable energies and to this end Donegal County Council has developed a best practice Action Plan, based of the works of Derry City Council and Fomento de San Sebastian, on installing and operating an “Energy Monitoring” IT solution for public buildings. This Action Plan was also launched alongside the proceedings of the conference as the final output of the CO2FREE project.

Mr. Brian Boyle, Head of Information Systems with the Council said that “the results of monitoring existing energy usage can be used to develop policies for better energy consumption and efficient use. This Action Plan will target Sustainable Energy of Ireland funding in 2013 under the Better Energy in the Workplace scheme”.

He also added that “this project gave us the opportunity to look at Best Practice elsewhere in Europe in the field of using IT systems to monitor energy consumption within public buildings. Very impressive savings have been made in these regions in terms of reduced Energy consumption and increased financial savings. We need to look at how IT systems can be used to improve efficiencies and reduce costs to the organisation, and the field of energy consumption was another opportunity. We also need to look at ways of reducing our CO2 footprint in line with targets set out in EU directives.”

For further information contact:
Brian Boyle,
Head of Information Systems
Donegal County Council
Tel: 074 91 72324
Email: bboyle@donegalcoco.ie