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12/07/19 SECURE achieves innovative energy solutions

SECURE group



Partners of the EU funded SECURE project have improved energy efficiency and increased the use of renewable solutions in public housing, buildings and infrastructure in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands and Sweden thanks to expertise shared from Atlantic Canada and Finland.


With a budget of €1.8 million from the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014 – 2020,   SECURE fostered energy-secure communities in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands and Sweden through the promotion of energy efficient and renewable solutions.


“The main objective was to maximise transnational cooperation to transfer and implement innovative energy solutions for public housing and infrastructure across 7 regions in Europe and Atlantic Canada”, explains Dr Caitriona Strain, SECURE project leader.


According to Dr Strain, the common challenges tackled were high energy costs and low competition due to peripherality, low population density, low accessibility and cold climates.


“We focussed on opportunities to harness our natural resources through transnational cooperation. This helps ensure the sustainable use of resources by harnessing our climatic opportunities, preserving environmental quality and exploiting our natural resources”.


Achievements include:

  • Creation of 5 Smarter Energy Communities in Leitrim and Donegal (Ireland), Derry City & Strabane (Northern Ireland), the Faroe Islands and Västernorrland (Sweden)
  • 31 energy solutions applied which improved the energy consumption classification of 38 houses
  • Alternative energy sources installed in 10 public infrastructures
  • Increase in energy efficiency of at least 5% in 22 public buildings
  • Identification and promotion of more than 30 good energy practices across 7 regions
  • Engagement with more than 170,000 citizens across the participating regions


In Donegal, an Intelligent heating management system was installed in Carndonagh Public Services Centre and according to Paddy Mullen, Facilities Manager at Donegal County Council, in 2018 a target reduction of 4% was set for thermal heating fuel consumption in Carndonagh Public Services Centre. However, “the actual reduction, factoring in weather conditions, appears to be well ahead of target”. The installation of the intelligent heating system, and incorporating cloud-based management software, remote access, wireless thermostats and valves through the SECURE project helped achieve this target.


Derry City and Strabane District Council introduced a number of energy reduction actions through SECURE including the installation of 12 kW of Solar PV linked to a 15kW intelligent battery storage system in the Irish Street Community Centre, installation of a more efficient boiler in Derry’s civic offices, and the installation of a Combined Heat and Power system in Foyle Arena leisure centre.


In Leitrim a new Building Management System resulted in an energy consumption reduction of between 10% and 25% in The Dock Arts Centre, Ballinamore Library and Manorhamilton Library, while in Västernorrland (Sweden) there were energy improvements in two public elderly homes.

The Faroe Islands focussed on promoting (ground source) heat pumps, electric cars and renewable energy production.


The two partner regions with higher energy maturity expertise guided the partnership towards these excellent results and they were Nova Scotia in Canada and North Karelia in Finland.

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