EPA Research_Report_337-Capacity of Communities

Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative (ECTC) along with member communities of Drombane/Upperchurch and Birdhill feature strongly in a recently published EPA Report ‘Responding to the Energy Transition in Ireland: The Experience and Capacity of Communities’

The report examines the role of citizens and communities in the energy transition to a low carbon future which are seen as essential components. Citizen participation and community engagement are explored in the report.

Over a 3-year period of engagement with community energy groups, the project explored three key research questions:
1. What is the Irish experience of community energy?
2. How do we support the development of community capacity to engage in energy transitions?
3. What is the role of intermediary groups in supporting community-based responses to the energy transition?

From the research carried out a list of insights and recommendations for policy makers has been compiled in the report, along with details of capacity challenges and barriers to community energy.

The establishment of Drombane Upperchurch Energy Team in 2010 as a response to revitalising the local area features in the report. This subsequently led to the formation of ECTC as a community led, home insulation upgrade and retrofitting organisation. ECTC is a designated Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) which offers a One Stop Shop approach. ECTC takes the hassle out of getting grant aid, sourcing contractors and overseeing projects for the homeowners.

A section of the report looks at Tidy Towns as a community based intermediary and features ECTC member community Birdhill who joined ECTC in 2014. Through its work on the local energy project, Birdhill gained extra points under the ‘Sustainable Waste and Resource Management’ category. They were already performing well in the competition and were the Tidy Towns 2017 winner.

Also featured in the report is Templederry Community Wind Farm from which grew Community Power, Ireland’s first community owned electricity supply company. Community Power won the Citizens Award during EU Sustainable Energy Week 2020 for their cVPP Project (Community-based Virtual Power Plant). ECTC are sub partners in this project along with Aran Islands Energy Co-op and Claremorris and Western District Energy Co-op, both of who are also featured in the report.


Click on the title to visit the EPA website to download the full report: Responding to the Energy Transition in Ireland: The Experience and Capacity of Communities