SECURE project partners met at The Dock Arts Centre in Leitrim (Ireland) on 30th November for the 'Low Carbon Policy Benefits' seminar, hosted by Leitrim County Council. The purpose of this meeting was to disseminate transnational good practice to increase the awareness of technologies and solutions for energy efficiency and renewables.
The day kicked off with the introduction and welcome given by Mr Joe Lowe from Leitrim Council. Afterwards, Mr Leo Strawbridge, Energy Manager at Derry & Strabane District Council (Northern Ireland) talked about developing regional energy strategy, with its opportunities and challenges.
Presentations were made by policy experts at an Irish, European and International level, and topics covered energy policy, public sector energy efficiency, renewable energy solutions, community energy initiatives, and implications for local economies. Speakers included Ms Kaija Saramaki from Karelia University Applied Sciences (Finland), who presented an energy and carbon baseline study in SECURE partner regions; Mr Niall Kiernan, from Global Green (Ireland), who outlined the process to identify measures for improving energy efficiency in public buildings; promoting a low carbon policy at national level Martin Finucane, Principal Strategic Energy Policy, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, who also talked about current challenges and opportunities in energy policy; Mr Mel Gavin from the Institute of Technology in Sligo, who promoted Energy policy in the Community; Ms Emma Norton from Ecology Action Centre in Nova Scotia (Canada), who talked about using Energy Data to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy affordability; and Ms Marina Conway, from Western Forestry Co-Operative, who discussed the impact of renewable energy sources on energy policy. Finally, there was a round of questions and answers and concluding comments were made by Mr Joseph Gilhooly, Chief Executive at Leitrim County Council (Ireland).
Project partners also documented Good Practices from the EU and Atlantic Canada, completed community energy surveys, and analysed the low-carbon situation in their regions. They have commenced the transfer and implementation of various energy services into their regions. As a result, the project has identified a series of policy recommendations and initiatives which were also disseminated. In addition, SECURE partners have recorded some short videos with the speakers that will soon be shared on social media.