Since May 2016, Leitrim County Council (Ireland), as part of the SECURE project, has increased their expertise, solutions, technology and capability to act to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy across their region.
One of the main outputs of SECURE was to develop 5 Smarter Energy Communities within the partner regions. Leitrim selected the town of Mohill for this porpose. During the last 3 years, the Council has encouraged a programme of activities to engage and empower citizens to become energy leaders. Furthermore, the knowledge gained through this project has helped Leitrim Country Council to almost complete the North Leitrim SEC (Sustainable Energy Community) Master plan.
Regarding another of the main actions of the SECURE project, the transnational low carbon actions for housing and public infrastructure, Leitrim has completed five pilot actions. Three of them have permitted a reduction between 10% and 25% of energy consumption in The Dock Arts Centre, Ballinamore Library and Manorhamilton Library. Another pilot has permitted to develop a ‘Renewable Energy Strategy for Leitrim’ which started in 2015 and will continue until 2021. It’s important to highlight that the Sustainable Energy Communities programme, the energy pilots developed in the Council Buildings, the energy action plan and the energy awareness days, among others, will be included in this strategy. The last pilot is the installation of BMS (Building Management System) for the Aras building due to the fact that the actual one is obsolete. Nevertheless, this new system will reduce oil consumption from €22K to €19K annually and will be easily linked to new system in building extension.
Good energy practices
Leitrim County Council has shared four good energy practices with the SECURE partnership:
- Replacement of Public Lighting with LED
- Mohill Better Energy Communities Project
- Solution for Small Scale Forestry Harvesting on sites with poor access
- Leitrim Green Schools Initiative
The following steps for the Renewable Energy Strategy in Leitrim County will be working under improvement until 2021. Some of the most relevant ones were explained in detail during the last SECURE project meeting in Derry (Northern Ireland), in March 2019. Among others, the development of RES will be done within the context of European national, regional and local planning, and energy policy. They will examine existing Renewable Energy Projects, review renewable energy resources and infrastructural constraints and facilitators. Furthermore, Leitrim County Council will continue with the engagement with local stakeholder groups.