cVPP project wins Citizens Award at EU Sustainable Energy Week

We’re thrilled that our cVPP (community virtual power plant) project has won the  Citizens Award at the EU Sustainable Energy Week.

The cVPP Project is helping communities across Ireland to become clean energy producers and to come together to form a cluster of generators – a Virtual Power Plant. This will enable Irish communities to channel power back to their citizens via utility Community Power, Ireland’s only community owned Renewable Electricity Supplier.

Ireland’s first Community Owned Energy Supplier

Speaking about the win Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency said “I’m delighted that Community Virtual Power Plant (cVPP) has won the Citizens Award as part of European Sustainable Energy Week.  Since 2007, Tipperary Energy Agency and Templederry Community Windfarm have been working hard on getting Ireland’s first community owned energy supplier, Community Power established.  This has involved huge time and effort getting approved as an energy supplier and engaging with policy makers and regulators to remove barriers.  We’ve also been encouraging new community energy suppliers to get on board, which will strengthen our collective capacity to empower citizens with regards to energy generation. It is our hope that Community Power will be a vehicle that will enable citizens and communities to participate in the energy transition”.

Renewable Electricity Support Scheme

“The new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) will help empower communities.  One of its objectives is stated as ‘An Enabling Framework for Community Participation through the provision of pathways and supports for communities to participate in renewable energy projects’.

However, there are also commercial developers in this space (even though it is only 1% of the market) who will try and take a slice of the community supports. I hope that the forthcoming second round of RESS will have a minimum of 80% ownership of renewable energy projects by communities and their citizens and not the current 51%. Lessons from other countries suggest that this is not a sensible balance and will lead to outcomes that are pro developer and not pro community.

So much has been achieved in the last thirteen years; the capacity that has been developed in Community Power and the extended community-based partnership, being part of the cVPP project and winning a European Citizens award.   We’ve also campaigned hard with communities and NGOs to ensure a new regulatory framework that will empower and unlock the energy transition participation that has been so lacking in Ireland.”

The EU Sustainable Energy Awards recognise outstanding individuals and projects for their innovation in energy efficiency and renewables. The Awards competition highlights new ways to shape Europe’s energy future.

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