Ireland Improves its Solar Standing Through Grants

An installer’s academy and a clever homes project in Ireland will move from paper to practice because of grant funding through the INTERREG IIIA program in the European Union.

Barry Gardiner, who is the Minister for the Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI), welcomed funding for the cross border, renewable energy projects, which was secured through a joint initiative between DETI and the Republic’s Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. Gardiner said, “The global threat of climate change cannot be ignored, and it is imperative that we do everything possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to climate change. The projects receiving funding today will help make renewable energy more accessible to householders and local businesses, so everyone can play a part in reducing emissions, both north and south.” Over GBP 750,000 (US $1.44 million) will enable a joint venture between Action Renewables and Sustainable Energy Ireland to create the installers academy. The Academy will work with local technical colleges to provide the knowledge and training needed to accredit newly qualified installers of renewable energy technologies such as domestic combined heat and power systems. “The Installers Academy initiative is expected to generate business in the INTERREG region in excess of GBP 150 million (US $288 million) each year and support some 1,500 jobs, making a significant contribution to local enterprise on both sides of the border,” Gardiner said. Belfast Energy Agency’s Clever Homes project will receive nearly GBP 500,000 from the funding award. This project aims to improve domestic energy efficiency and provide better home ventilation by testing the viability of two types of solar powered heating and ventilation technologies. Belfast Energy Agency is coordinating the project in cooperation with Sustainable Energy Ireland. The European Union’s INTERREG 111A aims to strengthen cross border cooperation, social cohesion and economic development between the regions of the EU. It promotes investment, and stimulates wider use of indigenous energy resources through the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies at a local level. The Program covers all of Northern Ireland and the six border counties of the Republic of Ireland.
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