04 Jul Sustainable Energy Day: Engaging Industry & Community
Graphic record capturing attendees’ contributions to polls assessing challenges, technologies and collaboration on energy transition during the Sustainable Energy Day. Design by Hazel Hurley.
Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and Mullingar Sustainable Energy Community (MSEC) recently joined forces to host the “Sustainable Energy Day: Engaging Industry & Community.” The event, which took place on June 28th as part of the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), was a remarkable success, bringing together 120 attendees including industry leaders and professionals, researchers, engineers, manufacturers, and Mullingar residents to explore the latest advancements in sustainable energy.
EUSEW is Europe’s largest event dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use. This year’s theme, ‘Accelerating the clean energy transition – towards lower bills and greater skills,’ set the stage for insightful discussions and valuable exchanges during the lead-up to the main event in June.
IMR and MSEC’s Sustainable Energy Day aimed to foster behavioural changes and drive innovation in the energy sector by encouraging industries and stakeholders to embrace sustainable practices. The event highlighted the ambitious energy and climate goals set by the European Union and at a national level.
David McCormack, Sustainable Manufacturing Director at Irish Manufacturing Research, expressed his excitement about the event, stating, “We are thrilled to organise this event, which serves as a platform for industry experts and the community to come together and explore the latest advancements in sustainable energy. Our goal is to inspire innovation, encourage collaboration, and understand how the industry plays a role in a sustainable energy community.”
The event agenda was designed to cater to the interests of both industry professionals and the wider community. Participants had the opportunity to interact with technology providers and gain valuable insights into the potential of renewable energy systems for decarbonising both industrial and residential applications.
Another highlight was the launch of the Sustainable Master Plan Report for Mullingar, a comprehensive overview of energy consumption and generation in the Mullingar area. The plan serves as a roadmap for reducing energy demand and transitioning to renewable energy sources, benefitting domestic and non-domestic buildings.
Watch highlights of the “Sustainable Energy Day: Engaging Industry & Community” event
Industry & Business Session
From the left: Ankush Shirsath (EI), Eoin Cullen (SEAI), and Kevin Fraser (IMR)
The event was divided into two sessions, and the first covered the Industry & Business audience. It started with “Funding Opportunities for Energy Transition” and included talks by Ankush Shirsath from Enterprise Ireland, Eoin Cullen from SEAI, and Kevin James Fraser from IMR. Attendees gained valuable information on available funding schemes and resources to support their energy transition endeavours, fostering a more sustainable and environmentally conscious industry landscape.
From the left: Diana Vaz (IMR), Sean Dowd (Boston Scientific), Alan Keegan (ESB Network), Paulo Lissa (IMR), David McCormack (IMR), Delight Bowden (Arup)
Next on stage, Diana Vaz from IMR discussed the significance of renewable energy in achieving decarbonisation goals, followed by industry case studies by Sean Dowd from Boston Scientific and Alan Keegan from ESB Network. They provided valuable real-world examples about Boston Scientific’s decarbonisation plan and strategy and ESB’s decarbonisation of the grid, highlighting the importance of transitioning to cleaner energy sources. Paulo Lissa from IMR presented the role of digital technology in improving energy efficiency. Delight Sedzro talked about Arup’s digital solution for energy. The Industry & Business session concluded with a Q&A session and closing remarks by David McCormack, Sustainable Manufacturing Director at IMR, along with the industry speakers, providing an opportunity for further discussion and engagement.
Community & Business Session
From the left: Isabella Donnelly (MSEC), David Jones (Westmeath CoCo), Justin Moran (WEI), Barry Caslin (Teagasc) and Alan Barry (LIDL)
The second session dedicated to community delegates started with Isabella Donnelly from MSEC, who presented the SEC’s Energy Transition Plan for Mullingar, offering insights into the community’s efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy sources. David Jones from Westmeath County Council shared the Decarbonisation Plan for Westmeath, outlining the council’s strategies to achieve carbon neutrality. Justin Moran from Wind Energy Ireland (WEI) discussed the potential of wind energy and its contribution to decarbonisation efforts. Alan Barry from LIDL presented a case study on sustainability practices implemented by LIDL, highlighting the company’s commitment to reducing environmental impact and showcasing the efforts in their main distribution centre in Mullingar. Barry Caslin from Teagasc focused on the intersection of farming and sustainable energy, emphasising the importance of implementing renewable energy solutions in agricultural practices.
From the left: Auveen Lynch (SEAI), Ian Corrigan and Sarah O’Connell (Watt Footprint)
The session concluded with presentations on funding opportunities. Auveen Lynch from SEAI, Ian Corrigan and Sarah O’Connell from Watt Footprint provided valuable insights into funding opportunities for energy transition highlighting the importance of accessing financial support to drive sustainable energy projects and emphasising the role of organisations like SEAI and Watt Footprint in facilitating and enabling these opportunities.
The success of Sustainable Energy Day reflects the growing interest and commitment of industry and community members towards sustainable practices and energy transition. IMR and MSEC, along with their partners and supporters, are proud to lead the charge in generating a brighter and more sustainable future for Mullingar and Westmeath.