Laois council to pay for new green energy plan

Energy: New strategy broader than wind power

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

solar panel

Laois Council wants to look at explore solar power

Laois County Council has budgeted to spend up to €30,000 on a new Local Authority Renewable Energy Strategy which will set out proposals for the generation of green energy in Laois, other than through wind farms.

Council managment invited tenders this summer from companies who want to win the project.

Laois County Council says it is proposing to develop an overall renewable energy strategy for the county to incorporate into the County Development Plan.

In tender documents, the council says local authorities increasingly deliver wind-energy strategies. In parallel to the development of these local authority wind energy development plans, the council say in tender documents that there is a growing trend whereby some authorities are considering the development of renewable energy strategies with a broader focus than solely wind energy.

The project will involve the identification and assessment of the renewable energy resources and potential. An examination of existing renewable energy projects, and a review of available information on the renewable resource within Laois is also proposed.

The council also wants to establish any limiting or restrictive factors that may need consideration during project development. The outcome of undertaking this review is to determine what renewable resources are viable for future development.

The council says European Directive the use of energy from renewable sources establishes the basis for achieving the EU’s 20% renewable energy target by 2020. Ireland’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) sets out how Ireland intends to achieve our individually binding national renewable energy (RE) target of 16% of energy demand by 2020: through 40% of electricity consumption, 10% of transport energy and 12% of heat energy being obtained from renewable sources.

The council estimates that the stragegy will cost between €20,000 and €30,000 to prepare. A year long contract was offered.