First on-street electric car chargers usable this month

THE COUNTRY’S first on-street electric charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) will become operational later this month.

The ESB confirmed this weekend that four kerbside charging points will be available in Dublin from next week, ahead of a nationwide programme that will see 1,500 installed throughout the country within two-and-a-half years.

The four points are located at parking spaces in Dublin city centre: two in Fitzwilliam Street (outside ESB headquarters), one on Molesworth Street and the other on Adelaide Road.

Known as “juicepoints”, the charging stations are tall, narrow columns.

In a system not dissimilar to the dublinbike scheme, users will be required to register and will then be given a personalised electric fob. Recharging an EV at the point could take one to two hours.

Paul Mulvaney, managing director of ESB e-cars, said that this is the first phase of an ambitious project that will see EVs and charging points becoming commonplace during 2011 and 2012.

The semi-State utility company already has agreements with the Renault-Nissan partnership for electric vehicles and is in advanced discussions with other major manufactures including Peugeot-Citroen and Mitsubishi.

“We envisage having 1,500 charging points installed. Our target is to have 2,000 EVs in Ireland by the end of 2011.

“We have really been pushing Ireland as a test bed and have done deals with manufacturers,” said Mr Mulvaney.

“We are a little different from most of Europe in that they are basing their tests in clusters and cities, while we are doing it across the whole country.”

The ESB have not yet settled on a recharging price but Mr Mulvaney said it will be markedly cheaper than petrol.

He said that there will three different types of charging point. The first will be at home where it is estimated that up to 90 per cent of the recharging will be done, using cheap overnight electricity.

A special seven-pin all-weather socket will need to be installed outside homes. The cost of recharging will be circa €2.50 which is about six times cheaper than petrol or diesel.

The second will be the kerbside juicepoint, which will cost more, but still less than petrol. The third will be a high-speed DC charger that will recharge batteries in 20-25 minutes.

Source: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/0315/1224266296611.html

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland unveils ambitious 5 year strategic plan

Media Release
10th March 2010

~ The five-year lifetime of this strategy will see savings worth a total of €6 billion delivered, and support 5,000 – 10,000 jobs each year ~

~ Authority will play a leading role in Ireland’s sustainable energy drive ~

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has today (Wednesday, 10 March, 2010) unveiled a five-year strategic plan with a mission of transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices, and a vision of making Ireland a recognised global leader in sustainable energy. Sustainable energy practices are already delivering significant savings to the Irish economy, with lowered business costs and household energy bills resulting from efficiency measures, and reduced fossil fuel imports from our increased use of renewable energy. Over the course of SEAI’s five-year strategy, new savings worth €6 billion over its lifetime will be generated by sustainable energy actions, at the same time supporting 5,000 – 10,000 jobs every year.

The strategic plan builds on the strong foundations already established by the Authority over the past eight years, and sets out the opportunities and actions for Ireland to become a global leader in both the use of sustainable energy and in the clean technology space where Ireland already has a considerable competitive advantage. The goals and actions for SEAI are detailed under the key heading areas of: electricity supply, heat supply, energy in buildings, energy efficient products and behaviour, energy in transport, research and innovation, and policy development and analysis.

Commenting on the strategy, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan TD, said: “Government has set a path for Ireland’s new economy. It’s green, innovative, knowledge-based and has the potential to set Ireland apart as a leading low carbon economy in the world. Above all it is sustainable. The new economy will bring savings – the EUR6 billion we can save over the lifetime of this strategy is the equivalent of our annual fossil fuel bill. It will bring investment and most importantly jobs for our people.

SEAI’s mission for the future is truly transformational. In the past 8 years, SEAI has grown as an organisation and shown it can deliver real change. Today’s strategy combines vision with evidence-based policy and tested initiatives. I wish SEAI well in the fulfilment of this vision and its delivery on the ground.”

SEAI Chief Executive, Professor Owen Lewis said: “In the lifetime of this strategy, I envisage that Ireland will have made substantial further gains – in renewable electricity, in upgrading the efficiency of buildings, in improving energy efficiency in business. We also want to see the start of strong export-led growth in sustainable energy products and services. While the strategy is focused on the future, the delivery of it is very much based in action now. Sustainable energy actions over the course of the next five years will deliver total savings worth €6 bn over their lifetime and at the same time support five to ten thousand jobs every year.” 

Continuing he said: “And this is only the tip of the iceberg – ultimately we see that within the next 15 years, Ireland will develop a global reputation for research and development and clean technology services and products.  Within 25 years, we envisage a national energy system totally rooted in local, green electricity, including a thriving marine renewable energy sector, and Ireland will actually be exporting electricity to Europe. These are the real opportunities for Ireland that will reduce our import dependence and our emissions, while at the same time creating jobs and enhancing competitiveness. What is required is a commitment from all levels of society to make this vision a reality for Ireland.”

Concluding Professor Lewis said:”SEAI is already contributing real benefits to Ireland now with action centred on energy savings, emissions reductions, and importantly, jobs. We look forward to working with all parts of society to deliver on the goals and actions set out in this strategy.”

Today also sees a name change for the Authority. Formerly known as Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), the Authority has reverted to its formal legal name, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), given to it in its establishing legislation in 2002.

Ends

About SEAI:

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has a mission to play a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. The Authority is financed by Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programme co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.

Please click here to download a copy of this press release in PDF format.

Please click here to download a copy of the SEAI Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015 in PDF format.

National Tree Week 2010

‘Fiche is a Deich – Cuir Crainn Arís’ ~ ‘Twenty Ten – Plant Again’

National Tree Week will take place from 7-13 March. The theme is ‘Twenty Ten – Plant Again’. We are asking people to make a renewed effort to go out and plant more trees during the week.

The aim of National Tree Week is to raise awareness about trees and encourage local communities and local authorities to participate in over 300 events which will take place around the country during the week. Events are organised all over the country which include forest walks, tree planting ceremonies, workshops, talks, competitions and even tree plantathons!

This year 15,000 trees, sponsored by Coillte will be distributed to community groups by local authorities all over the country – contact your local council for a supply of trees.

Every year a poster competition is held, this year’s winner is Fiona Cooney as student of NCAD, Thomas Street. Posters for the competition will be presented on Wednesday 3 March at Charleville Mall Public Library, North Strand by Éanna Ní Lamhna.

Despite the great advances in the past 100 years, Ireland remains one of the least wooded countries in Europe with only 10% of our land planted with trees compared to the European average of 40%. approx. This initiative will provide thousands of new jobs build our forestry industry and help improve our environment.

Why plant more trees?
• The forest industry is worth €1.65 billion annually.
• It is estimated that more than 10,000 people are employed in the industry mainly in rural Ireland.
• More than 17,000 farmers own and manage farm woodlands.
• Forests absorb carbon dioxide and give us oxygen
• The non timber benefits of forestry include bio-diversity, carbon sequestration, wood biomass energy and recreation.
• Ireland’s forests provide an opportunity to conserve bio-diversity at local and national level.
• Ireland’s forests provide a potential for wood to displace fossil fuels.
• Over 20 million visits are made annually to Irish forests.
• Over 200,000 people use forest trails for exercise.
• Trekking through forests is an important aspect of ‘Walking Tourism’ which attracts 500,000 visitors who spend €138 million annually.
• Wood is uniquely renewable among building material.

Do not despair, even if you have very little space to plant. By doing something as simple as planting one tree, you can play your part in helping the environment.

By thinking locally, we can act globally!

All Tree Week events are free and everyone is welcome to attend.

Source: http://www.treecouncil.ie/tree_council_programmes.htm#National