An ambitious masterplan designed to encourage sustainable energy use in Cork aims to create local jobs, reduce energy use by more than one-third and increase the use of renewable energy by 53% in the next decade.
Cork's Energy Master Plan, unveiled by Energy Cork and prepared with support from the SEAI's Sustainable Energy Communities initiative in conjunction with Cork City and County Councils, provides a unique insight into how Cork uses energy and how the focus on sustainables can be improved.
The masterplan aims to reduce the amount of energy used in Cork by more than one-third (34.6%) and increase the renewable energy contribution by 53.5% by 2030.
Among the results of the masterplan is the Growth Through Climate Action Project. It could lead to the creation of at least 55 local jobs in new and existing companies operating in the field of climate action. It also aims to foster research and development links between start-ups and small businesses with larger industries.
These targets, Energy Cork believes, can be achieved through introducing a series of proposals including the medium energy retrofit of 75% of all homes in Cork, and the energy retrofit of commercial and non-residential premises to deliver 40% energy demand reduction.
In order to achieve these targets, Energy Cork hopes to inspire and enable Cork businesses to become leaders in climate action.
"[Cork’s Energy Master Plan] charts a course for a more sustainable energy future for Cork and the delivery of identified opportunities and projects. The first step in this will be to implement our proposed Growth Through Climate Action project," said Jackie Quinn, Chair of Energy Cork.
"This project will engage Cork businesses to capture climate enterprise opportunities, implement sustainable energy and climate action initiatives and accelerate enterprise productivity and job creation in the energy sector in Cork through collaboratively delivering Cork’s Energy Master Plan."
Energy Cork is currently seeking funding to implement the Growth Through Climate Action project through the Regional Enterprise and Development Fund from Enterprise Ireland.
Commenting on the Energy Master Plan, Prof Tony Day, Executive Directive of the International Energy Research Centre (IERC), at Tyndall National Institute said the plan establishes a roadmap for businesses and homes to respond to the climate crisis.
"The climate emergency is the defining challenge of our age," he said.
"Cork’s Energy Master Plan sets out a vision for how this region can respond to the challenge, and demonstrates the opportunities for new jobs and businesses. These new opportunities bring the huge bonuses of reduced carbon emissions, better energy security and improved living standards."