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Power to the People

Power to the People is our campaign to achieve the electricity-related key results of the Strategic Objective on emissions reduction, by putting citizens and communities at the heart of transition to 100% renewable power.

We need to get off fossil fuels fast.  Ireland has excellent renewable energy resources, but our energy system uses fossil fuels for about 80% of its energy needs in transport, heating and electricity. 

At Friends of the Earth we are working to make sure that Ireland’s energy system is fit for the future, with no more investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, no more exploration for fossil fuels and an energy system that values and supports citizens and communities participating in and benefiting from our renewable energy transition. 

 

Logo PortraitWe have teamed up with energy co-operatives around Ireland, and Community Power, Ireland’s first community owned electricity supplier to build Ireland’s first community based virtual power plant. And today, you can support too if by switching your electricity to Community Power.  We switched the Friends of the Earth office so that we are buying our electricity from community owned hydro and wind power, and we are saving money too!  

 

Click here to switch to Community Power!

We love Solar Power! It's clean, free and zero carbon, but in Ireland we have hardly any of it.

And the reason why has nothing to do with how much sun we get! It's because Ireland has unique rules that are designed to make installing solar panels REALLY hard. It is particularly hard for schools.

One of these rules is planning permission.  Schools need planning permission to install even one solar panel.  It's madness, and adds significant cost. 

For years politicians have promised to change this.  They even leaked a story to the papers in August 2020, that they had done it! But they haven't. 

Today, the change is in the hands of Minister Peter Burke. 

Please use our e-action to email your TD's today, and ask them to put pressure on Minister Burke and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, to make good on the promise of many before him, for the Love of Solar

For the Love of Solar

Click here to use our e-action to email your TDs

 

We are working hard to put solar panels on schools! With our ‘For the Love of Solar’ solar schools project, we have sourced funding to install solar panels on schools. Our schools competition asked schools to come up with local projects on climate action, and the winners will get solar panels for their school roof!

We're also engaging the public through workshops, street stalls, webinars, training sessions and much more. Join our mailing list for updates on this campaign and ways to take action.

Join our solar schools youth assemblies!

Issued in the blog on May 11, 2021 at 16:34:00.

SSchool assemblies

To address the climate crisis, we need to get off fossil fuels fast. Ireland has excellent renewable energy resources, but our energy system uses fossil fuels for the majority of our energy needs in transport, heating and electricity. This has to change. Fast! 

At Friends of the Earth we are working to make sure that Ireland’s energy system is fit for the future, with no more investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, no more exploration for fossil fuels and an energy system that values and supports citizens and communities participating in and benefiting from our renewable energy transition.

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Power to the People Campaign Update

Issued in the blog on February 22, 2021 at 17:34:00.

Upperchurch_School pic with logo in sky

Power to the People is our campaign to achieve the electricity-related key results of the Strategic Objective on emissions reduction, by putting citizens and communities at the heart of the transition to 100% renewable power.

We’ve made good progress on our campaign to change the planning regulations to allow solar panels on schools. Two weeks ago the Sunday Business Post reported that planning regulations would be changing to facilitate solar panels on buildings, including schools. We're continuing our campaign for legislation to seal the deal on this and make sure it happens. 

Councillors around Ireland have been supporting this too, and both Galway County Council and Westmeath County Council have passed motions recently supporting a change in the planning regulations.

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Have your say on Community Energy - Submit to the Microgeneration Consultation using our handy guide

Issued in the blog on February 04, 2021 at 17:05:00.

FoE Solar Image

We’ve reached a critical juncture in our campaign for renewable, community owned energy. In a matter of months we could finally have a support scheme for small renewable energy microgenerators. But this scheme could end up being very good - or pretty bad. The difference hangs in our collective hands!

We've been campaigning for this type of scheme for years. And now - finally - the Government has agreed that it’s needed!

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Watch it Back: Let's talk Community Energy

Issued in the blog on December 15, 2020 at 15:26:00.

Watch it back CP webinar

Earlier this month we hosted a special webinar on community owned renewable energy. Missed it? Well, don’t worry, we recorded it so you can watch it back at this link or in the screen below.

 We were delighted to be joined by Molly Walsh from Friends of the Earth Europe. Molly shared some inspiring stories from her new book, Community Energy: A practical guide to reclaiming power - which you can download here.

Community Energy book cover

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Let's talk community energy! Webinar and book launch

Issued in the blog on November 30, 2020 at 11:36:00.

Copy of Copy of CP webinar_booklet

Join us for a webinar this week! We'll be launching this stunning handbook for communities from Friends of the Earth Europe, and and exploring the opportunities for Irish communities in the energy transition in 2021 with Minister Eamon Ryan.  

Community energy is key to action on the climate crisis, boosting local economies, and reinvigorating communities. We’ve been campaigning for clean, community energy for a long time. It’s been a tough battle at times but things are finally starting to look bright!

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Catch up on Community Energy - October 2020

Issued in the blog on October 19, 2020 at 11:30:00.

Copy of Catch up on Community Energy FB

After years of campaigning on Community Energy, things are now looking bright! Last month Eirgrid held the first ever Irish renewable electricity auction, which gave the go ahead to 82 wind and solar parks, including two community owned solar parks from our partners at Community Power.

Community Power is Irelands first every 100% renewable and community owned electricity provider. You can switch your home or work electricity provider to Community Energy and know that you are supporting the change with clean, green and sound energy. 

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Community Power Success!

Issued in news on September 11, 2020 at 09:39:00.

Cutting the ribbon with templederry community

Community Power Success!
New support for community owned renewables puts power in the people's hands

The results of the first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme Auction (RESS 1) were announced today, granting support for 82 wind and solar projects (including 8 community led projects).  This support scheme will see a further 2,200 GWh of renewable electricity generated in Ireland.

Among the winners includes two solar parks with Community Power in Counties Mayo and Galway. 

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Catching up on Community Energy

Issued in the blog on June 17, 2020 at 23:01:00.

Upperchurch_School pic with logo in sky

Covid-19 created some delays for our Solar Schools 2020 winners but we will soon be back on track getting solar panels on their roofs. This year we had 8 winners and 8 runners up. Our winning schools will be generating their own clean energy and championing the solar revolution in Ireland.

Congratulations to all our winners!

We can’t wait to work with these primary and secondary schools and get going with their local climate action projects.

Special congratulations to St Munchins in Limerick who became the newest Solar School this month! Their newly installed6 kw array of solar PV panels will generate about 5,070 kWh per year for the school, to power lights, computers, photocopiers etc., saving about €800 while avoiding 3,000kg of CO2 a year.

Solar Panels on School

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Energy Democracy & Community Power Webinar

Issued in the blog on March 25, 2020 at 18:26:00.

Watch it back in full, online! (1)

Thank you to our panelists and participants for tuning into our webinar 'Energy Democracy & Community Power' yesterday evening.

Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trócaire, Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency and John Fogarty of Community Power, Ireland’s first community owned electricity supplier joined us for a lively discussion on the question;

How can we build energy democracy in our communities so that everyone has access to community power?

 

If you missed it, you can watch it back here in the video below.

Join the energy revolution, switch your electricity supplier to Community Power today - click here to make the switch!

For more on Trócaire - click here, and for more on Tipperary Energy Agency - click here.

Solar Schools 2020 and the winners are

Issued in the blog on March 13, 2020 at 09:36:00.

Solar Schools Flyer_0001

Voting and judging for Solar Schools 2020 is now complete.  The winners were judged by an independent judging panel following the results of an online public vote. 

Schools were tasked with coming up with an idea for a local climate action project.  And as expected, students in Ireland have fantastic ideas.  The winners will now complete their climate action project, and will get solar pv panels designed and installed at their school. 

We are very grateful for financial support for this project from the following organisations.  It would not be possible without them. 

funders

The winners for Solar Schools 2020 are:

Primary Schools
Winners

Guardian Angels, Blackrock, Co Dublin
St Brigids National School Grange, Co Carlow
Scoil Naomh Brid, Co Donegal
Mercy Moyderwell, Tralees, Co Kerry

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