Energy Networks Linking Innovation in Villages in Europe Now
The ENLIVEN project is a cross sector partnership led by
Irish Rural Link. Partners are: Offaly County Council;
Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of
Sustainability; Dundalk Institute of Technology;
Methanogen; EOS Architects; Martin Langton, Developer;
Pauric Davis and Associates, Engineers; Michael Layden,
Community Energy Consultant; Sean Riordan, Developer.
Jump to table of contents
Historically, communities developed in places where resources were available. Today
however, many rural communities are in decline because the use of fossil fuels has
devalued their renewable energy sources, made the growing of many non-food crops
irrelevant, and exposed their food products to price competition from places where land is
This project is based on the premise that the tide may be about to turn. Restrictions on the
use of fossil fuel in response to the threat of climate change and because of oil and gas
depletion are about to make energy supplies scarcer and more costly. Handled correctly,
this could create the circumstances in which rural communities will again be able to grow
by developing their local resources, particularly those of energy.
The project focuses on what that 'correct handling' involves and breaks a lot of new
ground. It takes two small neighbouring communities in rural Ireland, chosen only
because largish housing and other construction projects were being planned, and assesses
their renewable energy potential. It then looks at how that potential can be realised in
ways that would benefit everyone living in the communities at present and those who
might move there in the future.
It will establish the prototype of a model process to develop the renewable energy
resources and link them to energy networks serving rural villages. The pilot projects in
the two villages, Cadamstown and Ballyboy, will be developed with private sector
partners projects to test the technical and financial aspects of the model. Later phases
will demonstrate a new planning and development model, a partnership between the local
authority, villagers, development agencies and private consultants. The project involves:
- The construction of the first electrical minigrid supply systems in Ireland for the
past seventy years.
- The construction of the first district heating systems for a mixed development of
private housing, visitor and recreational and commercial buildings anywhere in
- The erection of 2 wind turbines, one near each village, a wood-chip-fired CHP
plant in one village and a biogas digester plus a biogas-fired CHP plant in the
other in the First Phase.
- The efficient management of these plants and the supply and sale of their heat
and electricity output by Energy Supply Companies (ESCo).
- The development of metering systems which allow customers to buy wind
generated electricity whenever a surplus of it is available at little more than the
opportunity cost of selling it into the grid.
- The establishment of a pool of electrically-powered vehicles for use by the
village businesses, residents and visitors.
- The establishment of a community asset management company in each village to
own and control the common non-energy assets created by the project.
- The large-scale use of construction materials sourced from the local area in the
construction of highly energy efficient buildings.
- Research into ways of storing energy for convenient use such as small-scale
hydro - a demonstration project will be investigated for Cadamstown - and the
newest generation of batteries called flow batteries.
- Research into ways in which savings of Co2 can be passed back to the
communities which made them through green certificates, carbon emission
permits, quotas or other grant or tax measures.
- Research into ways in which increases in property-values due to the activities of
the local authorities, community asset management companies and energy
services companies can be better captured for those who created them.
- Research into growing and harvesting methods for new non-food crops for
construction such as hemp and for bio fuels such as rapeseed.
- Funding the National Agreement Certification process for innovative ecological
building construction systems to support its adoption anywhere in Ireland for
social housing, first time buyers and in rural tax incentive areas.
- The drawing up in Phase 2, in conjunction with the local county council and
village residents, of Framework Plans for a further eight villages in addition to
the Phase 1 projects.
- The extension by the county council of the energy minigrids, plus the provision
of the roads, water, and sewage systems under an Integrated Infrastructure
Initiative described under the Framework Plan. The county council would
recover the cost of this work under the provisions of Section 49 of the Planning
Act. This is a novel way of handling village development.
- The dissemination of this experience, through a dedicated Local Energy
Advisory Agency and a Village Framework Plan Advisory Agency supported by
a revolving fund, as a model for rural development.
|Executive Summary|| Download in PDF format|
|CHAPTER 1: Introduction, Genesis, the Project Team|
| Download in PDF format|
CHAPTER 2:Context of ENLIVEN|| Download in PDF format|
CHAPTER 3: Energy Options for Cadamstown and Ballyboy|| Download in PDF format|
CHAPTER 4: Energy Case Studies|| Download in PDF format|
CHAPTER 5: New Planning and Construction Systems|| Download in PDF format|
CHAPTER 6: Cadamstown Village Project|| Download in PDF format|
CHAPTER 7: Actions, Results and Work Programme|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 1: Woodchip for Heat|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 2: Anaerobic Digestion|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 3: Cost Estimates|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 4: Village Design Principles|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 5: Hemp Lime|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 6: Project Areas|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 7: Estimated Loads, Cadamstown Project|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 8: Wood Pelleting Process in Detail|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 9: The Economic Environment for Community
Energy Projects|| Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 10: Stream from Biomass: Stirling 35kW / 70kW electricity || Download in PDF format|
APPENDIX 11: Cadamstown Hydro Resource|| Download in PDF format|
PDF documents will open in your browser. However they can be large documents and so this may take some time. To download the documents directly to your hard drive right-click on the document link and choose 'Save Target As..'
To read the PDF version of a document you will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer. You can get a free copy here.