[throughout this series we've looked at lots of ways of protecting and improving our environment transitioning to clean renewable sourcesof energy is the greatest challenge we face] in recent programs we visitedtowns, cities and villages across europe to meet people who no longer want to bepassive consumers of energy. towns like sonderborg and cities like copenhagenare well on the journey to a transition away from fossil fuel. and they're demonstrating this is possible while improving living standards and prosperity. we've seen whole cities and towns breakawayand challenge the fossil fuel industry
and push for energy independence. a clear lesson i've learned, is that community collaboration is central to making this transition possible. today we're going to look at how we might we re-imagine what an energy community can be. and i think you're going to be very surprised with some of the answers. [no doubt ireland is a sporting nation, 1.7 million people are members of over 12,000 clubs in sixty four differenttypes of sports. hundreds of thousands of people volunteered their time and effort in making
team sports the largest communities in the country.] dubs like the hotdogs! dubs love the hotdogs and kerry? kerrymen eat the burgers! [the pride of the nation is the gaa. with over half a million members across the country. every year 1.5 million loyal fans traveled to themodern amphitheatre of the sport. croke park! [many have no idea of the journey, croke park have pursued over the past 8 years
to transform the stadium into one of the most energy efficient, sports arenas in the world. ] [i'm here on the biggest sporting day of the year.. the all-ireland football final.] [i got pitch side with croke park's director; peter mckenna to find out why sustainability is so important to croke park? we said to ourselves 'listen, we can make a difference, we can make a difference which will communicate that difference to everybody else'. change habits, it's about everyone taking a little step to make one big step for everybody together. in the main, we buy our electricity from green sources.
we also use of natural gas herewhich is on the pitch. the pitch is fully integrated, first in europe to be a fully integrated pitch. right and if you look long term, obviously we have to get off all fossil fuels including gas. what are the solutions to it downstream with renewable energy? absolutely fossil fuels have to be now.. we haveto wean ourselves off it. i think we've become slaves to it for many, many decades but gradually people are, i think cottoning on that this is not sustainable and we needto really push ourselves forward. and it's not just in a croke park context, it's right across all gaa clubs
that we need to have this wider consciousness. [ i asked facilties manager; edward brennan how they're achieving all this?] we set objectives and goals and each year wetry to meet those and develop further and further to be a sustainable as wepossibly can. we've saved over 10 million kw/h of electricity, over 4million in gas and even over 100,000 cubic litres of water. [the final savings are staggering: since 2007
croke park has saved enough electricity to power a town the size of clonakilty and enough gas to heat nearly 300 homes for a year! just imagine what the financial savings must be too. is there a lesson that we can learn from what you are doing here in croke park? we're just very proud that we've managed to establish here aculture of sustainability and really that's what you're trying to engagepeople in. get involved in the end the culture of sustainability rather thansomething which is driven by rules and regulations.
this year for example;we'll have 700 tonnes of rubbish and not one ounce will go to landfill. right! we're mighty pleased with that. so that all gets recycled? all gets recycled. none going to landfill? none going to landfill. so how do we leverage those lessons, that learning back into a local environment?
so people can say ya, 'a really big monolith like croke park can have zero to landfill' so let's try and replicate that across thecountry. so applying that to local communities around ireland, especially the 2000 clubs that you've around ireland, can you make that same ethos applyright across those small communities? i think on the the matter of sustainabilitywe have to! i mean it's such an important issue for ourselves as a country or even for us as a as a race. i mean..
we will not survive if we keep doing what we're doing with fossil fuels, using up a natural resources as we are. so this is imperative and.. but we need to do that away which is very verycollaborative and is friendly and is encouraging! running one of the largest stadiums in europe isan enormous challenge in itself but but doing this by transforming to the mostenergy-efficient stadium in the world is a massive achievement! with it's unique place in irish life,
croke park and the gaa are well placed to drive a cultural of change, that's already happening withsmaller clubs across the country. already over 100 gaa clubs across thecountry are retrofitting their buildings and reducing their energy demands. the concept of what defines a community is constantly evolving in cork city's harbour, where the implications ofclimate change and rising sea levels are becoming very apparent. awareness of energy issues are at an all time high. the navy, ucc nmci and the corkinstitute of technology have joined forces
to form imerc. the irish maritime and energy resourcecluster.. to collaborate on developing new energy technologies in the marine sector. so how did this collaboration between the two universities and yourself happen? you have.. professional mariners in the irish naval service being trained byprofessional mariners through cit. and you had the research community within ucc all cohabiting in this small area in lower cork harbour so eventually, the penny had todrop.
these three communities had to come together and say 'this is our common goal'. we have the maritime as our primary domain why don't we all pool our resources and take what we can from it. so how does the naval service benefit by opening their doors to you as an energy community? well, i suppose its all about collaboration and the opportunities that presents. so instead of working in isolation, when you come together in partnership as we have done here in imerc we have an opportunity to realise things together that no one partner could achieve on their own and that includes the naval service. so by opening its doors to this community andthis energy community in particular
here in ringaskiddy, the naval service is able to access research, training, knowledge entrepreneurs, new ways of thinking andnew ways of doing business. and the ships can be used as testbed platforms forstartup companies but not just the startup companies, also for the researchcommunity like the very significant marine, renewable energy researchcommunity that's here in this beafort building focusing on offshore wind, waveand tidal energy which is a big opportunity for ireland. to find out about some of the challengesthat they are facing i met up with lieutenant commander cãan o'mearain.
so what are your operational challenges? people will be aware, we have ships in the mediterranean dealing with rescuing people who are migrating from africa and through africa. and this ship and the 'eithne' over here were both involved in that and the 'samuel beckett' is currently there. and that has been a new departure for us, its required us to go further from home, further from base, stay on operations for longer periods of time. so if you take all of your energy now in the navy yes
what percentage of it, is fuelingthese 8 ships, that you've got? when we started this process we very quickly came to the realisation that 95% of the energy, the navy uses, it uses on ships. one thing that put it starkly in mind for me.. when i was on the sister ship of this. we were transiting the mediterranean, cruising at 17 knots and we were using27,000 litres of oil a day! twenty seven thousand litres! thats 27 tonnes! (of oil a day)
the entire amount of homeheating oil, you will use for the life of your mortgage in one day. and that very quickly put it in my mind that we are burning a lot of energy, we have to, to do the things we do but we have to be careful about how we do it. so if we take then, the situation here you're trying to get your energy down and you're trying to be clever about it, smart about it. how do you do it?
we concentrate on educating the people who drive the ship about speed. you can get to the same place at a few knots slower and you will save an awful lot of energy. there's a cubic relationship between speed and power on a ship a cubic relationship? it's not a double, it's a cubic relationship. so every extra knot comes with a tripling of extra energy. and a ship that's like this, 15 years old.
how does that compare to say, state of the art, modern ships now? what we're finding: we built a newer class of ship based on this design. they have slightly larger engines but they're achieving slightly better efficiency because we've added an electric drive. which allows us to shut down the main engines at times and save energy that way. it's like a hybrid like a hybrid car same as, ya? very similar but a few important differences but
it's an either/ or scenario. this has saved â‚¬10 million in energy spend and 39,000 tonnes of co2 emissions. however, meeting new challenges, like the mediterranean refugee crisis, has broughtnew demands on the naval service. these new types of objectives are amplifyingtheir operational demands for energy to help address the energy challengesthe navy's turned to technology through their partnerships with the tyndall institute, seai, ucc, cork institute of technology and skysails. they're developing the 'aeolus' (project)
a power-generating kite a modern take on harnessing the wind, the oldest form of maritime power. [what we hope to achieve with that and it's a long-term project, to actually pull the ship it will either pull it in its entirety or reduce the load on the engine, saving fuel. that technology exists and we wouldlike to incorporate that but as we've looked at it we found we can do better than that, we can we can also use that
as a system that generates electricity. if you don't need propulsion it can pay out and pull in and generate electricity. the third benefit but we can do even better on this is use it as a sensor platform. we can get the sail to hover in a figure of 8 above the ship, with zero thrust. and we can look out instead of covering 150 square miles with our sensors, we can now cover 1,500 square miles. ten times more ten times the area
the area of water that must be a huge advantage its a huge advantage in that, we dont have to if we don't have to drive to all these places to see it. we can sit still and see as much as we would have, driving around at high speed. so that allows us to then decide where we want to go. innovations, efficiencies andcollaboration are all being deployed to make the future of the naval services and all the defence forces, more sustainable.
i can see how a large, well resourced, organised community like the gaa or the irish naval service might succeed but i couldn't helpwonder how this might work for smaller communities country wide. on my way back to dublin, i stopped bycamphill community in ballytobin, co. kilkenny. i was inspired by the community spirit when i visited here 12 years ago camphill is a charity for people with special needs live and work together on a farm with volunteer co-workers. the ballytobin community consists of 75 people, all living in 6 shared homes on theestate.
central to the ethos of the camphill communities is tobe self-sufficient and ecologically sustainable in food and their energyneeds. for camphill, money saved on resources can be ploughed back into where it's really needed. i asked mark dwan, how they're making this work? i think there was a will for it, peoplereally interesting this way of working and i think people saw the necessity ofit and the necessity was that, well there's vulnerable people here, that we supportand that brings that culture about. the realization that you know you getfurther by supporting one another and by working collaboratively and being acommunity and i think, that social cause
or that social ideal was the first thingthat was founded here. and then once you had established that, once you create thatsocial foundation, well then you could put templates of energy, collaborative,working with or creating our own energy. collaborative ways of working to createour own economy, our own food production those things could come quite easilythen, once you establish that, that kind of social foundation of mutual support. so how important is food and energy to you, in terms of self-sufficiency? well in the farm herein ballytobin we produce
probably around eighty percent of our own food, wehave our own cattle, we have sheep, we have milk and dairy production, we have abakery where we make our own bread and we have extensive vegetable gardens and polytunnels and that's an environment for work opportunities for people but italso produces quite a lot of food to the tune of eighty percent of our needs. eighty percent that's incredible. it must keep an awful lot of money circulating in your own little, small economy here. so how are you actually achieving that sense ofcollaboration in your renewable energy and sustainable energy projects here?
we started to explore it using district heating systems and we started to lookinto other alternative sources of energy apart from wood burning, the biogasoption was a very good one and when we looked at the whole district heatingsystem principle, we found out that with one boiler we could heat the entirecommunity rather than several boilers so already on the infrastructure you weremaking savings and then with the energy supply next door to you, being food wasteand farm slurry, that also made enormous efficiencies and huge savings. with the support of the seai community program
camphill have upgraded most of their buildingsto near zero energy. they've installed 6 solar panels for hot water and an ad plant thatproduces biogas from local farm slurry. our main energy source duncan, is this anaerobic digestor that we have here. so we taking in food, waste material from around the country and we have farmslurry, we've got our neighboring farmers who supply us with the slurry on a dailybasis and that goes that's fed into the digester as well and there's a bacterial processgoing on there and they the methagens produce the methane gas and thenthat surfaces to the
gas storage at the top of these reactors,that supplies then our boilers that heats the distribution system thatsupplies heat to all the houses and buildings. and when the material is fullydigested and treated, then we take it back to the farmer and for him that's a very good nutrient product with very reduced pathogen content. right, so that really works well. its a whole closed cycle in fact, very much the circlulareconomy working here. there is yeah, yeah. it's a little miniature ecosystem here. you've a boiler that feeds into the district heating scheme, do you have a combined heat and power plant here?
yes, we just installed a combined heatingand power system this year and that's going to supply the local grid, all the houses are collectively in on one grid for the heating supply but they're also onone grid for the electrical power supply and the chp is connected intothat, so when we have a surplus of gas beyond the heating needs, its it feedsinto the chp unit and produces power for the community. right, so really power coming from cattle slurry, cow shite basically. yeah yeah, that's the main source of your power here.
yes. and how much of your energy issupplied by this? for example all your heating for all of the 70 people here? yeah, a hundred percent of our heating demand is met by the biogas plant and we're hoping to meet, well we're hoping to meet 70, we're starting with 70% of ourelectrical needs but hopefully will achieve 100% there too. [the savings that camphill make on energyenables them to keep money circulating
in their own community while also improvingthe comfort for all the residents. the camphill ethos, successfully demonstrates how acommunity can flourish and achieve great things in a sustainable, meaningful and inclusive manner. a dozen more camphill communities across thecountry are now on the same path to sustainable energy.] so how do you get all the people of ireland toengage in this concept. well i think because it's a kind of a socialfoundation i, i think we begin with the social process of building the socialfoundation. the other things i think follow-on more easily after that so it'sabout getting conversations going perhaps. there is a spirit ofcollaboration, there is a sense for community.
just have to pick it up again awaken something that's, that's dormantbut it is there. i think it's, it's latently there [i can't help but think that a strongsocial foundation will always be undermined by social inequality. the poorest people in ireland typically live in very badly insulated houses where400,000 households struggle to keep even parts of their home warm, dry andhealthy in the winter. a strong social foundation with community collaboration can play a huge part
in tackling the growing problem of fuel poverty. energy action is a community group that provides training courses for the long-term unemployed and specialises in insulating the homes of people in fuel poverty.] gary, what are you doing here at energy action? well, energy action is it's a charity thats involved in delivering a free insulation service for the most vulnerable in ireland. because they live in cold, damp homes. there's over 500,000 living in fuel poverty.
500,000 people in ireland in fuel poverty, my god! we do that by training long-term unemployed people and preparing them for the work place that they can get jobs that are creative, sustainable and ecologically sound. right, so you are taking people that are unemployed, your up-skilling them, training them in this whole area of energy retrofit and then at the same time, your solving, trying to solve this huge problem of fuel poverty. yes, so we're combining both. right
so how many houses have you done now to date? we've done 34,000 houses to date 34,000, done! and how many people would you have trained? i would say, we've trained over 3,000 peopleincluding all the community-based organisations. when they finish their training here and doing the work with you out in retrofits through this program, whathappens to them afterwards? our whole objective for energy action is to get full time employment for our long-term unemployed. in 2014 for example, we had 92% of sucess for community employment.
[seai are one of the main funders ofenergy action they provide support for communities of all shapes and sizesthroughout the country, who wish to make the transition to energy efficiency.] so how serious is the whole issue of energy poverty in ireland? i think it's a big issue duncan and you'retalking about people here, who don't have enough money to heat their homes to acomfortable level and we need to think about how we can support them best. atthe moment there are fuel allowances for a lot of people who are here on lowincomes, which help them with their winter fuel bills, i think that's apositive thing but that's probably not a
permanent solution. what the advantage you get with in terms of insulating their homes and making them more energy-efficient, is you make them more affordable to run and you make them warmer. so i think this is more of a long-term solution, so the more we can get into homes and the work like, that is being undertaken by energy action and, and similar agencies the supports from government through our better energy, warmer home scheme are all going to it sort of a more permanent solution to the problemof reducing energy demand and helping these people have a warmer home, that;s more affordable to run. i think thats a long term solution it's probably amatter of ramping up and doing a lot
more homes every year. the cost of doing these retrofits to a deeper level is going to be huge for householders, obviously. but are there good benefits by doing it? duncan, there are huge benefitsto doing it. for a start there are the traditional benefits like energy savingthat we've always talked about. but there are a whole range of otherbenefits, that i think are motivating people to take these kind of investments, even more so than the energy savings.
people are really out there looking for a more comfortable and warmer home some people want to reduce mold and drafts in their home and end up with a healthier home for theirkids or for the elderly. the challenges we face are having them to unlock the finance they need to do it and also making people aware and getting engagedon energy efficiency and such as they make it a priority for themselves maybe before they do the kitchen or buy the new car, they think about doing an installation upgrade on the home inorder to get all of those, those range of benefits that i just mentioned forthemselves.
so the benefits now to local communities by engaging like this, in this challenge? i think there are huge benefits at the community level. i'm from australia originally andone of the things i noticed when i came here is that, that grassroots communityspirit in terms of getting things done. previous examples of that in thiscountry like tidy towns, created a real ground swell around reducing litter intowns, we got rid of plastic bags. people are now all smoking outside. we are recycling all of our waste into a number of different bins, the next one reallyneeds to be eliminating energy waste and we can do that at the community level
120,000 fuel poor homesacross the country to date, have been upgraded with support from seai. eliminating energy waste can go a long way in ireland's transition to to energy independence and help us live up to the responsibilities enshrined in the recent paris agreement. throughout this series, we've looked at the hugechallenges that climate change presents for all societies. we've also seen new technologies, economic models and policies that can help us play our part in living up to our responsibilities. we've seen communities at home andabroad
embrace the challenge head on and demonstrate that this transition is not only possible but can also bring multiple benefits. but the challenge we face is so greatthat it needs to be met by every part of society. we only have one planet and we share acommon atmosphere. we all have a part to play in shaping its future.