Supporting and Promoting District Heating and Cooling in Ireland
Commenting in response to the launch of the Report, Yvonne Murphy, CEO of the Irish District Energy said,
The District Heating Steering Group Report is a key moment for the district energy sector in Ireland. Its recommendations on financing, consumer inducement and protections, regulation, and planning and consenting, among other elements, send a clear signal to the market that Ireland is committed to district energy as a key driver of decarbonised heat. This is hugely welcome.
The National Heat Study produced by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland in 2022 demonstrates the potential for up to 54% of heat in buildings to be supplied by district heating. A proven technology in widespread use across many European countries since the 1970s, district heating is a key component Ireland's plans to decarbonise the built environment, diversify fuel sources for heat, and improve quality of life.
Countries like Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Denmark have both the highest levels of renewable heat and district energy in Europe. Each with a renewable heat share of over 40%. Ireland, on the other hand, ranks bottom in Europe with only 5.3% of heat coming from renewable sources (SEAI 2022).
The District Heating Steering Group was chaired by Barry Quinlan, Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications with responsibility for Energy, and was made up of representatives from,
District Heating Steering Group Report 2023 - IrDEA Summary of Key Recommendations.pdf
In its submission, IrDEA urged the Department to refine certain aspects of the Strategy, 'to better reflect the future role of district energy in achieving our 2050 net zero emissions targets'.
The current long-term strategy intersperses district energy as a source of heat decarbonisation alongside other options, particularly heat pumps. While IrDEA emphasised that is incredibly welcome to see district energy incorporated in this way, we are keen to ensure clarity and consistency in the strategy with respect to decarbonising heating and cooling. This is vital to support the scaling up of the district energy sector, which in turn is essential to achieving our long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.
To achieve this, IrDEA recommended the following changes to the strategy:
IrDEA concluded in stating,
If we are to achieve net zero emissions, it is vital to use every available technology and resource at our disposal. The science is clear that reducing emissions quickly will have the most positive impact on managing and mitigating the excesses of human induced climate change. As the heating sector lags so far behind in Ireland’s efforts to decarbonise, we must put particular focus on finding deliverable solutions that can be rolled out as quickly as possible. This must include placing district energy on a par with solutions like heat pumps given its capacity to deliver decarbonised heat to up to 50% of Ireland’s current building stock in addition to future constructions in areas with suitable levels of heat demand.
Download the full submission here:
IrDEASubmission_Ireland’s current Long-term Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions_07Jul2023.pdf
Today IrDEA's Yvonne Murphy (CEO) and Dr David Connolly (Chairperson) appeared before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action alongside Professor Professor Brian Vad Mathiesen from Aalborg University, Copenhagen.
Discussing the decarbonisation of Ireland's heat sector as part of the Committee's ongoing examination of the topic, IrDEA spoke to the benefits and opportunities offered by district energy, which include significant prospects for scalability and rapid rollout.
As part of this, Dr Connolly and Ms Murphy set out a number of key policy barriers to be addressed, such as,
In response to questions from a number of Deputies on affordability and consumer protection, the IrDEA representatives emphasised the importance of regulatory and market safeguards to protect customers.
Speaking after the Committee hearing, Connolly stated,
The opportunities for district heating in Ireland are there and it's great to see this level of engagement from stakeholders to find ways of tapping into that. It was great to get such considered questions from the Committee members, a really strong sign that district energy is moving up the agenda.
Ms Murphy concluded in stating,
We're grateful to the Committee for giving us the time to make the case for district energy today. I'd be very hopeful that this is the beginning of a constructive dialogue that will help us find policy and legislative solutions to address the few but crucial policy barriers faced by the industry at present.
Speaking in response to the announcement, IrDEA CEO Yvonne Murphy stated,
This is a very welcome move that we had hoped to see this year as a key signal to the market that district energy is being prioritised. The sector is incredibly keen to see regulation and standards being set down to give both protection and comfort to consumers, developers, and operators alike, and this is a positive sign of things to come.
Making the announcement on its website and making key stakeholders aware of the move, the CRU (Commission for the Regulation of Utilities) stated,
The CRU is now notifying stakeholders and, in particular, suppliers of District Heating and operators of District Heating networks of its intention to publish the specific registration requirements later in 2023.
The full text of the announcement can be viewed below or at https://www.cru.ie/publications/27529/.
The CRU has been appointed as regulator of District Heating and Cooling networks by S.I. 350 of 2022, which transposes Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.
As part of its remit, the CRU will require all District Heating suppliers to register with the CRU and make certain information available to final consumers, pursuant to Regulation 33 of S.I. 350 of 2022.
Also under S.I. 350 of 2022, the CRU must ensure that final consumers of district heating are provided with information on the energy performance and the share of renewable energy used in their district heating and cooling system. This may be made available on a final consumer’s bill or on the supplier’s website, and it must also be made available, upon request, from the supplier. The CRU will engage with District Heating suppliers on this in due course.
If you have any queries on this, please contact the CRU’s District Heating team at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Irish District Energy Association today confirmed its application to join the Board of Euroheat & Power (EHP) approved. Euroheat & Power (EHP) is the international network for district energy, promoting sustainable heating and cooling in Europe and beyond.
Ireland’s stated ambitions, as set out in the Climate Action Plan 2023, to deliver 0.8TWhrs of District Heating by 2025 and 2.7TWhrs by 2030 demand that we take a more active role in EU policy making. By joining Euroheat & Power, IrDEA will take up a key Board position and positions on EHP’s committees. This will ensure the needs of the Irish district energy sector are advocated for at EU level and that the wealth of expertise, experience, and connections available through EHP membership can be leveraged as the sector grows to meet Ireland’s ambitious decarbonisation targets.
Commenting on the news, IrDEA CEO Yvonne Murphy stated,
This is another in a series of leaps forward for IrDEA as an organisation. We’re excited to get started in developing and growing IrDEA’s network of connections across Europe to lean on the extraordinary level of expertise across the continent. The great benefit of Ireland being late to the party on district energy is that we can avail of the abundance of help and guidance out there to ensure our sector develops according to the very best standards out there today.
In joining the Board of Euroheat & Power, IrDEA will have a voice in Europe's leading district energy association. This is vital to ensuring Irish interests are advocated for across decision-making bodies at european level.
EHP is a non-for-profit association headquartered in Brussels that unites the district energy sector. Members come from over thirty countries around the globe and include national district heating and cooling associations, utilities operating district energy systems, industrial associations and companies, manufacturers, universities, research institutes and consultancies active in the sector.
For queries, please contact:
Yvonne Murphy, CEO, IrDEA | 089 494 6654 | email@example.com
IrDEA Joins EHP April 2023.pdf
The Irish District Energy Association (IrDEA) is the trade organisation representing the district heating and cooling (DHC) sector in Ireland. We act on behalf of our members to support and promote the growth of the DHC industry, creating a new heating market for Ireland which offers greater opportunities to use indigenous low-carbon and renewable sources of heat.
Text from Euroheat & Power media release, view original here
We are delighted to welcome IrDEA as a new member of Euroheat & Power!
The Irish District Energy Association (IrDEA) is Ireland’s only membership organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting the roll-out of District Heating and Cooling (DHC) from sustainable, low carbon, renewable energy sources.
IrDEA was established in 2017 as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (CLG), and has members from across the public, private and academic sectors. We are the only trade organisation representing the district heating and cooling (DHC) sector in Ireland.
Acting on behalf of our members, we support and promote the growth of the DHC industry, creating a new heating market for Ireland, which offers greater opportunities to utilise indigenous low-carbon and renewable sources of heat.
IrDEA is the go-to place to find expertise and information on DHC in Ireland. Our members include leading actors in the district heating sector in Ireland, whose background ranges from practical experience of DHC design and operation, to international research and in-depth knowledge of policy and the barriers affecting district heating implementation in Ireland.
With thermal energy storage offering significant potential to underpin the delivery of district energy in Ireland, IrDEA took the opportunity of the government consultation on Developing an Electricity Storage Policy Framework for Ireland, which closed on 27 January 2023
At approx. 60 TWh per annum, heat makes up 42% of final energy demand in a typical year for Ireland (SEAI 2019). Decarbonisation in the sector has, however, lagged behind electricity, with total fossil fuel based CO2 emissions from building and industrial process heating remaining around 14.1 MtCO2. This equates to approx. 38% of total energy-related CO2 and 24% of total national greenhouse gas emissions – natural gas (39%), oil (36%), and coal and peat (25%) (SEAI 2019). Significant action must be taken to address this if Ireland’s net zero emissions ambitions are to be realised.
The Irish District Energy Association (IrDEA) aims to help address this problem by driving the development of the Irish district energy sector. Though relatively new and underdeveloped in Ireland, district heating is well-established as means of providing sustainable heating solutions to industrial, commercial and residential energy consumers. With between 54% (SEAI) and 58% (Europa-Universitat Flensburg 2019) of Irish building identified as being suitable for district energy, this form of heating is primed to lead the decarbonisation of the sector. Energy storage, particularly largescale thermal energy storage systems (TES), is an integral part of this.
IrDEA focused its submission on energy storage as it relates district energy sector, in particular thermal energy storage systems (TES). As a general comment, however, we would strongly encourage the expansion of the policy framework beyond electricity storage to facilitate a whole system approach with respect to energy storage.
The full submission can be viewed and downloaded here.
With refreshed targets for District Heating set out in the latest Climate Action Plan 2023 (December 2022), the industry is tasked with delivering up to 0.8 TWh of district heating installed capacity by 2025, and up to 2.5 TWh by 2030. These targets are equivalent to connecting 80,000 homes by 2025 and 250,000 homes by 2030. It is intended that Ms Murphy’s appointment will help to drive forward the rapid growth of the organisation and the district energy sector in Ireland in the years ahead.
Commenting on the appointment, Chair of IrDEA, David Connolly said,
This is an important moment for the organisation, and we are truly excited about the new possibilities this appointment will bring for both the organisation and the sector. We would like to warmly welcome Yvonne and wish her the very best in her new role on behalf of the IrDEA membership.
IrDEA Director, Donna Gartland added,
It is our hope that as IrDEA’s new CEO, Yvonne will soon become a trusted voice with members, policymakers and the media, while providing thought leadership on issues related to district heating and the decarbonisation of Ireland’s heat sector. We want to wish her well with her new appointment and look forward to working with her.
On her appointment, Ms Murphy said,
I am incredibly excited to join IrDEA and very much look forward to working with the members to drive forward the development of the district energy sector in Ireland. This is a proven technology with enormous potential to deliver real change in the immediate future while also moving us closer to our commitment to achieving net zero by 2050. I am truly delighted to be joining IrDEA at such a pivotal time for the organisation and the sector.
If you would like to contact IrDEA about this appoint or make contact with Yvonne, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Irish District Energy Association has submitted a response on the Consultation on Geothermal Energy for a Circular Economy on behalf of its members.
The text is available here.
Irish District Energy Association
13 Adelaide Road, Saint Kevins, Dublin 2, D02 P950
Company Registration: 619382