By Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU

The 13th July 2o17, The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) launched its new five-year strategy.

According to SEAI, the improved delivery of sustainable, secure and clean energy solution scan help improve citizens’ quality of life, protect the economy and allow us meet the challenge posed by climate change.

Citizens will be he first actors of this new strategy, they will have to switch to a low carbon economy for a healthier future. SEAI will ensure this new role.

“SEAI has shown that it can deliver. Since our last strategy was published, we have invested over €400 million in sustainable energy projects throughout the country. This has saved the Irish economy over €1 billon in that time. Now it is time to be even more ambitious because the challenge set out in the Government’s White Paper remains stark. It will require citizens, business, policy makers and regulators to work together in pursuit of this shared goal” said Julie O’Neill, Chairperson of the Authority.

The Authority will focus its strategy on empowering citizens by giving them the means to use less energy and use clean energy at an individual level, raising awareness of sustainable energy, and increasing the impact from grant schemes. SEAI will also target deeper retrofit of our building stock, greater uptake of electric vehicles,further development in the public sector, provision of expert and authoritative analysis and enhancing the value derived from energy research and innovation.

Thanks to SEAI, from 2011 to 2016. €40o million were invested in sustainable energy projects resulting to €1 billion energy savings. Supported energy were upgraded in 2000.000 homes. 1,700 electric vehicled were put into circulation. €18 million were invested into 120 sustainable energy Research and development projects.

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“We are at the forefront of delivering material and measurable impact when it comes to energy savings and the transition to a low carbon future,” said Jim Gannon CEO of SEAI. “We strive to be an open, accessible organisation taking direct actions that enable the country to achieve its climate change targets and provide a healthy, secure and clean energy future. Our investment in homes, businesses and communities has delivered tangible results and we will continue to expand both the reach and impact of these activities. We want to lead the transformation of the Irish economy to a lower carbon future – nothing less will do given the level of the challenge the country faces.”

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten congratulated the SEAI on the new strategy saying “The SEAI is a vital player in enabling Ireland to develop a new energy future and almost unique in their delivery of direct action and tangible results in addressing our response to climate change and promoting energy efficiency. One of my main priorities as Minister is to ensure that the SEAI is resourced properly to allow it to drive change at community level.

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