By @SimonCocking

It’s great to see Dublin City Council starting to embrace solar concepts on a larger scale now. Despite Ireland not being that hot, it terms of actual solar hours per day, it ranks highly in Europe. The potential is exciting, especially as the capacity of the solar panels themselves increases. We hope that these ideas are implemented soon, and that more initiatives like it follow!

Investing in solar energy production can pay for itself in just 7-13 years.

This is one of the key findings of an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge report which Dublin City Council has published.

  • Dublin is a good location to produce solar energy because of the amount of daylight the city enjoys
  • Solar can only deliver on its potential if it benefits from the same incentives that have helped grow the production of other renewable energy sources in Ireland
  • Solar increases our energy security as it can be produced and used in the same location
  • Solar can play an important role in helping Ireland meet an EU requirement to provide 16 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020
  • To mark its commitment to the report, the first comprehensive study of solar energy production and use in the capital, Dublin City Council has also announced that it will install solar panels on the Civic Offices on Wood Quay and four Dublin City Public Library buildings in 2015.

    The solar panels will produce approx. 20 per cent of the energy at each library and save Dublin City Council an estimated €21,000 in energy bills. Subject to surveying and final confirmation, Coolock, Ballymun, Cabra and Raheny libraries will be fitted with solar panels. The €250,000 initiative is part funded by the EU ACE INTERREG IVB project, which aims to promote the benefits of renewable energy in communities.

    The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Dublin report makes a series of findings about how Dublin City Council can harness solar energy to save money on its own energy costs and also on how it can promote greater use of solar energy in the city. The full report is available now www.bit.ly/solardublin

    Owen Keegan Dublin City Council’s Chief Executive says “Dublin City Council participated in the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge because we wanted to explore if solar could help us meet our energy needs more economically and efficiently. On behalf of the council I welcome today’s report which contains very useful recommendations on how solar can be applied in Dublin city.”

    Speaking on the publication of the report Peter O’Neill, Managing Director, IBM Ireland said, “This strong commitment by Dublin City Council to implement the recommendation of IBM’s Smarter City Challenge is setting an example for other cities. Throughout the challenge Dublin City Council demonstrated an eagerness to collaborate with multiple stakeholders and to seek the most feasible and beneficial solution for the citizens of Dublin. This is a smart strategy for a smart city.”

    IBM team

    Watch the video here

    The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a philanthropic grant programme that aims to help cities around the world deal with pressing municipal problems. Through the grant, IBM experts visit and work with city organisations providing consulting services valued at $500,000 over a three-week period. IBM Smarter Cities Challenge took place in October 2014, after Dublin successfully competed to be one of only 16 cities selected globally from over 100 applications.

    Download Solar Report here 

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