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Innovation

At FuturEnergy Ireland, we have an important role to play in the transformation of Ireland to a carbon neutral economy.

To make this happen, we are constantly looking at ways to push ourselves that little bit further to find new solutions, adopt cutting-edge technology, refine our working practices, build relationships with local communities and respect the natural environment. 

Innovation is at the very heart of what we do. 

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Technology

Energy Storage

At FuturEnergy Ireland, we don’t just think about what technology the power system requires today. Our team is always trying to look to the future and understand the solutions we require if we are to deliver a fully decarbonised power system.

Some of the key challenges we foresee are:

  • Grid capacity Sometimes we have more wind energy available in a region than the electrical lines can carry.
  • Oversupply In the future we expect the amount of available wind energy will exceed our demand for electricity for many hours in the year.
  • Clean, stored power, ready to go When the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, and we will need a source of clean dispatchable power to fill these gaps.
Raheenleagh Wind Farm
Raheenleagh Wind Farm Turbine

Our team is working with emerging low-cost, long-duration energy storage technologies to help address these issues. These long-duration storage technologies can absorb excess renewable energy for up to 100 hours and store this for later use at times when the wind isn’t blowing.

This exciting and progressive portfolio will go a long way to address Ireland’s energy needs. For more, please visit our Battery Energy Storage page.

Recreation

Our recreational offering

As part of our ethos, we investigate the potential for new recreation, or enhancing existing recreation, with communities local to a proposed wind farm development who would like to see this happen. This depends on site suitability and community feedback and is assessed on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with all stakeholders.

The FuturEnergy Ireland team was involved with setting up a recreational amenity at Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm in Co Roscommon, which is popular with both locals and tourists alike. In 2022, the wind farm welcomed more than 25,000 visitors.

 

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Playground at Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm
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As part of our core recreational offering, we explore the following options:

  • Parking for ease of access
  • Upgraded tracks and trails
  • Waymarked looped trails
  • Educational boards highlighting points of historic and cultural interest
  • Biodiversity areas
  • Viewing points
  • Picnic areas

The opportunity to create a recreational space on our wind farms is exciting and there are many avenues to explore. If this is of interest to the local community, we would encourage members to work with us and help to inform the design.

To check the status of a recreation project on a wind farm near you, please visit the project website.

Education

Macroom Convent of Mercy Transition Year Students

FuturEnergy Ireland has embedded a holistic approach to education across all of our community engagement programmes to encourage people to learn more about climate change, the environment and the renewable energy transition.
Our education programmes can be tailored to any age group, from primary level students to active retirement groups. This year we are pleased to add a dedicated youth advocacy programme to our offering.
If you are interested in taking part, please email community@futurenergyireland.ie


National schools education programme

Class taking part in Steam Education climate awareness programme
Macroom Convent of Mercy Transition Year Students

Secondary school education programme

In 2021, we launched 'Renewable Energy & Your Future', an educational programme in areas where we have live projects, which has proved popular with students and teachers alike.

This workshop involves our Community Liaison Officers running an interactive presentation geared towards Transition Year students and with an emphasis on the new ‘climate jobs’ market. This may also be accompanied by a trip to a wind farm.


Generation Change

In March 2024, we launched our new youth advocacy programme, Generation Change, which is designed to help young people who live near our project sites learn more about renewable energy in a non-formal education setting.

This free programme, which runs over three weekly workshops, is the first of its kind in the wind sector and encourages young people to develop local action projects based around the renewable energy transition. Through these projects, young people will be challenged to engage with local representatives and to take part in the decision-making process. Generation Change is aimed at existing youth groups and is directly delivered by experienced FuturEnergy Ireland staff.

Biodiversity Initiatives

The Hare's Corner Project

FuturEnergy Ireland is proud to sponsor The Hare’s Corner, a BurrenBeo Trust initiative that offers landowners practical support to enhance biodiversity on their land through the creation of habitats such as ponds, native orchards and mini woodlands.

In 2023, we sponsored the pilot programme in Co Clare. This year, the Hare's Corner has expanded and FuturEnergy Ireland is supporting the initiative in Co Leitrim.

The term ‘Hare’s Corner’ comes from an old rural expression to describe small, ‘awkward’ sections of a field –corners, slopes, wet patches -which were difficult to manage and so were ‘left to nature’, a welcome sanctuary for hares and other wild plants and animals.

The Hare’s Corner is a simple way to help farmers and landowners address the climate and biodiversity crises without a lot of extra work or footing the bill. The transformation of these pockets of land improves farmland biodiversity and increases our resilience against climate change, for example by providing shade and water for cattle at times of drought and by improving water quality.

We are looking forward to providing funding for Hare’s Corner projects in Co Leitrim in 2024. We all need to play our part in addressing climate change and every little helps. If you would like to take part or for more information, please visit https://burrenbeo.com/thc/

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