One of three official EUSEW (European Sustainable Energy Week) Energy Days in Ireland took place, Tuesday, the 14th of May, 2019 at St. John Bosco Community College in Kildysart, County Clare. Following the Irish Government declaring a Climate Emergency last Thursday, the 9th of May, the event was highly relevant covering topics such as the current climate crisis, renewable energy and how students are currently making a huge impact on policy makers in Europe. The official event was titled: Increasing students Awareness on how to be more sustainable and on renewable energy technology, which included two interactive presentations to 47 students from both 2nd and Transition Year. The Energy Day was organised by DesignPro Renewables who applied for the Day under EUSEW with the help of the school’s art teacher, Carmel Moroney.
Each year the European Commission promotes EUSEW which includes an invite only Policy Conference with various opportunities for companies to participate in the event and also to hold Energy Days throughout the months of May and June. Energy Days can be hosted by public or private organisations in the EU and must promote sustainable energy. Prior to the event, DesignPro Renewables submitted a proposal, which was approved and is recognised by the European Commission as an official Energy Day as part of European Sustainable Energy Week 2019.
DesignPro’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Roisin Mc Cormack and Sales and Marketing Executive, Maura Culhane had a warm welcome into the school Tuesday morning with a custom hand-painted banner at the entrance promoting the EUSEW and DesignPro’s logo. Both presentations were designed to be highly interactive and were well received by the students first testing their current knowledge on the subject of energy to gain an understanding of their awareness and then explaining how they can make a huge impact to their future by making small changes in everyday lives.
The school demonstrates an impressive level of awareness around the topic of sustainability and walking around the school it is very apparent that they have made sustainability a priority with several walls focusing on reducing plastic waste, fast fashion, a flower garden with bee friendly plants as part of a UNESCO competition and a newly installed water fountain for students and staff to refill reusable water bottles.
“We were delighted to welcome DesignPro’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Roisin Mc Cormack and Sales and Marketing Executive, Maura Culhane to our school. Sustainability is a major focus in our school and has been over a number of years with many of our students actively involved in projects and initiatives in this area. Our current Green Schools focus for our 5th flag on Biodiversity and our involvement in the ECO UNESCO competition helps to keep our students focused on a more sustainable future for us all. Our students enjoyed the presentation from the DesignPro team as it heightened their awareness of renewable energy.”
–Denis O Rourke, Principal of St. John Bosco Community College
DesignPro Renewables, based in Rathkeale County Limerick is developing a range of hydrokinetic turbines that generate clean energy from flowing water in rivers and estuaries.
The company’s connection with Kildysart, County Clare began last year when a suitable site was identified for deployment of a 60kW device in the Fergus Estuary. DesignPro Renewables submitted a Foreshore Licence application for this location and engaged with the community early on about the potential project. The local support and backing received was highly positive and fantastic to see however due to deadline constraints at the time and a lack of adequate bird data in the area the decision was made to withdraw the application.
Despite this setback, the company remains extremely interested in getting a project up and running in the area given the great resource in the estuary and the positive support and proactive response from the community. An alternative site not far from the one originally identified is now being looked into further. This alternative site was suggested by a number of stakeholders and community members as a more suitable fit for a hydrokinetic device during the consultation process of the first application and this feedback has been taken onboard for a new application. The company wishes to keep a transparent line of communication open with the community on any new upcoming developments in getting a device deployed in the local estuary and welcomes any questions on this.
The students at St. John Bosco’s echo the welcoming and positive attitude of their wider local Kildysart community towards progressive renewable technologies and a much needed change in behaviour to focus on sustainable living. Overall the Energy Day was a great success with lots of interesting engagement and hopefully lessons for a more sustainable future taken onboard.
The EU Sustainable Energy week takes place from the 17th to the 21st of June this year with the Policy Conference taking place on from the 18th to the 20th of June in Brussels aimed at shaping Europe’s Energy Future. For the remainder of May and the month of June, you can follow progress of the event and conference through their online social accounts and also find local energy day’s that you can attend throughout the EU. If you have an idea to host an Energy Day yourself you still have time, head over to their website to check out what the process involves.
A sincere thanks to St. John Bosco Community College for their hospitality yesterday and look forward to hearing about their continued work in teaching sustainability to their students.