We are Changing and We Are Proud

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

A Project with just One Objective - A Single Goal.


 

Ballynagran is a small rural area in east County Wicklow, Ireland.


 

There is a voluntary group in the area called Ballynagran Energy.



 

This group has just    One Objective.


 

Ballynagran - to become an Energy area by 2030.



Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.

Three Strategies


1) Reduce our Energy Consumption

  a) Retrofit our Homes

  b) Retrofit our Public Buildings

  c) Green our Transport


2) Produce our own Clean Energy

  a) Wind Energy

  b) Solar Energy

  c) Biomass Energy


 3) Keep Detailed Records

  a) So that we may learn

  b) So that others may learn


a community, a place, a resource, an economy, a commonwealth.

Community benefits we are hoping to achieve (and are achieving)


Environment – establishing an energy plus community to create a more sustainable environment. Learn from and provide an example to other Communities


Employment – two unemployed persons were hired to carry out the energy audits / database work. The Retrofit Work has produced considerable business for associated industries.


Health – Wicklow is a high risk radon region, and the measurement of radon will identify where remedial measures are required.


Educational – a database detailing the energy use of all houses will provide a valuable research resource for our community and communities that want to do something similar


Financial – Eventually to generate a hopefully perpetual income stream for this community.


Image and Reputation – and energy plus community will draw both national and international interest to this region.

A Community first tackling the basic building blocks of sustainability.

What Have We Achieved So Far ? (Part 1)

Community Projects

 

Glenealy School

Retrofitted to Passive House Standard

 

Kilbride Church

Retrofitting to Church completed

 

Gleneally Hall

Energy Upgrade/Boiler/ Retrofit


 

Local Houses retrofitted en masse

Community Scheme - Household Retrofit Assist

A Community continues building the basic blocks of sustainability.

What Have We Achieved So Far ? (Part 2)

Consolidate the Retrofit

 

The area's major industrial energy consumer converts to renewable energy - oil to wood

 

Continued the retrofit of local houses

 

Supported many installations of timber boilers and stoves to avail of a local renewable resource

 

Distribution of energy monitoring meters to enable individual households in the community monitor their energy consumption

 

Forging links with SEAI in order for members to avail of the current grants - Details Here.

Enhancing an already excellent and world renowned walking holiday destination
     Encouraging Zero Carbon Transport and a Healthy Habit

What Have We Achieved So Far ? (Part 3)

Zero CO2e Transport Policy

 

Community Walking Trails

Outline Route planning has taken place

 

Alternative routes have been identified

 

Landowner permissions being sought

 

Compliance with legal trail requirements being prepared

 

Appropriate Signage has been arranged

 

Repair works have been undertaken

 

Items down on Transport Agenda:-

Car Pooling / Sharing

 

Electric Charging Points

 

Local Area Public E-Transport

Recording & Evaluating Our Progress is a Core Element of the Project

What Have We Achieved So Far ? (Part 4)

Evaluating the Changes

 

Health – Distributed Radon detection kits to participating households - results awaited.


Financial– Produced a Web Application that allows users to calculate potential energy savings of various retrofit options.


Consultation – Produced a downloadable Wind Energy Feasability application that allows users to vary different assumptions and to test different scenarios.


Evaluation – Established base database of energy use and produced detailed interim report on energy savings.

Trying to change the world begining in our own Community

The People behind the Project

 

Our Core: Local ---> Farmers, Homemakers, Plumbers, Doctors, Unemployed, Students, Contractors, Nurses, Engineers of All Sorts, Accountants, Chefs, Foresters, Mechanics, Consultants, Salesmen, Retirees, Waiters, Architects, Publicans, Public Servants, Gardeners, Truckers .........

 

Our Board: Pat King (Chairman), Declan O’Flaherty (Treasurer), Hubert Laird, Philip Geoghegan, Val Cosgrave, Nils Lignell, Ann Wood, Lizzie McElhinney.

 

Our Advisory Board: Eamon Ryan, Mary Blogs, Joe Blogs, Jim Blogs Jacinta Blogs.

 

Our Auditors: Charles Moriarty & Company

 

Our Advisors: Mosart, Wicklow County Council, University of Limerick, Trinity College Dublin

 

Our Company: Ballynagran Energy is incorporated as Ballynagran Zero Carbon Ltd a company limited by Guarantee (CRO No. 494480 ) and has been granted charitable status by Irish Revenue Commissioners (CHY No. xxxxxx)


Cutting Edge European Research in the Garden of Ireland

Our European and Local Partners


Interreg This project could not have got off the ground without the assistance European Regional Development Funding - Interreg IVD North West Europe. Link to the InterReg website ---> InterReg IVB North-West Europe

 

Zecos is the name of the overall European Project in which Ballynagran, along with 7 other NW Europe Communities, is participating. Zecos stands for a Zero CO2e Emission Certification System and the Ballynagran Project is a vital part of the research in developing this Emission Certification System.

We have assembled some information about InterReg and the Zecos Project - see this link Our Partners
The link to the Zecos website is here Zecos Website


Wicklow County Council is the leading local authority in Ireland with regard to Environmental Awareness, Education and Research and their Community, Culture and Social Development Department has been particularly helpful to this project.

They have also administered the Ballynagran Environmental Community Projects and Works Grant Scheme (BECWGS).

Some additional information about the BECWGS can be accessed here. Ballynagran Grants

And the link to the Wicklow County Council website is here Wicklow County Council

Kinda more about Us, Ours and We and not so much about Me

People, Groups and Doing

 

The web has transformed connectivity in hugely positive ways.

 

This site is mainly about enabling real connections and collaboration with people in our community who are doing things.

 

It has every facility of other social networks and more.

 

It should also provide a platform to other interested communities to organize, to work together and to share their experiences with other communities.

 

A Community continues building the basic blocks of sustainability.

But, before we do, We Evaluate the Potential Impacts

We are currently Evaluating:-

 

Solar Thermal or Photovoltaic energy generation for use in Community Buildings

 

The setting up of a Community Forest to compliment the increased use of wood-fuel. See --->   Community Woodland  

 

A study of Local Wind Energy Options and their Feasability.     See --->    Local Energy Generation  

 

E-Transport Options have been considered but actions on this have been deferred for the time being.

Could the local community benefit from one of Wicklow's most abundant resources?

Community WindFarm - An Option

 

Feasibilty study completed.

 

Potential for wind farm identified.

 

Potential Locations examined

 

Ideal location identified

 

Comprehensive public consultation will take place

 

Economic implications of big or small to be examined

 

Comparison with alternative renewable energy sources to be outlined

 

Actual long-term return to community to be detailed

Could local community possibly benefit from another of Wicklow's most abundant resources ?

Community Forest - an Option

 

an interesting proposition because:

 

Dovetails with other Ballynagran Energy⁺ Projects

 

Long-term community economic development.

 

Community economic participation

 

Local employment

 

Sharing of materials & machinery

 

Local-level decision making

 

Educational spin-off

 

Benefits the community

A more suitable organisational structure to achieve our One Objective
 

Some of the Principles involved are:

 

Voluntary and open membership

 

Democratic member control

 

Member economic participation

 

Bulk buying

 

Sharing of benefits & materials & machinery

 

Education, Training and Information

 

Concern for community

Becoming a Local Cooperative or a Charitable Entity
Eventually, could be self-financing and more!
How Can This Be Funded ?

There is a facility for Directories.

A Voluntary Directory, Business Directory, Ads Directory and a Jobs Directory.

Eventually, over a number of years, there could be a 21st Century equivalent of the GAA (Blue) Phone Book for every area which would be aggregated nationally as well as a version of the Wicklow Community Directory for every area aggregated nationally and with moderated reviews.

 

Each network could be assembled and moderated by local schools (transition year pupils). If revenue is eventually generated and is in excess of expenses the surplus could be shared with the schools.

For initial funding possible sources include Eu InterReg, Leader, Wicklow County Enterprise Board, Enterprise Ireland, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Ashoka, Irish Research Council and on the commercial front  Automattic, the overall founders/mentors of all things WordPress, BuddyPress and bbPress, may be supportive.
Our Community IsChanging. Is Yours?

Why bother ? Well! 'Cos we're running out of time!


No soldier, or politician for that matter, got women the vote, ended slavery and saw off segregation, took children off the shop floors and out of the mines and got workers the 40-hour week.

 

If you want to thank anyone for these great changes, for your rights and freedoms, thank the "little people" who tirelessly campaigned and protested. And won.

 

These changes came from below and were eventually accepted on high.

 

But they had time on their side. Sometimes hundreds of years. We don't.

 

The problem our generation faces gets worse over time. If not tackled now it will become irreversible and irreparably harm the prospects for future generations.

 

By all means campaign and protest. But we believe that what is most important is to act, to do, to change. Change will come. From below as it always has.

 

Our Community IsChanging. Is Yours?

Map of Townlands involved in Ballynagran Energy town lands
View Ballynagran – Places of Interest in a larger map on the Google Platform

Map of Townlands involved in Ballynagran Energy town lands
View Ballynagran - Places of Interest in a larger map on the Google Platform

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