Renewable Energies – Prosperous Communities is a unique event, combining presentations, workshops and discussions, taking place in Manorhamilton on June 24th. The day-long gathering will raise awareness of the opportunities open to local communities to benefit from renewable energies, look at the potential of wind energy and biomass to generate income and jobs for the community and identify local champions of renewable energy sources and uses.
The event is organised by Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) and Love Leitrim, both environmental NGOs. Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader, and Pauline Gallacher from the Neilston Trust (Scotland), will be the main speakers, but this is not going to be the usual conference where local people simply listen to experts. The aim is that everyone attending will get a chance to speak and be heard.
“We hear a lot about climate change and how renewable energies coRuld lower our carbon emissions”, said Dr Aedín McLoughlin, Director, GEAI. “What we don’t hear enough of is the potential of renewable energies to generate income and jobs for local communities if they are in community ownership. Scotland has 72 times more community-owned energy than Ireland, with roughly the same population!
“How is it that developers are allowed to build massive wind farms in rural areas, make fortunes from them and only give token “benefits” to local communities?” she asked. “Currently, rural communities are in decline and lack sustainable employment. Rural communities have no idea of the potential of renewable energies to generate local income and jobs and it is time that this situation changed.”