Uimhir Thagarta Uathúil: 
Donal Deering

7. Infrastructure and Environment

I enjoyed your presentation last week on the sustainability aspects of the Kilkenny City and County Draft Development Plan 2021-2027. I look forward to seeing the detailed cycling plan when its available. The overall goal of 10mins to the city centre for most whether walking, cycling or public transport is very welcome.

I really want to focus on some energy aspects which I think need some extra work.

District Heating

Somebody mentioned that this is included under renewable energy – it was not obvious to me in the draft plan. I would argue in any event it should have its own heading. It was noted on the night that the overall goal for wind generated electricity in the County is 100% of the total. I did notice another figure of 70% in the draft – the latter figure is more in line with national aspirations. Anyway, the real point is that electricity only makes up about 25% of overall energy consumption. The other big sectors are of course transport and heat – roughly equally divided – and thus are substantial portions of overall energy consumptions in their own right. District Heating (DH) is very established in Denmark and has truly struggled to get going here. There are some small developments like Cloughjordan village using woodchip central boilers and Charlestown Shopping Centre using mainly CHP/gas boilers - to name a few. However, its time has now come for a number of reasons:

  • Need for clean air in towns, cities and to displace solid fuel firing
  • Heat pump (HP) technology developments can drive DH systems

I think most people think that DH means wood firing – this is now totally changed. London has hugely adopted DH in recent years using mostly CHP drivers. Most of the new ones there are now HP using air to water or water to water sources. The water source is often the local river. I feel the Abbey Quarter has missed this opportunity as its located right beside the Nore.

Also, there are moves at national level to properly fund these systems and have them retrofitted in our towns and cities. The DH option will be always be one of the most expensive heating options – but with proper funding I am convinced it will be become the norm for many developments both new and upgrade type. I think Paddy Phelan of 3CEA may have reiterated this view on the night.

Fiafraigh / freagra a thabhairt ar cheist nó faisnéis a bhaineann leis an observation seo a roinnt.