As a conservation charity the National Trust has ambitious targets to achieve a 20% reduction in its total energy use and generate 50% of its energy from renewables by 2020.
This was a closely fought category, but according to the awards judges it was the National Trust’s strategic approach to reducing their energy demand and deploying a wide range of renewable technologies to embed sustainable energy sources into their portfolio of sites and conservation activities that nudged them ahead of the other finalists.
Added the judges: “Through their renewable energy projects and energy efficiency practices not only are they are achieving remarkable long term savings, they are making an outstanding contribution to the renewable energy sector in Northern Ireland.”
The Trust has appointed a team of dedicated Renewable Energy Project Managers based throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, tasked with delivering renewable projects to the highest possible standards and becoming advocates for renewable energy in their regions. As result of the team’s hard work, and the work of other renewable energy specialists, at the end of 2016 the Trust had successfully reduced total oil consumption by an incredible 50% (from the 2009 baseline) and saved an estimated 3,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year. In Northern Ireland, they have been actively reducing their reliance on oil since 2009 and by the end of 2017 almost 40% of their energy will come from renewables. These results have been achieved by installing a range of renewable energy technologies at properties, including 16 biomass systems, 4 Solar thermal systems for hot water, 2 air source heat pumps, 1 ground source heat pump and 2 PV’s. As a result of these remarkable accomplishments Northern Ireland is the second highest region after Wales in terms of percentage renewables. The national target is generally on track to achieve the 2020 objective and it is an incredible achievement for the Northern Ireland Region to have made such a significant contribution to the overall target. Project Manager at National Trust, Roisin McKenna, commented: “We are fully committed to reducing our energy usage and receiving this award is a great achievement and a recognition of our efforts to date.”
On behalf of the sponsor, Sam McCloskey, Director, Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy, added: “We are delighted to be involved in this event and to sponsor this particular award, as we deal with research and development in the sustainable energy sector. The National Trust is a very worthy winner.”
Based at Queen’s University in Belfast the Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy (CASE) is an industry-led sustainable energy research centre.
Through the Invest Northern Ireland Competence Centre programme it funds collaborative Research & Development in sustainable energy. It bridges the gap between industry research needs and academic research offerings.
Its work helps to position Northern Ireland at the forefront of the global sustainable energy market by integrating leading research into the local industrial base, for the benefit of the business community and the wider economy.
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