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News blog3 May 20232 min read

3 Counties Energy Agency Powering the Energy Transition in the South East of Ireland

3 Counties Energy Agency Powering the Energy Transition in the South East of Ireland

The 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) works locally and regionally, across counties Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford, as a trusted intermediary, to support and coordinate actions on the ground that contribute to the larger goals of the Climate Action Plan. The origins of 3cea go back to 2002 and much has been achieved since that time, but the challenges of the next decade mean we will have to work at a whole different level again.

Earlier this year, CEO Paddy Phelan launched the Regional Energy Transition Strategy to 2030 – a strategy that helps map the path we are going to have to follow together. The strategy identifies the following four strategic goals: energy efficiency, clean energy (by increasing local production of renewable energy), empowered citizens, sustainability.

The Irish Government has set out a vision of Ireland’s future energy policy which centres on a transition to a low carbon energy system by 2050. At the European level, EU countries have agreed on a new 2030 Framework for climate and energy to achieve a more competitive, secure and sustainable energy system and meet our 2050 goals.

Working as a trusted intermediary and a One-StopShop accessing supporting partners, 3cea has delivered:

  • €12 million of savings in energy spending over the last 7 years (50 % heating, 16 % transport, 35 % electricity);
  • €34.3 million of capital investment via Better Energy Communities schemes and other programmes, creating over 300 jobs annually;
  • 42 % - 60 % savings in the cost of street lighting across target areas in the 3 counties, over 55 % of Kilkenny lamps changed with overall average of 42 % of all lamps retrofitted to date across the 3 counties;
  • Energy retrofits of more than 1,000 houses including 112 to A2 rating or deeper;
  • A further €1.4 million funding to improve HGV fuel efficiency delivering 10% savings

Where to next?

Whilst the challenges are many, so are the opportunities. 3cea already works with all sectors that make up Energy Communities leading with Energy Efficiency Communities and developing Renewable Energy Communities over the next decade in the South East, with support from the Irish government as well as businesses, educational institutions, County Councils and others.

Our success in reaching 2030 targets will depend on how we (and others) work together - this is what our Regional Strategy to 2030 seeks to address. We will continue to create sustainable, green jobs, more sustainable food production options, deepen our energy security, improve the quality of our lives and make our working and built environments healthier for the South East Region of Ireland. It has taken considerable effort and vision since 2002 to get us to where we are today but we are ready for the next level of challenges that lie between now and 2030.



Email: contactat3cea [dot] ie (contact[at]3cea[dot]ie)





Publication date
3 May 2023