A Happy New Year to all IrBEA Members

1. Funding opportunities for researchers. Two separate funding opportunities have been announced for Irish researchers to participate in European Research Area Network (ERA-NET) Cofund Calls (Closing date is 29 March 2016):

1.       Sustainable Animal Production Systems – SusAn

2.       Monitoring & Mitigation of Greenhouse gases from Agri- and Silvi-culture – ERA-GAS

2. Investor Confidence Project workshop, 1st Feb 2pm to 5pm in SEAI.  This is a half-day workshop bringing together leading actors in the Irish energy efficiency market to discuss how an emerging EU-wide best practice approach to project development can benefit Irish providers of finance and energy management services.  The Investor Confidence Project (ICP) is an international initiative backed by the Environmental Defense Foundation, the European Commission (through Horizon 2020) and European foundations to make energy efficiency an investable asset. More information here

3. EC roadmaps published on Environment and Energy. The European Commission has just published a number of roadmaps of policy areas, including Environment and Energy. See details here.

3. EC investigation into UK public support for Drax power plant. The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the UK's plans to support the conversion of part of the Drax coal power plant to operate on biomass are in line with EU state aid rules. While the EC fully supports Member State efforts to increase the use of renewable energy and pursue EU energy and climate objectives, EU state aid rules make sure that the cost of such support for consumers is limited and does not give certain operators an unfair advantage over competitors. More details here.

4. Closing date for applications for ceo at SEAI 14 January. As Brian Motherway has moved on to head up the Energy Efficiency Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), applications to replace him as chief executive officer at SEAI close next week 14 January. See details.

5. Technical assistance to the Better Energy Communities programme. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has launched a Request for Tender to compile a panel of ten service providers to provide technical assistance to the Better Energy Communities programme, duties will include: carrying out reviews and technical evaluations of submitted applications, confirming energy savings/ credits, inspecting completed projects (energy retrofits) and to provide ad hoc assistance in other elements of its delivery. Deadline is 17 Feb 2016, details here

6. Updated Schedule of Frameworks and Contracts. An updated Schedule of Frameworks and Contracts has been published to inform public sector bodies and suppliers of the prioritisation of categories of expenditure for Q1 to Q3 2016. The Schedule is updated quarterly so that a rolling nine month forward view is always visible. The Schedule is available to download here

7. Consultancy for System Operator for Northern Ireland. SONI, the System Operator for Northern Ireland, is seeking to appoint a specialist consultancy to manage and provide Pre-Application Community Consultation services, to support its Grid Development team with a number of transmission project planning applications in Northern Ireland. This is in relation to The Planning (Development Management) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 which are in operation since 1st April 2015. Full details here 

Michael Hegarty
IrBEA General Manager

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