Jim Kenehan completed the Certificate in Community Energy Development in May 2023. For any members of community groups considering this course, this feedback from Jim gives a valuable insight into the course content and site visits.
“The Certificate in Community Energy Development is highly recommended for any community energy groups. The course enabled students easy access to presentations, good reference materials and know how. All external presenters were very knowledgeable and helpful.
The 1st semester was a good foundation on the basics of energy efficiency, renewables and the basic understanding of measurement, calculations, etc. The 2nd semester included excellent information on what’s required for community based projects.
The course provided valuable information, insights and opportunities on the following:
- Availability of community finance sources (loans & grants)
- Details of renewable energy and retrofit projects – duration, costs and planning issues.
- Community is not location specific – community projects require expertise from numerous people from different backgrounds
- The visit to Mount Lucas Construction Training Centre was fantastic – a one day practical course on domestic dwelling energy conservation.
- The site visit to Ardnachrusha demonstrated what can be achieved on a large scale by a small country
- The transformation of Lahinch Leisure Centre was a good example of a social enterprise where the community had to take ownership of a failing enterprise
- The visit to Templederry Community Wind Farm was an insight of how difficult a community project is from start to finish and showed how resilient a community needs to be.
- Excellent networking opportunities with people from different backgrounds/interests from all over the country
- The course also used assignments to work through the process of identifying a site for a renewable energy project and the planning requirements/costs and timelines associated with a renewable energy project using a business plan and gantt chart.
- The course is ideal for members of SEC’s who are in the learn/plan stage of the development of the SEC or in the process of developing the energy masterplan for the community”.
The Certificate in Community Energy Development is now open for applications for September 2023. This part time blended course is run over 24 weeks and includes 5 site visits. The fees are €867, which are reduced from €1700 with DASBE funding support.