eeef supports Roscommon County Council to implement biomass fired district heating scheme with eeef Technical Assistance funds

The Roscommon County Council (RCC), in cooperation with the European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef), is facilitating a biomass fired district-heating scheme in the town of Roscommon, with an investment volume of approx. €6.61million. RCC secured technical assistance funds to develop, refine and finalise the envisaged project as well as develop the legal and contractual structures required for such a project. The development phase will also include the procurement process to be carried out for the services and works planned.

With a population of 64,065, County Roscommon is the fifth least populous county in Ireland, with large areas available for agriculture and other purposes. These areas exhibit strong potential for the development of bio energy in particular. The County’s Development Plan embeds the importance of renewable energy sources such as biomass. Based on preliminary studies, it has been established that Roscommon town would benefit from a biomass fired district-heating scheme with the key reason that currently almost 100% of energy used for heating is based on imported oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – which is expensive, subject to price instabilities and cannot be produced locally. Several large heat users in Roscommon town (like hospitals, care homes, residential developments and schools) who suffer from high heating bills have indicated their full support towards the project.

The development of a town wide biomass fired district heating scheme will involve 16 of the largest buildings being connected to a new district heating network. It is assumed that further 8 buildings could be connected in a next stage of the project. The biomass system is expected to provide 6,835/MWhs of energy in total per annum and results in 85% CO2 savings per annum.

This project is a great opportunity for RCC to contribute towards a low carbon economy and fulfil its renewable energy targets at local, national and EU levels. Ireland has only few biomass fired district heating schemes and relies heavily upon imported oil for heating. Barriers to market development are associated with a lack of examples to follow and in terms of the costs of project development, especially associated with creating the contractual framework to deliver investment and sell heat to a group of customers. Therefore the technical assistance funds will help to overcome these barriers and provide a role model for others to follow the RCC lead.

Roscommon County Council is the primary unit of Local Government in the county and was established in 1899 following the enactment of the Local Government (Ireland) Act in 1898. 2009.

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) S.A., SICAV-SIF is a “société d’investissement à capital variable” governed by Luxembourg law and was initiated by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank. The initial capitalization provided by the European Commission was increased with contributions from the sponsors European Investment Bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti as well as the investment manager Deutsche Bank.

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