Enterprise opportunities in the wood energy sector

WDC invites entrepreneurs and community development organisations to workshop

The Western Development Commission (WDC) will host a wood energy workshop for entrepreneurs, business people and organisations working in community and local development on December 3rd in the Claregalway Hotel.

The workshop will discuss wood energy enterprise opportunities and the main factors affecting the development of the sector, and present the findings of two related projects which the WDC has just completed.

“The workshop will be of interest to local communities, LEADER companies, cooperatives and local authorities to learn how they can exploit the opportunities and benefit from the sector, while entrepreneurs and businesspeople can also hear successful examples of new wood energy businesses and learn about the role of public agencies,” said Gillian Buckley, WDC Chief Executive.

“If the Western Region develops a vibrant wood energy sector it will help stimulate rural development and create jobs, so the timing of the workshop is opportune. The region’s employment structure is vulnerable; there has been a 59% increase in the Live Register in the past 12 months; and the increase for males has been higher at 72%. The region’s wood resources present new enterprise and job opportunities,” she added.

Ian Brannigan, Development Manager at the WDC said,”The workshop is part of our work to develop the renewable energy sector. This is an area that plays to the region’s natural strengths. Our research estimates that, by 2020, using wood to produce heat energy could be worth an additional €15 million per annum to the economy, create up to 900 additional jobs in rural areas and provide €1.7 million each year to the West’s farming sector. Additionally the estimated CO2 emissions saved annually would equate to taking over 92,000 cars off our roads.”

The wood energy market in Ireland is relatively underdeveloped compared to international levels. However the Western Region has a huge opportunity to exploit the renewable resource as it has 40% of Ireland’s wood resources. The West could develop an indigenous, sustainable, renewable energy resource delivering 11% of the regions’ heat needs by 2020.

Bernadette Phelan, Regional Development Executive at the WDC said, “Previous research that we conducted found that, by 2020 the Western Region has the potential to supply over 470,000 tonnes of wood fuel each year, enough to heat more than 800 medium to large scale heat users such as hospitals, hotels, swimming pools, care homes and large office blocks. The workshop will present the findings of work that the WDC has conducted in partnership with Donegal County Council and Údarás na Gaeltachta. We will also launch two information booklets at the workshop; Wood Energy and Community Enterprise: A Guide and Wood Energy and Local Authorities: Donegal Case Study.”

Teagasc, the Irish Bioenergy Association, the National Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD) and Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) will exhibit at the workshop and their staff will be available to deal with queries.

Attendance is free of charge but places are limited so people should contact Mary Keaveney at 094 986 1441 marykeaveney@wdc.ie by November 27th.

 

Deiseanna fiontraíochta san earnáil fuinneamh adhmaid

– Tugann an WDC cuireadh do fhiontraithe agus d’eagraíochtaí forbartha pobail teacht chuig ceardlann

 Beidh Coimisiún Forbartha an Iarthair (WDC) ina óstach ar cheardlann fuinneamh adhmaid do fhiontraithe, don phobal gnó agus d’eagraíochtaí a oibríonn i bhforbairt pobail agus áitiúil a bheidh ar siúl sa Claregalway Hotel ar an 3 Nollaig.

 Ag an gceardlann déanfar plé ar dheiseanna fiontraíochta a bhaineann le fuinneamh adhmaid agus ar na fachtóirí príomhúla a théann i gcion ar fhorbairt na hearnála seo, agus cuirfear i láthair torthaí dhá thionscadal ghaolmhara a chríochnaigh an WDC le deireanas.

 “Beidh spéis ag pobail áitiúla, cuideachtaí LEADER, comharchumainn agus údaráis áitiúla sa cheardlann, mar tabharfaidh sí deis dóibh foghlaim faoi conas is féidir leo leas a bhaint as na deiseanna agus tairbhe a bhaint as an earnáil. Lena chois sin, cloisfidh fiontraithe agus an pobal gnó faoi ghnóthaí nua rathúla a oibríonn sa réimse fuinneamh adhmaid agus foghlaimeoidh siad faoi ról na ngníomhaireachtaí poiblí,” arsa Gillian Buckley, Príomhfheidhmeannach an WDC.

 Dúirt sí freisin, “Má fhorbraítear earnáil fuinneamh adhmaid bheogach i Réigiún an Iarthair, cabhróidh sé le forbairt tuaithe a spreagadh agus le poist a chruthú, agus mar sin tá an cheardlann seo thar a bheith tráthúil. Tá struchtúr fostaíochta an réigiúin leochaileach; tháinig méadú 59% ar líon na ndaoine ar an mBeo-Chlár le 12 mhí anuas; bhí méadú níos mó de 72% i gceist i measc fear. Cuireann acmhainní adhmaid an réigiúin deiseanna nua fiontraíochta agus fostaíochta ar fáil.”

 Dúirt Ian Brannigan, Bainisteoir Forbartha leis an WDC, “Tá an cheardlann seo ina cuid dár gcuid oibre chun earnáil an fhuinnimh in athnuaite a fhorbairt. Is réimse é seo a oireann do láidreachtaí nádúrtha an réigiúin. Dá n-úsáidfí adhmad chun fuinneamh teasa a ghiniúint, measann ár dtaighde go mbeadh €15 mhilliún breise in aghaidh na bliana i gceist don gheilleagar, go bhféadfaí suas le 900 post breise a chruthú i gceantair tuaithe agus go bhféadfaí €1.7 milliún a sholáthar d’earnáil talmhaíochta an Iarthair gach bliain faoin mbliain 2020. Lena chois sin, bheadh na hastuithe CO2 measta a shábhálfaí in aghaidh na bliana cothrom le níos mó ná 92,000 gluaisteán a bhaint de na bóithre.”

 Tá margadh an fhuinnimh adhmaid in Éireann neamhfhorbartha i gcomparáid le leibhéil idirnáisiúnta. Mar sin féin, tá deis iontach ag Réigiún an Iarthair an acmhainn in-athnuaite a shaothrú mar tá 40% d’acmhainní adhmaid na hÉireann sa réigiún sin. D’fhéadfadh Réigiún an Iarthair acmhainn fuinnimh dhúchasach, inbhuanaithe, in-athnuaite a fhorbairt a sholáthródh 11% de riachtanais teasa an réigiúin faoi 2020.

 Dúirt Bernadette Phelan, Feidhmeannach Forbartha Réigiúnaí leis an WDC, “Léiríonn taighde a rinneamar roimhe seo go bhfuil ar chumas Réigiún an Iarthair níos mó ná 470,000 tonna de bhreosla adhmaid a sholáthar gach bliain faoi 2020, méid breosla atá mór go leor le teas a sholáthar do 800 úsáideoir teasa ar an meánscála agus ar an mórscála cosúil le hospidéil, óstáin, linnte snámha, bailte cúraim agus ceapa móra oifigí. Ag an gceardlann cuirfear i láthair torthaí na hoibre atá déanta ag an WDC i gcomhpháirtíocht le Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall agus Údarás na Gaeltachta. Seolfaimid dhá leabhrán eolais ag an gceardlann freisin: Wood Energy and Community Enterprise: A Guide agus Wood Energy and Local Authorities: Donegal Case Study.”

 Beidh taispeántais ag Teagasc, Cumann Bithfhuinnimh na hÉireann, an Chomhairle Náisiúnta um Thaighde agus Forbairt Foraoise (COFORD) agus Fuinneamh Inmharthana Éireann (SEI) ag an gceardlann agus beidh baill foirne dá gcuid ann chun déileáil le fiosrúcháin.

 Tá cead isteach saor in aisce, ach tá líon teoranta spásanna ar fáil; mar sin, ba chóir do dhaoine teagmháil a dhéanamh le Mary Keaveney ar 094 986 1441 marykeaveney@wdc.ie faoin 27 Samhain.

WDC tells Oireachtas Committee how West can contribute to national growth

The Western Development Commission (WDC) outlined its future vision for the Western Region to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Sports, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs on Wednesday November 19th. The WDC highlighted the success of the LookWest.ie campaign which has enabled over 100 businesses and 4,000 individuals to register their interest in relocating to the region.

Ms. Buckley also outlined a vision for the Western Region’s future as:

  • A region with a world class infrastructure
  • A region that exploits its distinctiveness and natural advantages
  • A region that maintains its sense of community, heritage and environment
  • A region that encourages creativity and entrepreneurship

Identifying the original rationale for the establishment of the WDC in 1997, as the intense public pressure and concern at the long period of economic and social decline in the western counties, Ms Buckley said that despite solid the progress in the region over the last ten years, the disparity between the west and other regions continued to exist, and sustained focus on the region was required.

Ms Buckley also acknowledged the considerable challenges facing the region, particularly the vulnerability of its employment structure, and the broadband and transport deficits. However, building on the progress that has been made and on the region’s natural resources, the WDC believes that the western region offers huge potential to contribute to national growth and recovery, particularly through the exploitation of renewable energies such as wind, wave and biomass – areas on which the WDC are currently working.

Said Ms Buckley, “The challenge, now more than ever, is to continue investing in sustainable entrepreneurship in the region. To date the Western Investment Fund has invested €30.8 m in 78 enterprises in the region contributing to creating and sustaining over 1,200 jobs in the region and the Fund remains a vital source of seed capital for early stage high growth potential companies in the Western Region.”

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Labhair an WDC le Coiste Oireachtais faoi chumas Réigiún an Iarthair cuidiú le fás náisiúnta

Rinne Coimisiún Forbartha an Iarthair (WDC) cur síos ar a fhís do thodhchaí Réigiún an Iarthair os comhair an Chomhchoiste Oireachtais um Ealaíona, Spóirt, agus Turasóireacht, agus um Ghnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta ar Dé Céadaoin, an 19 Samhain. Leag an WDC béim ar rath an fheachtais LookWest.ie, a chuir ar chumas níos mó ná 100 gnó agus 4,000 duine a chlárú go raibh spéis acu i mbogadh go dtí an réigiún.

Rinne Ms. Buckley cur síos freisin ar fhís do thodhchaí Réigiún an Iarthair mar:

  • Réigiún le bonneagar den chéad scoth
  • Réigiún a bhainfidh leas as a shainiúlacht agus as a bhuntáistí nádúrtha
  • Réigiún a choinneoidh a bhraistint phobail, oidhreachta agus timpeallachta
  • Réigiún a spreagfaidh cruthaitheacht agus fiontraíocht.

Thug Ms. Buckley aitheantas don réasúnaíocht bhunaidh taobh thiar de bhunú an WDC i 1997, is é sin, brú mór ón bpobal agus imní faoin tréimhse fhada de mheath eacnamaíoch agus sóisialta i gcontaetha an iarthair, agus dúirt sí, in ainneoin an dul chun cinn maith a rinneadh sa réigiún le deich mbliana anuas, go bhfuil éagothroime fós ann idir réigiún an iarthair agus réigiúin eile, agus go mbeidh sé riachtanach fócas leanúnach a choinneáil ar an réigiún.

Luaigh Ms. Buckley na dúshláin shuntasacha a bheidh le sárú ag an réigiún freisin, go háirithe leochaileacht a struchtúir fostaíochta agus na heasnaimh leathanbhanda agus iompair. Mar sin féin, trí chur leis an dul chun cinn atá déanta go dtí seo agus trí leas a bhaint as acmhainní nádúrtha an réigiúin, creideann an WDC go bhfuil ar chumas réigiún an iarthair cuidiú go mór le fás agus athshlánú náisiúnta, go háirithe trí fhuinnimh inathnuaite cosúil le gaoth, tonn agus bithmhais a shaothrú – réimsí ina bhfuil obair ar siúl ag an WDC i láthair na huaire.

Dúirt Ms. Buckley, “An dúshlán is mó atá ann anois ná leanúint ar aghaidh ag déanamh infheistíochta i bhfiontraíocht inbhuanaithe sa réigiún. Go dtí seo, tá €30.8m infheistithe ag Ciste Infheistíochta an Iarthair i 78 fiontar sa réigiún, a chabhraigh le níos mó ná 1,200 post a chruthú agus a chothabháil sa réigiún, agus tá an Ciste fós mar fhoinse ríthábhachtach de shíolchaipiteal do chuideachtaí i Réigiún an Iarthair ag céim luath agus le cumas mór fáis.”

Críoch

LookWest.ie shortlisted for two Golden Spider Awards

The Western Development Commission’s (WDC) LookWest.ie website has been shortlisted in two award categories in the annual Golden Spider Awards. LookWest.ie is a central part of the WDC’s campaign to attract enterprises and individuals to the Western Region.

“LookWest.ie is now in its third year, and each year we have seen significant increases in the number of people using the website to help them plan their move to the Western Region. To date, over 400,000 people have visited the site, so being shortlisted in two categories is wonderful recognition of the important role the site plays in assisting people and businesses with their decision to move,” said Joanne Grehan, Regional Development Executive at the WDC.

The 2008 LookWest.ie campaign, run in partnership with the region’s local authorities, highlighted seven indigenous Irish companies, from SMEs to multinationals, in the Western Region whose example showed that new and expanding companies in sectors like medical devices, pharmaceuticals, designled manufacturing, and technology can start and thrive in the Western Region.

LookWest.ie provides information and highlights the benefits for both employers and employees in moving to the Western Region including the availability of a highly skilled workforce, a truly attractive business environment as well as the better quality of life, less traffic and lower cost of living.

LookWest.ie has been shortlisted in the Best Community & Charity Website and the Best eGovernment Website categories.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 20th November, in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin.

The eircom Golden Spider Awards 2008 honour Irish individuals and organisations for outstanding achievements online and celebrate the successes of the Irish internet and digital media. The awards are judged by a panel of experts, comprised of leaders from industry, commerce, media and academia. The panel evaluates entries on a diverse range of judging

criteria including content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity as well as overall user experience.

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LookWest.ie ar an ngearrliosta do dhá Dhuais Golden Spider

Cuireadh láithreán gréasáin Choimisiún Forbartha an Iarthair (WDC) LookWest.ie ar an ngearrliosta in dhá chatagóir duaise sna Duaiseanna bliantúla Golden Spider. Tá LookWest.ie ag croílár fheachtas an WDC chun fiontair agus daoine a mhealladh chuig Réigiún an Iarthair.

“Tá LookWest.ie ar an saol le trí bliana anois, agus gach bliain tá méadú suntasach tagtha ar líon na ndaoine a úsáideann an láithreán gréasáin chun iad a chabhrú lena gcuid pleananna chun bogadh go dtí Réigiún an Iarthair. Go dtí seo, tá sa bhreis agus 400,000 duine tar éis cuairt a thabhairt ar an láithreán. Mar sin, tá sé mar aitheantas iontach ar an ról tábhachtach a bhíonn ag an láithreán maidir le cabhrú le daoine agus le gnóthaí a bhíonn ag smaoineamh ar bhogadh a bheith ar an ngearrliosta in dhá chatagóir,” arsa Joanne Grehan, Feidhmeannach Forbartha Réigiúnaí leis an WDC.

Leag feachtas 2008 LookWest.ie a reáchtáladh i gcomhpháirtíocht le húdaráis áitiúla an réigiúin béim ar sheacht gcuideachta Éireannacha dhúchasacha, idir ghnóthaí beaga agus meánmhéide agus chuideachtaí ilnáisiúnta, atá suite i Réigiún an Iarthair. Léiríonn a dtaithí gur féidir le cuideachtaí nua agus cuideachtaí atá ag dul i méid in earnálacha cosúil le feistí míochaine, cógaisíocht, déantúsaíocht bunaithe ar dhearadh, agus teicneolaíocht iad féin a bhunú i Réigiún an Iarthair agus a ngnó a fhorbairt go rathúil ann.

Soláthraíonn LookWest.ie faisnéis agus leagann sé béim ar na tairbhí i gceist d’fhostóirí agus d’fhostaithe nuair a bhogtar go dtí Réigiún an Iarthair; ina measc siúd tá an infhaighteacht de lucht oibre ardoilte, timpeallacht ghnó anmhealltach agus cáilíocht fheabhsaithe beatha, níos lú tráchta agus costas maireachtála níos ísle.

Tá LookWest.ie ar an ngearrliosta sa chatagóir An Láithreán Gréasáin Pobail & Carthanachta is Fearr agus sa chatagóir An Láithreán Gréasáin is Fearr in earnáil RSheirbhísí an Rialtais.

Fógrófar na buaiteoirí ag an searmanas bronnta duaiseanna ar Déardaoin, an 20 Samhain, in Óstán Burlington, Baile Átha Cliath.

Tugann Duaiseanna Golden Spider 2008 eircom aitheantas do dhaoine agus eagraíochtaí Éireannacha a dhéanann sáréachtaí ar líne agus ceiliúrann siad rath mheáin Idirlín agus dhigiteacha na hÉireann. Beidh buaiteoirí na nduaiseanna roghnaithe ag painéal saineolaithe a chuimsíonn ceannairí tionscail, tráchtála, meáin chumarsáide agus daoine ón earnáil acadúil. Déanann an painéal iontrálacha a mheas i gcoinne raon leathan critéar lena náirítear inneachar, struchtúr agus nascleanúint, dearadh amhairc, feidhmiúlacht, idirghníomhaíocht agus eispéireas iomlán an úsáideora.

CrÌoch