Parts of Georgian Limerick have been chosen to pilot a new climate change initiative about how old buildings can be upgraded to produce more energy than they consume.
Limerick city along with Trondheim in Norway are the two cities chosen to lead the new +CityxChange programme which is designed to show the rest of Europe how to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of urban areas.
Five Georgian properties in Limerick city centre have been selected to become a test bed for data collection and a range of new technologies designed to transform the city into a positive energy city centre where it creates more electricity than it uses.
The five Georgian buildings selected include two businesses on O'Connell street, the city's GPO, the Youth Service building on Glentworth street, and the new state of the art Gardens International building on Henry street, which has already been constructed to LEED Gold standard efficiency, one of the leading energy standards in the world.
The 4 older buildings in the scheme will be retrofitted, and will have new technologies installed like heat pumps and PV roof panels, energy storage solutions and electric cars.
An important part of the programme will be data harvesting, about energy usage and consumption which will be analysed over the period of the pilot. It's intended that the cluster of buildings will become net energy producers, and not just consumers.
The programme will also spearhead new energy generation innovations, a new tidal turbine, developed by Limerick company Gkinetic, will be placed in the River Shannon nearby to harness the water power of the river to generate positive energy for the pilot building cluster.
The project co-ordinator at Limerick City and County Council Dr. Mihai Bilauca said they were proud to have been selected for this revolutionary EU programme that will transform the Georgian neighbourhood into a positive energy district, and in turn will give a lead to other European cities and beyond on how to play their part in tackling climate change.
Limerick will become the example on how to transition from the traditional energy maker of large and few energy generators especially harmful to the environment, to the new model of many micro generators of clean energy, Dr. Bilauca added.