Ireland’s first renewable energy powered trade and distribution centre proposed
A proposal for Ireland’s first independent renewable energy powered trade and distribution campus has been released. According to the proposal, the Midlands-based low carbon campus would boast a 100% renewable independent energy grid supplied.
Situated 15km west of Tullamore and 23km east of Athlone, the campus would provide a centre of excellence for companies and researchers to test and develop renewable and sustainable energy solutions to environmental problems related to trade and industry.
The ‘Innovation Green’ initiative is a direct response to the recent closure of energy facilities in the Midlands. In 2010, the overall project masterplan received strategic infrastructure development approval. The site of the proposed Midlands Airport has been suggested for the development. If development goes ahead, it is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2025.
The proposed campus would be powered by a range of green energy sources including wind, solar, waste to energy, hydrogen and anaerobic digestion. Ultimately, it would function as a “living laboratory” for autonomous cars, smart storage and distribution, artificial intelligence and other technologies. It has been alleged that the development has the long-term potential to create 5,200 jobs in the Midlands.
Innovation Green has been developed by researchers and industry representatives from Ireland and Germany, including Midlands Airport Developments, InSite Bavaria, The Technical University of Munich, Siemens, Airbus (through an existing agreement with the Technical University of Munich) and Amova.
“It is key to our sustainable growth that we develop in a new way to decarbonise industry in Europe – Ireland may gain competitive advantage as an industry location by offering carbon-efficient investment sites,” said stated Daniel Gottschald of InSite Bavaria. “Considering the role that the Midlands has historically played in the energy sector, it is the natural place to start Ireland’s next chapter in developing renewable and sustainable energy”
According to the group, the development will act as a catalyst for the transition of Irish industry away from carbon-intensive energy, which makes it an ideal candidate to benefit from the new EU Just Transition Fund. The €100 billion fund is a financial component of the European Green Deal.