Limerick is one of two EU ‘lighthouse’ cities that have been selected for a major climate-change pilot programme that will give a lead to the rest of Europe on how to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of urban areas.
The EU +CityxChange Programme (Positive City Exchange) sees Limerick, along with Trondheim in Norway, chosen to roll out a project that has the potential to revolutionise how we produce and use energy in European cities and towns.
Download the +CityxChange Limerick project overview brochure here.
The programme is funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme in the call for ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ and is led by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) together with the Lighthouse Cities Trondheim and Limerick.
Limerick’s selection for the project will see the ‘Georgian Neighbourhood’ in the heart of the city become a testbed for data collection and a range of new technologies that will transform it into a positive energy city centre where it creates more electricity than it uses.
The pilot will start with a core of five buildings within the Georgian district of Limerick, anchored around Gardens International, the Limerick Twenty Thirty 112,000sq ft building developed on Henry Street to LEED Gold standard efficiency - one of the world’s leading energy standards.
Gardens International’s sustainability will enable it to exchange credits with other buildings in the programme with differing carbon ratings.
The other buildings already signed up for the programme are Limerick Chamber of Commerce and Rooney Auctioneers on O’Connell Street; Limerick’s General Post Office, Lower Cecil Street and Limerick Youth Services on Glentworth Street - all within the ‘Georgian neighbourhood’.
A key plank of the programme will be data harvesting, with data around energy usage/ consumption collected and analysed over the period of the programme. Simultaneously, a range of new solutions based on digital technologies and digital platforms will be put in place to enable a cluster of buildings to become a net energy producer and not just a consumer.
This will include retrofitting older buildings, introducing technologies such as heat-pumps, PV panels, energy storage solutions and electric cars.
+CityxChange will also adapt local innovations, most significantly the deployment of a revolutionary tidal turbine developed by Limerrick company Gkinetic. This unique turbine will be placed in and harness the power of the River Shannon in the heart of Limerick City, generating electricity for the positive energy zone.
Within the +CityxChange project, Limerick, along with project partners will experiment how to become leading cities integrating smart positive energy solutions.
Municipalities are already facing completely different complexities within their societies. In order to keep up with this rapid pace of change, and to guarantee the well-functioning of their cities, municipalities must improve their approach on how to utilise their resources and engage with new technologies.