The 4th Interregional Event of the FIRESPOL project – “Interregional Learning Workshop and Study Visits” will take place on the 2nd and 3rd of July 2019 in Waterford, Ireland. FIRESPOL seeks to boost regionally-specialized and decentralized Renewable Energy Private Investment by introducing improvements in the management of Operational Programmes (OPs) which will tackle the financial barriers that are currently hindering investment in the RES sector.

The 4th Interregional Meeting is hosted by the Southern Regional Assembly and takes place in Waterford City, the oldest and the fifth most populous city in the Republic of Ireland. 

The first day of the meeting (2nd July) begins with a Steering Committee and focuses on progress reports, project finances, communications and planning. This is followed by a study visit to Flahavans, a food manufacturing plant in Kilmacthomas, County Waterford. Flahavans, a family business has been producing oats since 1785 and has a strong commitment to sustainable production. Over 60% of its energy comes from its own renewable sources, including on-site hydro, biomass, wind and solar PV installations. Flahavans is a good example of RES private investment by “Autoproducers”. These are large energy users that mainly produce power for their own use but may also export surplus power to the national grid. 

The second day of the meeting (3rd July) begins with a workshop at which partners will present the conclusions of their regional self-assessments. This will lead into a discussion on the Regional Action Plans to be developed by each of the project partners. A second study visit takes place in the afternoon, this time to a local company that take organic waste from agriculture, industry and municipal authorities and uses it to generate green energy (biogas, electricity, heat) and nutrient-rich soil amendment products (compost). Ormonde Organics is also an Autoproducer and is currently investing in a connection to the main gas line substation to supply biomethane to the national gas grid. 

Project partners and their stakeholders from six European countries (Spain, Croatia, Poland, Latvia, Germany and Ireland) will take part in the Interregional Event. 

The FIRESPOL project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg Europe Programme.