The Irish partners in the Interreg Europe Intensify project held its third stakeholder group meeting in the Clayton Silversprings Hotel today. Attendees included representatives from Energy Cork, Cork City Council, the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (MAREI), Cork Chamber, Ervia, Northside Community Enterprise (NCE), Cork Environmental Forum (CEF), Cork Chamber and Voice Ireland.
Attendees were given summaries of the proceedings and outcomes of the first three thematic events which focused on Targetting Communities (Brian Cassidy, Cork City Council), Motivating Communities (Catherine Sheridan of ERVIA), and the use of financial instruments to finance projects that result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (Kieran Lettice, Energy Cork).
Catherine Sheridan of Ervia, the Irish Water gas networks utility company outlined how ERVIA approached communities when installing new water and sewage infrastructure. Catherine emphasised a number of very important points for organisations when motivating communities: (1) Nobody wants to be left out (2) people always remember how other people make them feel (3) create a common vision (4) be human, tell a story and always ask why (5) see what is there NOT what you wish was there (6) most sales people need 5 touch points with their consumers (7) communicate fully with the community.
For Kieran Lettice the significant lessons learned from the Financial Instruments Thematic event were (1) it is a growing and expanding field of operations (2) Europe has over three thousand renewable energy cooperatives working under the RESCoop umbrella including Coopernico in Portugal (3) Renewable energy cooperatives face many issues relating to selling energy into the grid and (4) most renewable energy projects are capital intensive with the bulk of the expenditure taking place at the start of the project.
Brian Cassidy highlighted the importance of knowing your targeted audience and informed attendees about the successes that Milton Keynes has had with its vehicle experience centre (https://evexperiencecentre.co.uk).
Attendees then discussed possible good practices that could be forwarded to Interreg Europe for inclusion in the good practice register.
The meeting concluded with a discussion about the upcoming baseline survey and avenues to target the desired audience.