Public Bodies Meet at SEAI Conference to Accelerate Progress to 2030 Energy Targets

  • Key note speaker, Former President, Mary Robinson, calls on the public sector to show leadership in climate action
  • 800 public representatives gather to progress energy efficiency and carbon reducing targets
  • Public bodies have saved over €1.3 billion on energy spend and avoided 4.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions since 2009.

800 representatives from public bodies and government departments today attended the fourth annual Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) public sector conference at the Helix in DCU to advance their energy efficiency gains. This year’s conference focused on accelerating leadership in the public sector towards the Government’s energy efficiency and CO2 reduction targets.  The Government’s Climate Action Plan published last year sets out an ambitious vision for the public sector to achieve 50% energy efficiency improvement, 30% CO2 reduction and all public buildings to be B-rated by 2030.


Opening the conference today, William Walsh, CEO of SEAI said:

“We have seen excellent work in the public sector with €1.3 billion in energy savings in the last decade. However, we need to rapidly decarbonise our 350 public bodies and 3,700 schools in the next decade and move away from fossil fuels. This will require unprecedented effort, leadership, resources and collaboration in the sector.”


The keynote address at the conference was given by former President, Mary Robinson, who spoke of the challenges facing our society if we continue with our current energy use.


Attendees at the conference learned about strategic project financing, transitioning to electric fleets and achieving high performance buildings, among other topics.  Evidence from SEAI showed that the winning formula to achieving energy targets is sustained senior management leadership, resources and continuous investment and improvement. Thirty public bodies are already certified to the international standard on energy management, ISO 50001, and are excelling in energy efficiency. While just over half of organisations have achieved, or on track to achieve, their 2020 energy targets, just under half will need to refocus their efforts to get on track.


Concluding, William Walsh said:

“As a nation, we can no longer be complacent about climate action. Our citizens expect that every public organisation will have a workable plan to help decarbonise our society. Only when there’s commitment like this, will we see the change that’s needed.”

NTR signs PPA as part of financing of Swedish Wind Project

NTR has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA), with a European utility as part of its financing of 94 MW of wind projects in Sweden and Finland. The utility will offtake 70% of the power generated over the next 15 years by Trattberget, a 69MW wind project in the portfolio. The power produced by the remaining two projects will continue to avail of existing revenue arrangements. An existing offtake arrangement is in place with an industrial pulp mill for the 10MW Skutskär project in Sweden and the 15 MW Svalskulla wind project avails of the Finnish feed-in-tariff system.

Nord/LB was mandated by NTR to provide €37 million of debt facilities to the portfolio of three projects, which became operational between 2009 and 2014.

Said Manus O’Donnell, Chief Investment Officer of NTR; “This combined portfolio debt and PPA transaction secures attractive and reliable long-term income for our investors from a portfolio of quality wind assets. We are delighted to work with Nord/LB on an important milestone for NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II.”

Gerard Pieters, Head of Origination Energy Europe Nord/LB Structured Finance, commented; “We are thrilled to have worked with NTR to provide financing for this cross-border and PPA driven portfolio in the Nordics. The innovative financing combines our long history and global top position in renewables, particularly as market leader in PPA driven projects. This marks our latest successful close in a range of PPA driven projects in Europe over the past 12 months, where close co-operation between sponsors, banks, and offtakers is fundamental for long term success.”

DLA Piper and Pexapark provided legal and commercial advice respectively to NTR.

This transaction follows a recent announcement by NTR where a 19 MW Irish wind project has been added to a portfolio of just over 290MW of income generating wind and solar projects across five western Europe countries to its NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II. This brings assets under management by NTR on behalf of its two funds to 515 MWs of wind and solar projects located throughout Ireland, France, Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom.