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€3.4m EU Project to Support Energy Efficiency in the Water Industry in Ireland and Wales

6th April 2016

A €3.4m EU-backed project to improve the long-term sustainability of water supply in Ireland and Wales has been announced by Welsh Finance and Government Business Minister, Jane Hutt (29 March).

The Dŵr Uisce project aims to improve the energy efficiency of water distribution by developing new low carbon energy-saving technology, including micro-hydropower turbines.

The technology will be trialled in both nations before being launched on the commercial market.

The project also aims to build the capacity for innovation in the water industry by investigating how new practices can meet the challenges faced in Ireland and Wales due to environmental and climate change.

Led by Trinity College Dublin in partnership with Bangor University, the five-year project has a five-year budget of €3.4m in EU funds through the EU’s Ireland-Wales co-operation programme. The multidisciplinarity project will be led by Dr. Aonghus McNabola and Prof. Biswajit Basu in the School of Engineering, and Prof. Paul Coughlan in the Trinity Business School.

Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, said: “The Ireland Wales programme is a unique partnership between both our nations that provides an excellent platform to do business and address common challenges and opportunities which cut across our sea border.

“The programme is also another valuable source of EU investment, and I’m delighted that £2m of EU funds will enable Trinity College Dublin and Bangor University to take forward a project with such important potential for our water industry.”

Dr Aonghus McNabola, from Trinity College Dublin, said: “The water industry in Ireland and Wales is the 4th most energy intensive sector in both countries and contributes heavily to carbon emissions. The Dŵr Uisce project will make significant advances in improving energy efficiency in this sector and so will have important environmental and economic impacts on the region. The research team are very excited to have received this funding and are looking forward to working on this project in the coming years”. 

The €100m cooperation programme aims to strengthen economic links between Ireland and Wales over the next four years, and support cross-border initiatives around climate change, natural resources, innovation, heritage and tourism.

The Dŵr Uisce project is the first to be funded under the new Ireland-Wales programme, which will benefit people and communities within the south-east region of Ireland and the north and west of Wales. Dŵr Uisce are the Welsh and Irish words for ‘water.’

Dr Prysor Williams, from Bangor University, said: “The work within the Dŵr Uisce project will help achieve those environmental and economic ‘win–wins’ that are so important for Wales to meet its ambitious targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Securing this EU funding is excellent news, and we are looking forward to bringing our expertise to a project that will have significant benefits for Welsh industries, consumers, and the wider environment.”

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