Taoiseach Enda Kenny is planning to attend the first annual Robert John Kane Energy Symposium from 27-29 of April 2011 in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim.
The symposium, which will be hosted by the Drumshanbo Forum, will act as the first stage of a three-part programme developing pragmatic and productive ideas that will be embraced in the further development of the Lough Allen Basin Smart Energy Hub.
The LABS Energy Hub is hoped to become a centre of excellence with long-term benefits for the environment and rural communities, through the further development of renewable energy sources and the creation of new jobs. The LABS Energy Hub is a North West Regional initiative of Drumshanbo Forum.
“The original National Development Plan focused on hub and gateway towns and cities. However, with the inherent rural characteristics of renewable energy, the new NDP 2012–2019, can embrace rural areas and encourage emigrants home to work not only in their own country but in their own communities,” said Elizabeth Muldowney, energy officer with An Taisce and one of the forum members.
“Energy both on a macro and micro level is one of the sectors along with agriculture and food that will rejuvenate Ireland’s economy and the LABS Energy Hub will be at the core of that rejuvenation in this region.”
According to The Drumshanbo Forum team, “Ireland is in a prime position to be a renewable energy hub, and due to the nature of renewable energy, rural Ireland is planned to be the base of this manufacturing. In line with the innovation and commercialisation component of the Programme for Government, the area of energy ICT will be examined at RJK Energy with input from Intel on smart grids and a Taiwanese green energy company CEO.
Science Foundation Ireland is supporting this initiative. The LABS Energy Hub will also develop a ‘niche tourism product’ – ie, Energy Tourism, which will be explored with and by Failte Ireland at the symposium.