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SEA/AA in the Energy Sector

We are pleased to welcome you to our project Towards Better Practice for the Preparation of SEAs and AAs for the Energy Sector in Ireland. Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) accompany plans and programmes and provide for a high level of protection of the environment. Their role is to integrate environmental consideration at an early stage into plans and programmes with a view to promoting sustainable development. Appropriate Assessments (AAs) are concerned with the avoidance of adverse effects resulting from plans and projects on Natura 2000 sites and seek to maintain the integrity of such designations.

The overall aim of the project is:

To provide better practice for the preparation of Strategic Environmental Assessments and Appropriate Assessments for the Energy Sector in Ireland, with a particular emphasis on renewable energy, in order to improve their performance and integration into the plan-making process.

There are seven objectives for the project as follows:

Objective 1: To establish the state of knowledge and main issues in this area in Ireland and identify gaps in that knowledge

Objective 2: To understand how quickly energy related technology evolves and how this impacts on plans and programmes

Objective 3: To isolate and learn from examples of good practice in Ireland and abroad in the preparation of SEAs/AAs

Objective 4: To sample current energy sector SEAs/AAs in Ireland and review current spatial planning SEAs/AAs

Objective 5:   To identify concerns and challenges for SEA/AA practitioners and users

Objective 6:  To provide a robust method or framework for delivering both sector-wide and sector- specific guidance for energy-related SEAs/AAs

Objective 7: To maximise the impact of the research on policy-making, plan-making and decision-making and public interest domains.


This project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Environment programme (STRIVE) under grant reference number 2013-SL-DS-3.  The partners in the project are the Dublin Institute of Technology and MacCabe Durney Barnes. Conor Norton, the Research Director, will carry out the research with Dr Ken Boyle, chair of the M.Sc. Sustainable Development in DIT and Dr Aidan Duffy, Centre Manager of the Dublin Energy Lab. Niamh O’Reilly, lecturer in the School of Surveying and Construction Management in DIT, will bring her GIS and WebGIS expertise to the project. Jerry Barnes, of MacCabe Durney Barnes - Planning Consultants, will be Project Manager. The project will be peer reviewed.

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