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Mid Ulster Businesses explore Net Zero Carbon Cooperative Opportunity

Over 50 business leaders from across the Mid Ulster District Council area recently attended a breakfast briefing organised by Smart Grid Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast, and supported by Mid Ulster District Council, to hear more about how being part of a Zero Carbon Cooperative could support them to achieve innovative solutions to tackle our decarbonisation challenge.

The project, titled ‘0ccident’, which is led by Queen’s University Belfast, is funded by the UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities through the UK Community Renewal Fund. Queen’s University are seeking to act as enablers, through promoting net zero carbon cooperatives in local council areas, aiming to not only help solve many of the current energy supply challenges, but also to deliver wider benefits for the local economy and the environment. 

Welcoming those attending the event, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Cora Corry said:

 “There is an increasing focus on the importance on the need for decarbonisation, not only on a global basis, but also locally. A consideration for many businesses across all sectors is how to do this. Lowering our carbon footprint will mean that the goods and services we produce will be more competitive on a global stage and hence be of greater value, thereby stimulating a greater return to the local economy.”


Those present also heard from David Rooney, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of Internationalisation and Reputation at the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, who is leading the 0ccident project, as he explained the key drivers and context.

He explained, “Carbon capture is very expensive and NI doesn’t yet have access to the proper infrastructure. Collective engagement is the only solution and so through this programme, we are seeking to actively encourage partnership working that can provide mutual benefits for all involved and for the environment. 0ccident’s task is to explore suitable solutions for NI and the purpose of this morning’s event is to hear from Mid Ulster businesses about the challenges they are facing and what supports they need to address this critical issue. 

“0ccident aims to explore ways of emission reduction, re-utilisation of waste streams and displaced energy, therefore creating more resilient industries not impacted by geo-political factors, and Mid Ulster offers a unique potential, due to our central location, the scale of the council area and also our diverse range of industry”. 

Initial feedback from the companies at the event has shown the need and desire for local business to progress and improve competitiveness in the market place while advancing environmental and social value in the Mid Ulster area. 

If you were unable to attend the event and would like further information on this initiative please contact either Prof David Rooney at Queens or Bob Barbour at Smart Grid Ireland.

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Councillor Cora Corry, Chair, Mid Ulster District Council with other speakers at the event, Bob Barbour, Smart Grid Ireland, Tiziana O’Hare, Cooperative Alternatives, Martin Doherty, CASE, Prof David Rooney, Queen’s University Belfast and Dr James Young. 

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