Heat Works has come about through the commitment and dedication of South Dublin County Council to champion district heating and lead by example in reducing emissions from Ireland’s heating sector.

According to a recent study by the Dublin energy agency Codema, heat accounts for 46% of our capital’s energy-related emissions.

In addition, according to latest EU figures (2020), Ireland is bottom of the table in the EU for using renewable energy sources for heating and cooling, at a mere 6.3%. In comparison, countries like Sweden, who are top of the table at 66%, have high shares of renewable heat delivered through large district heating networks.

Local authorities in Ireland – through the Programme for Government and reiterated in the new National Climate Action Plan 2021 – also have ambitious new targets to meet by 2030. These are:

  • To improve energy efficiency by 50%
  • To reduce emissions by 51%
  • 50% of thermal demand in buildings
    must be met by renewable sources

South Dublin County Council is committed to achieving these targets and to pioneer district heating as a solution to making our buildings more energy efficient, reducing emissions and decarbonising our heating sector.

Construction Beginning on Tallaght District Heating Scheme (Photo: Ben Ryan)

Learning through the HeatNet NWE Project

In 2016, South Dublin County Council became a partner in the Interreg North-West Europe project, HeatNet.

The project aimed at promoting the roll-out of the most advanced form of district heating, known as 4th Generation District Heating and Cooling, across North-West Europe (including Ireland).

4th Generation District Heating and Cooling integrates heat, electricity and energy storage to achieve an overall smart energy system, combining high energy efficiency, high shares of renewable energy and waste heat resources.

HeatNet NWE provided support to South Dublin County Council to plan and develop the Tallaght District Heating Scheme as a pilot project.

HeatNet NWE was led by the Dublin energy agency Codema and as part of the project, Codema developed a Transition Roadmap for developing district heating in South Dublin. This roadmap showed that district heating networks supplied by local, low-carbon sources have the potential to reduce carbon emissions in South Dublin by up to 250,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Support through the Climate Action Fund

In November 2018, funding of up to €4.5 million was awarded to South Dublin County Council through the Project Ireland 2040 Climate Action Fund to help support development of the Tallaght District Heating Scheme.

Partners and Supporters

The Tallaght District Heating project would not have happened without the support of our partners and supporters:

  • EU Interreg North West Europe Programme
  • Codema – Dublin’s energy agency
  • Department of Environment, Climate and Communications
  • TU Dublin, Tallaght
  • Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Fortum
  • Enerpower
  • Philip Lee Solicitors
  • Sustainable Energy Ltd
  • Mazars
  • Resourceful Futures Ltd
  • Irish District Energy Association