Young scientist puts energy into conserving it

Posted on: 8th February, 2016

Category: News

Contributor: West Cork People

The winners of the 52nd BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition were announced in January. This year, Schull Community College came up trumps with four out of five of the school’s projects taking home awards from the Exhibition.

Noah McCarthy Fisher (16) won first prize in his section for his project: ‘What would it take? A study into the renewable energy needs of an Irish village.’

Noah’s project, which explored how feasible it would be for Ballydehob to become self-sufficient in sustainable energy such as wind and solar power was also recognised with the ‘Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice Award.

“Since I was very young, I have wanted to help the environment and invent something great,” says Noah. “Under EU law, by 2020 40 per cent of Ireland’s electricity must be coming from a renewable source and we’re only at 23 per cent at the moment.”

Although only 25 per cent of a household’s energy usage is electricity, 41 per cent of a houses’ carbon footprint is produced as a result of electricity generation.

Inspired by a reputable letter that he read in The Guardian newspaper, which called on governments around the world to invest in clean, renewable energy to avoid the irreversible damage caused by the continued use of fossil fuels, Noah set out on a quest to prove it was possible to make a small area sustainable. He chose Ballydehob, where he lives, as the study for his project.

Noah investigated the electricity consumption of the area along with the outputs of a variety of wind turbines and solar cells.

He downloaded weather data and predicted electricity production along with calculating the costs involved, selecting suitable sites for the turbine and solar cells that would be cheap and productive.

“The total costs of the project would be split between all the households and businesses in the area,” explains Noah. “A small loan would be taken for a period of four years. All the houses and businesses would then pay a monthly cost equal to their average monthly electricity bill.  As a result, the loan would be paid off within the four years and everyone would get virtually free electricity for the remainder of the project – 20 years!”

Noah has been invited to a fully expenses paid BTYS business bootcamp at DCU in March, where 25 students from the BTYS will be mentored on business innovation and entrepreneurship.

Interested in pursuing a career in environmental engineering, Noah is also an enthusiastic sailor and will be competing in the Topper World Championships this year.

Other Schull Community College award winners at this year’s Exhibition:

Culann McCarthy and Andrew Cahier were awarded third prize in The Intermediate Social and Behavioural Group for their project Hand Hygiene and Absenteeism.

Elyssa Curran and Aishling Connolly, who looked at the effect of worm compost on tree growth, came third in the Biological and Ecological Senior Group.

Martin Fleming and Luke Franklin were highly commended for their project on prawns and food safety.

The students were mentored by teachers Padraig O’Sullivan and Lara Kelly.

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Unfortunately Saturday’s Christmas Express events have been cancelled due to the shocking weather forecast but Santa and his elves will make Sunday events extra special to cheer everybody up!All SATURDAY'S events are CANCELLED!!
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We are sad to announce that due to a severe weather warning we've taken the decision to CANCEL all Saturday's Christmas Express Events. We will go ahead this evening from 4.30-7pm and we'll make Sunday extra special. Our Autism Friendly Train will now run at 1.30pm on Sunday. We Thank You for your understanding and look forward to an amazing Sunday!!
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14th December, 2018  ·  

On Sunday December 23 Schull Village will celebrate 'Nollaig around the World'. There's lots of fun between 12 noon and 7pm with refreshments, kids meeting Santa & Mrs Claus at The Corner House, a Children's Treasure Hunt, live music and the Shop Local Raffle Draw. Late night shopping will allow you to get all those last minute gifts and goodies!! ... See MoreSee Less

13th December, 2018  ·  

We had a phenomenal response to our catwalk competition over the past month with nearly 2,000 people taking part! Every outfit featured took the fancy of many voters but the winning Boutique was.... drumroll.... BellaDonna in Clonakilty! This was Kevin Brophy from Durrus's choice and he now receives a €100 voucher to spend in Belladonna.

The two runner up boutiques were Options (voter Ciara O'Sullivan from Timoleague gets a €25 voucher) and Gooseberry (voter Miriam Jones from Ballydehob also receives a €25 voucher).

We are spoiled for choice in fashion in West Cork and West Cork people was delighted to be able to showcase this. Thank you to all the boutiques and voters that took part – remember your favourite outfit is still available to buy locally!
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