MILESECURE-2050 project aims at understanding and overcoming the political, economical and behavioural traits and trends that led Europe to its difficulties in reducing fossil fuel consumption, and in diversifying its energy balance at rates which guarantee European energy security at the horizon 2050, reduce the threat of climate change, and diminish the risk of an energy gap in the coming decades The EU-funded academic consortium examined over 1,700 European low-energy projects. A total of 90 were identified in 19 countries, two of which were located in Ireland. Sustainable Clonakilty and Sustainable Projects Ireland’s Cloughjordan Ecovillage.
Of the 90 ‘anticipatory experiences’ initially identified, 23 were selected for a more detailed examination on the basis of criteria including the success of the project, ‘in terms of social recognition and excellent results from an energy and environmental point of view’. Among those selected was Cloughjordan Ecovillage, the only Irish project selected. One way of selecting the 23 most successful projects was through analysing tweeting about the 90 projects. These were analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. This shows Cloughjordan ecovillage to be in the top ten of the 90 European projects for the total number of tweets about it, the followers of those tweeting, the original content of the tweets, how positive they are, and the global reach of those tweeting and reading the tweets (see full details in documents 2.1 and 2.2 on www.milesecure2050.eu). Milesecure’s research identifies Cloughjordan Ecovillage as one of Europe’s leading ‘anticipatory experiences’ of the transition towards a low-carbon society with important lessons for EU policy.