Relevant areas of expertise
Eithne George is a renewable energy expert, specializing is community owned enterprises. She has worked closely with a variety of community groups in the West Midlands and across the UK, in developing medium scale wind, solar photovoltaic and anaerobic digestion projects. This has involved technical feasibility work, project management, financial modeling, advice and assistance in negotiating with landowners and assisting groups in setting up IPS co-operative ventures. This includes Leominster Community Solar Co-operative, one of the first solar co-operatives in the UK, of which Eithne is a director.
Having been employed by Energy4All to work on the Sharenergy project in the West Midlands, Eithne has gone on to co-found Sharenergy Co-operative whose purpose is to support community groups starting their own renewable energy co-operatives, with projects across all technologies, from 10kW-1.5MW.
Eithne’s background is in both renewable energy and social enterprise. After university she co-founded The Hub, in London. This was a social enterprise, aiming to bring together a displaced community of social entrepreneurs struggling to launch their social businesses. The purpose was to provide low cost office accommodation in an environment where new ideas and collaborations would thrive. The idea quickly took root and now members of the Hub number in their thousands and there have been a large number of business collaborations between members, with many new social businesses launched from the Hub. Since opening in 2005, two further Hubs have opened in London and Hubs are present in over 30 cities, across 5 continents worldwide.
She went on to work on greening the growth agenda in Cambridge, where over 19,000 new homes and associated employment space was proposed. The role covered all aspects of sustainability but there was a significant focus on renewable and decentralized energy. This involved developing appropriate new policies, overseeing their implementation and enforcement, as well as creating new opportunities for schemes such as a town centre CHP which is in development and will link council and university buildings in a £20 million energy scheme.
Eithne is one of the founding directors of Sharenergy Co-operative, Leominster Community Solar Co-operative and a director of Unlock Democracy, which is a charity.
Employed by Energy4All, the UK’s leading developer of community owned wind projects on the Sharenergy project in the rural West Midlands, funded by Advantage West Midlands.
Founding director of Sharenergy Co-operative a member organisation for community groups looking to create renewable energy enterprises from 10kW-1.5MW
Sustainable Construction Coordinator, Cambridge City Council 2006-2009
- Developed the Council’s leading Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 Policy for North West Cambridge
- Led the implementation of the Merton Rule policy (10% renewable energy for new developments) for Cambridge
- Initiated the concept for a city centre combined heat and power scheme, that is currently being developed as a £20 million scheme that will link various council and university buildings in the centre of Cambridge
- Provided training on environmental policy for planning officers and planning committee members sub-regionally
MiniMills Project Officer, BioRegional Development Group, 2005
Assisted the Director of BioRegional in the development of ground breaking MiniMills, a patented technology able to produce virgin paper pulp from straw with minimal environmental impact
Co-Founder of The Hub, London 2001-2005
- Took the idea from concept to opening
- Was central to raising £120,000 of startup finance, from grant and social loan providers
- Project managed the sustainable refurbishment of a 2,500sq ft space for the first Hub and was on the design team
Independent Film, West Africa, 2001
Interviewer, editor and interpreter for funded film on indigenous environmental community action in West Africa shown at the Africa Centre, London and featured on the award winning OneWorld website.
2000 MA Architectural History and French, Edinburgh University, Upper Second Class Honours