Making the right choices

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Brian Motherway, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland believes that by making the right choices Ireland will have a more sustainable and secure energy future, whilst grasping an economic opportunity. In July I had the pleasure of accompanying Energy Minister Alex White to see the achievements of the Aran Islands energy co-operative. The islanders have a proud tradition of determination, self-sufficiency and environmental responsibility. And they are conscious of how an unsustainable...[full story]

The future of renewable energy in Ireland

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Professor Brian Ó Gallachóir of the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork, evaluates how Ireland can reach its low carbon targets. Ireland has an ambition to transition towards a low carbon economy by 2050, as articulated in the legislation on Climate Action and Low Carbon Development. There are a number of significant challenges in achieving this ambition for technology, for society and for policy. This article focuses on the role of technology in decarbonising Ireland’s...[full story]

Political parties’ energy priorities

Friday, September 25th, 2015

A key feature of the programme at this year’s Energy Ireland® conference was a panel discussion featuring representatives of the leading political parties who were given an opportunity to outline their key policy priorities in relation to energy and climate change ahead of Election 2016. Q. Are you prepared to stand, defend and own European policies on climate change? John O’ Mahony: The answer is yes…I remember in 2007 or 2006 when wind was first being put forward. Coming from the west of...[full story]

Growing sustainably by connecting Europe

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Friends of the Supergrid’s Deputy CEO Marta Navarrete discusses how the grid can contribute to the energy union and the issues that it faces. Europe needs a strong grid that is able to interconnect its different internal markets to increase security of supply and to integrate renewables, argues Friends of the Supergrid’s Marta Navarrete. The Brussels-based association was created five years ago as an industrial alliance promoting more interconnections in Europe. “We represent the whole supply...[full story]

Involving the community in energy transformation

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Social scientist Patrick Devine-Wright talks about why Ireland’s energy transformation needs to keep the public involved. An energy system transformation is also a societal transformation and not simply a change of technology, fuel or energy resources, says social scientist Patrick Devine-Wright. “It’s a change to ways of life, it’s a change to ways of behaviour,” he explains. “It isn’t just a political, economic or technological issue. It is also a cultural, a psychological and a...[full story]

Converting Moneypoint to sustainable biomass is Ireland’s best renewable option

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Malcolm Brown, BW Energy, explains why cost effective decarbonisation is critical and how the use of biomass could alleviate the problem of rising wind costs. For decarbonisation policies to be politically sustainable they need to support the most cost effective carbon-abating technologies. Ideally they also should maintain or enhance security of supply, maximise domestic ‘green jobs’ and minimise economic collateral damage to other important national industries. This is critical at a time when...[full story]

Denmark’s electricity system for tomorrow

Friday, September 25th, 2015

With the smartgrid, Denmark hopes to create the energy system for the future. Peter Markussen of transmission system operator Energinet.dk discusses its potential. The Danish smartgrid system has two overall objectives, says Peter Markussen of Energinet.dk. He is head of ancillary services at the national transmission system operator for electricity and natural gas. The first objective is to create flexibility in the market due to the country’s high levels of renewable energy. The other is to...[full story]

VAYU Energy: Supporting Ireland’s renewable agenda

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Ireland’s target under the EU Directive 2009/28/EC has a binding national overall target for renewable energy consumption of 16 per cent in 2020. In line with these commitments, the Irish Government has decided that in order to achieve this target, 40 per cent of electricity consumed in 2020 will be generated using renewable energy sources, with targets of 10 per cent and 12 per cent in transport and heat respectively. It is certainly the case that great progress has been made to date in relation...[full story]

Is there a fairer way to finance energy subsidies?

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Niall Farrell, of the Economic and Social Research Institute, argues that it’s important to ensure the burden of energy subsidies is distributed equitably. In many countries, governments subsidise particular forms of energy to support environmental, security or social goals. Ultimately, energy consumers or taxpayers must finance these payments through one of many potential financing structures. Each structure affects each household type differently, with some having a more equitable impact than...[full story]

The need for energy storage in Northern Ireland

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Professor Neil Hewitt of Ulster University discusses Northern Ireland’s future energy system needs and the University’s role in the development of new technologies. Innovation in renewable energy system development coupled with reduced costs of typically wind and PV systems has resulted in the wider deployment of renewable energy systems. Government supporting mechanisms have also facilitated deployment to contribute to carbon reduction targets for the region. However, the deployment of such...[full story]