Can Ireland warm homes and cook dinners with hydrogen?

Thursday, 18th November 2021: UCD Energy Institute has launched a new research project to investigate the potential use of hydrogen in Irish homes. Led by Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Technical Development and Technical Training, Liam Nolan, and DrAli Ekhtiari and Dr Eoin Syron from UCDEI; the team is testing the operation and performance of household appliances with varying levels of hydrogen and natural gas blends.

Using the testing facilities at both UCDEI’s Integrated Energy Lab and Gas Networks Ireland’s new hydrogen innovation facility in west Dublin, which enables the safe testing of pipelines, meters and appliances off-network; the team is working to understand the full potential of hydrogen and ensure Ireland’s gas pipelines are capable of safely transporting and storing this vital carbon free gas.

“The decarbonisation of Ireland’s gas network is essential if we are to transition to a net-zero energy system in Ireland by 2050. This project will provide the data needed to understand how adding hydrogen to the gas network will impact the devices and appliances we use in our homes today to ensure a smooth transition with minimal cost and disruption to consumers,” Dr Syron said.

 Hydrogen can be produced from renewable electricity and stored until needed, making it an attractive option to decarbonise energy systems and a strong example of how greater integration between gas and electricity systems can drive a cleaner energy future for Ireland.

Press Release

Taoiseach Launches All-Island Climate and Biodiversity Research Network to support solutions to avert biodiversity and climate crises

Tuesday, 9 November 2021: Taoiseach Micheál Martin and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, today launched the All-Island Climate and Biodiversity Research Network (AICBRN) at a pivotal point, with the world having heard the true scale of the global crisis at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26) and the UN Biodiversity Conference last month (COP-15).

Following speeches by the Taoiseach and deputy First Minister, researchers from a wide range of disciplines joined in a panel discussion to emphasise the importance of tackling both the climate and biodiversity crises together to find the solutions we need to maintain a liveable planet.

The AICBRN is a researcher-led initiative, bringing together experts from multiple disciplines across the island of Ireland to undertake the research necessary to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies. Effective solutions require sustained collaborative and multidisciplinary research which will deliver a just transition for society which is needed if we are to achieve a sustainable future on the island of Ireland. UCD Energy Institute is proud to be a founding member of this Network.

For more information on the network see https://www.aicbrn.net/

AICBRN Press Release

UCD Academic receives Luke Howard Award

Congratulations to Associate Professor Gerald Mills, UCD School of Geography who has received the 2021 Luke Howard Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Urban Climatology by the International Association for Urban Climate.

His research has had substantial impact including the urban heat island, modelling the urban canopy, the surface energy balance at multiple scales, indoor and outdoor climates, the links between cities and global climate change and the importance of sustainable urban design.

Associate Professor Mills is an influential urban climatologist, widely known for his numerous scientific contributions, his genuine passion for the subject and its history, his generosity as a mentor and his exceptional dedication to the urban climate community.

ESRI-UCD Energy Policy Research Workshop: Energy and Society in Climate Mitigation - Presentations and recordings now available

The annual UCD ESRI Energy Policy Research Workshop took place on Wednesday 29th September. The event will take place online again this year using the Zoom webinar platform. The focus of the event this year was on Energy and Society in Climate Mitigation and will feature presentations relating to “Technology and Innovation” and “Leaving no one behind in the energy transition”. The event featured a series of interesting presentations from researchers in both ESRI and UCD Energy Institute, followed by a panel discussion.

The presentations and recordings are now available here.

UCD Energy Institute and Zipp Mobility Announce Research Partnership to Enhance e-Scooter Safety

Zipp Mobility (www.zippmobility.com) (Zipp), the Irish micromobility operator headquartered at NovaUCD, announced a collaborative research partnership with the UCD Energy Institute to develop accessory technologies to make e-scooters safer in urban environments.

Prof Andrew Keane, Dr Paul Cuffe and Charlie Gleeson. Image: Vincent Hoban, UCD

Prof Andrew Keane, Dr Paul Cuffe and Charlie Gleeson. Image: Vincent Hoban, UCD

Working in the UCD Energy Institute’s IELab, a team from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering will undertake practical prototyping work on a number of Zipp e-scooters, upgrading them with smart noisemaking and lighting features to ensure the e-scooters can be seen and heard more clearly.

Since its establishment in 2019, Zipp has raised €2.1 million from investors and become a significant player in the European scooter-sharing market with operations in the UK and Poland. Next year the company plans to launch in several Irish cities including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. Zipp also plans to begin operations in Portugal and Spain during 2022.

Dr Paul Cuffe, UCD Energy Institute, said, “E-scooters are a fun and practical mode of sustainable transport, and I’m delighted to see how popular they’re becoming in cities around the world. With this growing popularity, though, we need to ensure that they’re safe for all users of city streets. Electric scooters can be rather quiet and inconspicuous, and pedestrians may not always be aware that they are approaching. In this research collaboration we will work with Zipp to upgrade their e-scooters with smart noisemaking and lighting features, so they are visually and audibly more noticeable.

Charlie Gleeson, CEO and founder, Zipp Mobility said, “We are delighted to be partnering with the UCD Energy Institute on this research collaboration.  Zipp’s mission is ‘mobility done right’ and having world-class technology that prioritises safety is a cornerstone of our approach. When we launch our service in Ireland next year, we want it to be as safe as possible and this research follows on from feedback received from our existing customers in the UK and Poland. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to safety and our commitment to R&D activities in Ireland.”

Professor Andrew Keane, Director, UCD Energy Institute said, “Choice around low carbon modes of transport will play a big role in reducing emissions from energy use. This collaboration with Zipp strongly aligns with the UCD Energy Institute’s strategy to deliver research supporting a net zero energy system in 2050, with transport being an area of increasing focus.”

This project is being supported with funding from Enterprise Ireland and Zipp Mobility.

Huawei FusionSolar "Luna on Tour"

The Huawei FusionSolar "Luna on Tour" visited UCD Campus on Thursday, 23rd September 2021. Huawei presented the new and impressive FusionSolar product portfolio for private and commercial use. There was a guided tour and presentation by Peter Russell (Solar Business Department, Huawei Irl) of all the technology on board.

Prof Andrew Keane introduced the Institute to Tony Yang, Steven Cai, David Kenny and others from Hauwei and presented the Integrated Energy Lab, a faciliated at UCD Energy Institute that enables investigation of the future energy system. The Operator Training Simulator, being described by Professor Keane, was supplied by DUtrain who are based in Duisburg in Germany. It is an off-line environment that emulates an electricity network control centre. It simulates the physical power system and is widely used for operator training, testing of new network configurations and research into new operational and control techniques. The simulator installed in the Integrated Energy Laboratory uses a representative model of the transmission system in Ireland.

Dr Ali Ekhtiari, the postdoctoral research fellow of the ESIPP, presented the technical aspects of the current collaboration with Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) on the project of "testing the blended hydrogen". Furthermore, he described the advanced gas network model incorporating green hydrogen to use gas pipelines capacity for renewable power storage. This practical project aims to help GNI in touching the decarbonisation target plans by 2030.

Francesco Pilla to take part in UCD Discovery Zoom for Thought series

Francesco Pilla, Associate Professor in the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy and Energy Institute member, will be on UCD Discovery's Zoom for Thought 15-min chat series on Tuesday, September 21st @ 2 pm (Irish Standard Time) where he will discuss "Open Innovation approaches for smart and sustainable local communities".

Join the UCD Discovery Zoom for Thought chat via zoom - https://ucd-ie.zoom.us/j/64616386954

The event kicks off at 2 pm sharp and finishes at 2.15 pm.

Energy Institute Academics taking part in Energy Ireland Conference

The Energy Ireland Conference takes place on 15, 16 and 17 September with ESIPP Academics Lisa Ryan and Paul Cuffe both involved in the discussions.

Lisa Ryan will be participating in a panel discussion on "The Future of Electricity Networks" alongside Eamonn Confrey (Principal Officer, Electricity policy Division, DECC) and Carlos Galvin (Council Member, Irish Energy Storage Association) at 16:15 on Wednesday 15th September.

Paul Cuffe will be presenting in the "Digitalising energy for a sustainable future" session on Friday 17th, delivering a presentation "Can blockchain technology provide helpful financial tools for renewable generators?".

For more information on the event see https://www.energyireland.ie/

Ulysses Funding

The Embassy of France in Ireland and the Irish Research Council have announced funding for 26 new collaborations between Ireland- and France-based researchers through the Ulysses Scheme. The scheme facilitates the exchange of innovative ideas and approaches across all disciplines by providing seed funding for reciprocal travel visits. The scheme is also supported by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, RTE-France, EirGrid, Inserm, HRB, Ademe and SEAI.

Dr Lisa Ryan was awarded Ulysses funding (€2500) for Franco-Irish cooperation on the project "Integrating consumer behaviour into energy models".

More here.

US-Ireland Partnership to deliver data driven approach to address residential energy use

We are delighted to launch the latest research programme from UCD Energy Institute funded by the US-Ireland R&D Partnership which aims to reduce residential building energy consumption and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and environmental impacts - "Intelligent Data Harvesting for Multi-Scale Building Stock Classification and Energy Performance Prediction"

Researchers at University College Dublin, Ulster University and the University of Colorado have launched a new research programme that aims to reduce residential building energy consumption and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and environmental impacts across the three jurisdictions (US, Ireland, Northern Ireland). Residential buildings account for 14%-27% of GHG emissions in the three jurisdictions and cause significant negative impact on the environment. The research project “Intelligent Data Harvesting for Multi-Scale Building Stock Classification and Energy Performance Prediction” is supported by the National Science Foundation (US), Science Foundation Ireland in the Republic of Ireland (RoI), and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland (NI) as part of the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership.

Launching the research programme, Dr. James O’Donnell, one of the lead investigators based in UCD Energy Institute, said “The proposed research will create novel decision support tools to inform policy makers, planners and other stakeholders about the most beneficial residential retrofitting solutions at multiple scales (local to national).” Dr O’Donnell will be collaborating with Dr Wangda Zuo, University of Colorado, and Professor Neil Hewitt of Ulster University on this ground breaking research which brings together a team with expertise including green engineering of the NI team, building energy modeling and machine learning of the U.S. team, and information theory of the RoI team. According to O’Donnell, these research will also help citizens “Empowered by this information, better decisions can guide modern societies towards transformative green solutions for the built environment to enable energy-efficient, healthy and comfortable buildings for a nation's citizens.”

The research programme has received approximately €1m in funding across the three jurisdictions and will be carried out over the next three years starting in September.

DUBLIN CLIMATE DIALOGUES: Influencing outcomes for COP26 - 19th and 20th May, 2021


19th and 20th May, 2021

UCD Energy Institute was delighted to support the Dublin Climate Dialogues Conference which took place on 19th & 20th May, broadcast from UCD’s O’Reilly Hall. The event brought together senior government representatives from the US, China, Europe, UK and the UN along with high-profile business representatives and leading economists to forge a declaration on how to turn net-zero pledges into concrete energy policies and actions to be adopted at COP26 including ways to strengthen the 2015 Paris Agreement. The Declaration was handed to the COP Presidency at the conclusion of the conference.

Learn more


Webinar: Energy Opportunities for Wastewater Treatment Plants


Webinar: Energy Opportunities for Wastewater Treatment Plants

Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) account for a significant proportion of energy use in Ireland and globally.  As the focus on the contribution of energy production to climate change increases, the need to identify opportunities for energy saving, energy generation and supporting the wider energy system becomes increasingly important. This webinar highlights the opportunities for wastewater treatment plant to play a role in the energy transition through reducing their energy requirements, supporting the electricity system through demand response and showcasing the role of data analytics to support decision making. Aspects such as operational costs and ensuring environmental standards are core components of the integrated approach to these energy opportunities.

Date: Thursday 15th April

Time: 16:00

Registration: https://ucd-ie.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VAZUYv7qSyy97XyhGTMkzQ

More Information: https://esipp.ie/post/webinar-energy-opportunities-for-wastewater-treatment-plants



Dr Paul Cuffe wins 2021 NovaUCD Innovation Champion of the Year Award

Congratulations to Dr Paul Cuffe who won the 2021 NovaUCD Innovation Champion of the Year Award. This award recognises Paul's dedication to working with UCD engineering programme students, to unlock the commercial trajectory of their final year dissertation projects. In 2020 he supervised Philip Snell’s, ME Electronic and Computer Engineering thesis project to prototype a new MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controller.

For more information on this and the other awardees visit NovaUCD.

Professor Andrew Keane featured in Business Post Online

Image of Professor Andrew Keane

Director of UCD Energy Institute, Professor Andrew Keane, was featured in a recent article in the Business Post Online outlining five key ways to make decarbonised energy systems a reality. This includes looking at aspects such as harnessing Ireland's offshore wind potential, ensuring a stable and reliable electricity supply, strengthening interconnection and engaging the "energy Citizen".

You can read the article here.


Webinar: A deep dive into the PhD – and what comes next?


A deep dive into the PhD – and what comes next?

This online event will give a brief introduction to some ongoing research of PhD students in UCD Energy Institute, followed by a panel discussion featuring former PhD students who are now applying their skills to different roles. This session will provide insights into some of the key skills, motivations, and challenges associated with doing a PhD in the area of energy and bringing this expertise to life after a PhD. If you have ever googled ‘is a PhD in the energy domain worth it’ this is the event for you!

Date: Thursday 4th March

Time: 14:00


More Information: https://energyinstitute.ucd.ie/webinar-a-deep-dive-into-the-phd-and-what-comes-next/



Smart Grid research Data PANTERA Nano-Workshop



Smart Grid research Data PANTERA Nano-Workshop

Date: 22 January 2021

Time: 14:00-15:30 GMT

Duration: 90 minutes

Facilitator: Dr. Paula Carroll (UCD Energy Institute)

Secure your place by scanning the above QR code or via the following link: https://pantera-platform.eventbrite.com


  • Prof Eleni Mangina: UCD Energy Institute
  • Jim Scheer: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
  • Dr Stephen Donoghue: UCD Research and Development
  • Dr Venizelos Efthymiou: FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy


This webinar, in the form of a nano-workshop, addresses the theme of Smart Grid Research Data - how to share research data, ensure GDPR compliance, reduce the risk of divulging potential innovation insights, and related issues. The webinar focuses on "how different stakeholders such as governments, industry and local energy communities can share and organise their data respecting the privacy of users and citizens".

The webinar is a part of the workshops and events of PANTERA project, which is a pan-European project aimed at setting up a forum composed of Research & Innovation stakeholders active in the fields of smart grids, including policymakers, standardisation bodies, and experts to remove the technical and policy-related barriers on the effective energy transition.
In collaboration with other platforms, PANTERA project aims to identify and address barriers and thus, support smart grid research and innovation in the EU. Research data sharing plays an important role in promoting these collaborations. This webinar aims to develop an understanding of how to access and share smart grid research data.

For more PANTERA see: https://pantera-platform.eu/



Online Panel Discussion: Is Micromobility the future of urban transportation or just a fad?

UCD Energy Institute and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Ireland are excited to host an online Panel Discussion Is Micromobility the future of urban transportation or just a fad?

Recording now available here.

Date: Thursday 14th January

Time: 18:00

Duration: 90 minutes


Dr. Páraic Carroll (Assistant Professor in the School of Civil Engineering, University College Dublin)


  • Charlie Gleeson: Founder & CEO of Zipp Mobility
  • Hugh Cooney: CEO of Bleeper
  • Luke Mackey: Country Manager of Bolt
  • Anne de Bortoli: Research Affiliate at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech/Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Cllr Maeve O’Connell: Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

For more information see: https://energyinstitute.ucd.ie/micromobility-webinar/



Electricity users will be central to decarbonisation


16 December 2020

Ireland’s electricity system is set to undergo significant transformation in the coming years as we electrify our heating and cooling and decarbonise our energy.

UCD Energy Institute today hosted a research webinar “Beyond 70% Renewable Electricity” which highlighted some of the research activities that will help this transition, through understanding how and where demand will change and looking at new ways of operating the system as more devices and dispersed generation connects.

Speaking at the event, Dr Lisa Ryan said “Government Policy is to dramatically increase the number of electric vehicles and heat pumps in our homes. Our research looks at the policy instruments that can be used to promote technology uptake to meet these policy objectives, to identify areas where uptake is more likely and to highlight where more needs to be done.”

With the increasing number of devices connected in people’s homes, the implications for the electricity system need to be well understood, including whether the traditional ways of operating the system remain appropriate.

UCD Energy Institute Director Prof Andrew Keane noted “Electricity consumers will play an increasingly important role as we transition to a decarbonised energy system with the connection of battery electric vehicles, heat pumps and smart home devices. One of the questions we want to answer is how these devices can be used to bring benefits to the system in support of renewable energy, considering the complex physical interactions at play.”

The webinar, hosted by environmental writer and commentator John Gibbons, also outlined research activities identifying some of the technical opportunities and solutions that will help deliver renewable electricity, including the provision of system support from connected devices, and the improved use of existing infrastructure to facilitate the integration of higher levels of renewable electricity.

For more information see here.

UCD Energy Institute partnership with Davy Stockbrokers

UCD Energy Institute is delighted to confirm that we are partnering with Davy Stockbrokers through their newly established Renewable Energy division, which will be led by Barry Dixon.

Energy Institute Director, Professor Andrew Keane, welcomes the new partnership stating “the addition of Davy Stockbrokers will further strengthen our industry partnerships, bringing new areas of expertise and experience. The creation of the Renewable Energy team within Davy shows strong leadership and commitment to the energy transition. The UCD Energy Institute is at the forefront of Energy Systems research in Ireland as we aim to inform Ireland’s transition towards carbon neutrality in 2050. Partnerships with the leading participants in the energy industry in Ireland ensure that our research remains relevant and informed by the challenges faced by the energy sector and across society, with continued international academic excellence.”

Dr Michelle Carey, UCD School of Mathematics, says “we are looking forward to working with Davy on the NexSys programme, our collaborative research will explore innovative solutions towards decarbonisation, such as the stabilisation of the supply of green energy, energy-efficient construction and the utilisation of carbon capture and storage technologies”.

UCD Energy Institute is coordinating the development of a new research programme, NexSys, focused on addressing the key issues relating to the transition to a Net Zero Carbon Energy Future. This will build on ongoing research as part of the SFI funded ESIPP programme.

Upcoming Webinars from UCD Energy Institute and ESIPP


UCD Energy Institute are delighted to host two upcoming webinars in the area of Decarbonisation of Energy. Each event has it's own registration so be sure to register for the one(s) you are interested in!

Climate & Weather Modelling for Energy Production - Wednesday 9th December, 2pm - 3pm

Register here.

As we move towards decarbonisation of our energy system, renewable energy plays an increasingly important role. Wind and solar power will form a large part of our energy mix and it is crucial that we understand these resources and how they relate to energy production. In this webinar we examine different aspects of wind and solar modelling at different timescales presented by three PhD students approaching the end of their projects. Understanding the accuracy of weather forecasting, or the impacts of climate effects on energy production from renewables, is a key aspect of the SFI-funded Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP).


  • Importance of evaluating forecasts at relevant heights when selecting optimal model setup for wind energy - Seánie Griffin, PhD Researcher, ESIPP
  • Climate change impacts on wind energy in Ireland - Eadaoin Doddy, PhD Researcher, ESIPP
  • Links between solar energy resources in the UK and Ireland and Euro-Atlantic atmospheric pressure patterns: winter VS summer - Joao Monteiro Correia, PhD Researcher, ESIPP

Further Information


Beyond 70% Renewable Electricity - Wednesday 16th December, 2pm - 3.15pm

Register here.

The 2019 Climate Action Plan sets out a target of 70% renewable electricity for Ireland by 2030, with a view to a net carbon energy system by 2050. This webinar brings together some of Ireland's leading academics to explore some of the requirements and implications of exceeding 70% renewable electricity. These include examining the effect of increasing levels of technology uptake, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, the impact of additional devices on the electricity system, whether these devices can provide support to the system and how the electricity system can continue to operate and a safe and efficient way.


  • Professor Andrew Keane, Head of Energy Institute, University College Dublin
  • Dr Lisa Ryan, Assistant Professor, School of Economics
  • Dr Terence O'Donnell, Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Dr Alireza Soroudi, Assistant Professor, School Of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Further Information

Register here.


UCD ESRI Energy Policy Research Conference - Thursday 24th September

Building Energy Rating Communicates Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Irish Rental Properties

  • Key finding presented at the 2020 UCD ESRI Energy Policy Research Conference

Rental properties with better energy efficiency have higher rental incomes that are in line with the estimated energy bill savings, highlighting the effectiveness of the Building Energy Rating (BER) scheme in communicating energy efficiency.

This is one of the key findings presented today at the annual UCD ESRI Energy Policy Research Conference. The online conference showcased some of the ongoing energy policy research underway in both UCD Energy Institute and ESRI.

Energy policy research looks at how effective current policies are and assesses the potential impact of new policies or processes under consideration.

The research finding that rental properties with better energy efficiency (shown by BER certificates) have higher rents on average, presented at the conference by Ivan Petrov, a PhD student in the UCD Energy Institute, shows that the BER scheme works quite well in communicating the benefits of energy efficiency.

UCD Energy Institute Director, Professor Andrew Keane, said, “Research collaboration is really important to us in the Energy Institute. Our history of collaboration with ESRI really helps strengthen the research by bringing together the leading experts covering a range of different areas including economics, behavioural science, engineering and climate science, among others. The challenges of decarbonisation require a collective effort.”

Professor Alan Barrett, CEO, ESRI, said, “In order to find solutions to the global climate challenge, the best minds from different fields must work together. The collaboration between the ESRI and UCD on energy research is an excellent example of how multi-disciplinary research can yield important results. Our annual joint conference provides an opportunity to present the results of the on-going research, all with a view to providing guidance for policy formation.”

The conference also covered research in the areas of renewable electricity targets, blockchain for energy, climate change deniers and the economic and environmental impacts of COVID-19 for Ireland.

For more information on the conference and to see the presentation slide see here.



Dr Eoin Syron to present at the IESA Green Hydrogen Storage Webinar on 15th September

Dr Eoin Syron will present at the Green Hydrogen Storage Webinar hosted by the Irish Energy Storage Association (IESA) and taking place on Tuesday 15th September. The event is free to attend and you can register by emailing info@iesa.ie to secure your place.

Webinar: The New European Green Deal in Ireland - 23 July, 2pm

In partnership with UCD Institute for Discovery, UCD Energy Institute is delighted to invite you to join thought leader Dr. Eddie O'Connor, Executive Chairman of Mainstream Renewable Power, on the 'Zoom for Thought' chat series on Thursday July 23rd @ 2pm IST where he will discuss:

‘The New European Green Deal in Ireland'

Registration link: https://ucd-ie.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rbvdTkORT8aSa-BJQcbeNg

The event kicks off at 2pm sharp and finishes at 2.30pm.

Eddie assumed the role of Executive Chairman of Mainstream Renewable Power in September 2017 following nine years as Chief Executive Officer of the company he founded in 2008. He is a world renowned entrepreneur and leader in renewable energy. Previously Eddie completed ten years as Chief Executive of global renewable energy company Airtricity which he founded in 1997. Airtricity was sold in 2008 to E.on and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) for €1.8 billion.

Eddie has been named World Energy Policy Leader by Scientific American magazine and Oilprice.com cited him as one of the five most influential figures in the US clean energy sector. He was presented with the Leadership award at the annual Ernst & Young Global Renewable Energy Awards and in 2013 he received wind energy’s most prestigious award, the Poul La Cour Prize from the European Wind Energy Association in recognition of his work in the sector. In May 2016, Eddie was appointed as the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) new Global Ambassador.

From 1987 to 1996 Eddie was Chief Executive of Bord na Mona, the Irish Peat Board, where he took the company from loss to profit making and it was here that he began to develop his vision for wind power. He built Ireland’s first commercial wind farm at Bellacorick, Co. Mayo with an installed capacity of 6.45MW twenty-four years ago and it is still producing electricity today.

He holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Industrial Engineering and has a doctorate in Business Administration from the International Management Centres, Europe. He has received an honorary Doctorate of Science from University College Dublin (UCD), an honorary Doctorate from NUI Maynooth and most recently he was awarded Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from the University of Hull in recognition of his major contributions to business and science.

Floating Offshore Wind - an Opportunity for Ireland

UCD Energy Institute has published a paper on the potential for Floating Offshore Wind in Ireland. The latest paper in our Insights Series highlights the significant development potential for Ireland, the research opportunities and the integration with other aspects of the energy sector.

Floating Offshore Wind - An Opportunity for Ireland

For more papers see our Insights Series

UCD Energy Institute response to Programme for Government - June 2020

UCD Energy Institute welcomes the Programme for Government “Our Shared Future” (June 2020). This programme sets out ambitious aims for the new Government as we aim to rebuild our economy following the shock of the Covid19 pandemic. The following response outlines some of the areas of research carried out within UCD Energy Institute and the ESIPP programme that can support the delivery of the Programme for Government

UCD Energy Institute - Response to the Programme for Government (June 2020)


The Irish laboratory Awards winner: Assoc Prof Vikram Pakrashi’s Dynamic Systems and Risk Laboratory

The UCD Energy Institute is proud to announce that member Assoc Prof Vikram Pakrashi’s Dynamic Systems and Risk Laboratory won both ‘Education Laboratory of the year’ and ‘Academic or research Laboratory of the Year’ at the Irish Laboratory Awards 2020. The Irish laboratory Awards recognize excellence and achievement in the laboratory environment, covering management, innovation, collaboration, personnel development and laboratory equipment supply. The ceremony took place 05 march 2020 in Dublin. A big congratulations to Assoc Prof Pakrashi of the UCD School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering and all of his team!




PANTERA virtual workshop 'For widening R&I activities in the EU in support of the energy transition'

PANTERA will host the virtual workshop 'For widening R&I activities in the EU in support of the energy transition' for the upcoming EU Sustainable Energy Week.
The event will take place Wednesday 24 June 2020 from 14:00-16:50 (EEST). To register for this event please click here. For information about the agenda please follow this link. For further information about the event, please contact contact@pantera-platform.eu.
Workshop description
PANTERA has come a long way  through top down and bottom up actions / activities to identify and nourish all the trajectories that would contribute to the leveraging of smart grids R&I needs across Europe. Within the framework of the PANTERA multi-functional interactive platform developments and the set-up of the Operating Regional Desks, we would like to have an interactive fruitful discussion with you on the following topics:

- EU policy for 2030 to 2050 and the role of the R&I community
- Green Deal objectives and the R&I community positioning
- ETIP SNET and BRIDGE role for building R&I priorities roadmap

The main objective of all 3 topics is to reach agreement on the needs and the challenges of R&I in Europe and how the PANTERA process can be supportive in finding solutions that can contribute to the energy transition without any country left behind.


A National Hydrogen Strategy is needed to develop Ireland’s Hydrogen potential

Ongoing research within the UCD Energy Institute through the SFI funded ESIPP (https://esipp.ie/) has highlighted the signficant role the Hydrogen can play in Ireland's energy future as part of an integrated energy system. In the following paper we have outlined the role Hydrogen can play and some of the steps and recommendations to get there including the development of a National Hydrogen Strategy.

Read more on The need for a Hydrogen Strategy for Ireland


DERlab Researcher Webinar- Multi-Energy System

DERlab hosted the DERlab Researcher Webinar Thursday 18 June 2020. UCD Energy Institute members Dr Eoin Syron and Dr Terence O'Donnell presented 'Energy System Integration: Opportunities for Multi Energy Lab Research'. With the increase of the share of fluctuating renewable energy, the energy systems require sector coupling to guarantee the stability of the system.


  • Welcome to DERlab Researcher Webinar: Graeme Burt, DERlab Board
    Energy System Integration: Opportunities for multi energy lab research: Eoin Syron and Terence O’Donnell, UCD
    GreenE2 – the Finnish ecosystem fostering Power-to-X progress: Kari Mäki, VTT
    Building a research facility for future sector coupled district heating and electricity supply system: Per Munch Jakobsen, DTU
    Discussion and Q&A: Graeme Burt, DERlab Board,  Mohamed Shalaby, DERlab office

COVID-19 and EU Climate Targets: going further with less?

Researchers at the UCD Energy Institute have investigated the implications of the dramatic fall in economic output associated with the COVID-19 crisis for EU 2030 emissions reduction targets. This analysis indicates that since existing policy measures could now achieve the 40% emissions reduction target sooner than 2030, there is now an opportunity to increase our ambition in support of the emissions reduction targets of 50-55% in 2030 outlined in the European Green Deal.

For more on this paper by Tensay Meles, Lisa Ryan and Joe Wheatley see COVID-19 and EU Climate Targets.

EURO WISDOM Forum Webinar: Bias/ Fairness and Artificial Intelligence

The EURO WIDSOM Forum Webinar was held Monday 20 April.  The webinar included expert panelists discussing data bias in their respective disciplines and application areas followed by a round table discussion with audience participation.

A recording of the webinar is available via this link: https://www.euro-online.org/web/pages/1654/wisdom


Prof Alan Smeaton is Professor of Computing at Dublin City University, Ireland and a Founding Director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at DCU. He will speak on Data bias in automatic image and video captioning and its impact. For more information about Alan see https://www.computing.dcu.ie/~asmeaton/

Dr Claire Gormley is an Associate Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics in University College Dublin, Ireland and a Funded Investigator in the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and the VistaMilk research centre. Her research develops novel statistical methods for the analysis of complex data arising from substantive problems. The methods solve applied problems across a range of disciplines, including epigenetics, metabolomics, genomics, social science, sports science and political science. She will speak on Be fair to the models: the importance of assumptions in data analytics and modelling. For more information about Claire see https://people.ucd.ie/claire.gormley;

Dr Fintan Costello, is an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science, University College Dublin, Ireland. His research interests cover a number of different areas in computer science, psychology and maths. His main interests are: biases in human reasoning and decision making; processes of rational inference in cognition; the origins of bias and rationality in human thought; computational models of probabilistic reasoning; computational models of decision making. He will speak on Bias and rationality in human reasoning (and why the same biases apply to AI). For more information about Fintan see https://people.ucd.ie/fintan.costello.

Dr Susan Leavy is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information and Communication Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland with research interests in artificial intelligence and digital policy, developing interdisciplinary frameworks for the governance and regulation of machine learning algorithms. She will speak on Gender bias and Artificial Intelligence. For more information about Susan see https://people.ucd.ie/susan.leavy

How energy economics is helping predict Ireland's renewable energy future - Lisa Ryan

Dr. Lisa Ryan was featured in Silicon Republic on Friday 17th April outlining the importance of energy economics in setting Ireland's energy policy. Click into the article below or for further information on the EmPower project see here.

How energy economics is helping predict Ireland’s renewable energy future


2019 UCD and IERC H2020 PANTERA Workshop


UCD and IERC joined forces to host a workshop for Irish stakeholders of the H2020 PANTERA project on Monday 2nd December in UCD. The Dublin Workshop looked at Ireland’s Smartgrid, Energy Storage and Local Energy Systems Landscape and aimed to aims to facilitate the exchange of best practices and information among R&I experts, policy makers, and foster links with EU level initiatives. Over 40 people participated in the workshop. Speakers included; Eamonn Laynonne who looked back over the past ten years of research and development in energy and summarised some of the major challenges addressed such as resilient grids. Paddy Finn from Electricity Exchange also spoke at the workshop and focussed his talk on the system wide value of demand response while Padriag Lyons from ESB Networks focussed on how Ireland might transition to a low carbon future. Jon O'Sullivan from EirGrid also gave a talk and looked at the challenges facing EirGrid as more and more renewables are incorporated on to the grid. Assoc Prof Terence O'Donnell provided an overview of Smart Grid research underway in UCD Energy Institute. Roundtable discussions through out the workshop addressed questions on how the PANTERA project can address the energy transition challenges at regional and EU level through the prism of smart grid R&I.

PAN European Technology Energy Research Approach (PANTERA) is a EU H2020 project aimed at setting up a European forum composed of Research & Innovation stakeholders active in the fields of smart grids, storage and local energy systems, including policy makers, standardisation bodies and experts in both research and academia, representing the EU energy system.




2019 UCD Sustainability LaunchPad showcases Innovation

Congratulations to all four finalist teams who took part in the 2019 UCD Sustainability Launchpad pitching on Wednesday November 20th, and to the winners who worked on the CHUM project to raise awareness for the challenges of tube-fed children. We had the honour of a keynote talk from Eddie O’Connor who commended the participants for their commitment to becoming agents of change and the importance and impact of looking to solve big problems.

The UCD Sustainability Launchpad is a collaboration between UCD Engineering, UCD Energy Institute, UpThink Innovation Agency and our 2019 Industry partners  SSESmartwires and Irish Seed savers and CHUM (an early stage biomedical device company through NCAD).

The Sustainability LaunchPad enables teams of students to come together to collaborate on an innovative approach to progressing challenges facing some of our industry partners. These include:

  1. Smartwires -Following adoption of Smartwires technology across the U.S., Europe and Australia, Smart Wires is now on its way to making a meaningful impact on new markets with its novel power flow technology.
  2. C No More(SSE)- Ireland is currently ranked 2nd worst in Europe regarding progress towards 2030 climate targets. Renewables energy supply is projected at only 30% by 2030, C No More proposes a solution for Ireland’s Carbon Emissions crisis: Carbon Capture and Storage.
  3. Irish Seed SaversEnsuring the stability and biodiversity of Ireland's food crops for future generations.
  4. CHUM is an oral motor development toolkit for children aged 3-10 who are weaning from tube feeding onto eating orally.  

This Launchpad is a great opportunity for these students to learn through collaboration and innovation, working on real challenges facing the participating companies. This learning would not be possible without the support of our industry partners and the great leadership of Mary Cronin of UpThink Innovation Agency.

Assist Prof Lisa Ryan meets An Taoiseach to discuss Climate Action & Energy

Monday 11th November 2019; As part of our national celebration of Science Week, Leo Varadkar TD, in collaboration with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), hosted a meeting of scientists and experts all researching areas that are central to addressing the challenges we face related to climate change. The meeting focused on the areas where there are opportunities for research to address some of those challenges.

Commenting on the meeting, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, said “Our response to climate change must be underpinned by science and research. Indeed, science and technology will help us to unlock and identify new ways of reducing emissions and adapting to our changing climate. Today’s meeting with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), in Science Week, is a valuable opportunity for me to hear directly from some of the experts who are exploring high tech solutions to make our economy and our society more sustainable. The Government is providing an extra €2 million to SFI for 2020 for its cutting edge research programme because we want to ensure Ireland is at the forefront of adapting to a more climate resilient future.”

The meeting was attended by: Professor Mark Ferguson Director General Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Dr Lisa Ryan, School of Economics and Energy Institute, University College Dublin, Dr Conor Murphy, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, Maynooth University, Prof Brian Ó Gallachóir, Professor of Energy Engineering in University College Cork’s School of Engineering and Vice-Director of UCC’s Environmental Research Institute, Director of SFI Research Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), Prof Anna Davies, Professor of Geography, Environment and Society, Trinity College Dublin, Dr Barry O’Dwyer, SFI Research Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI)Dr Kevin O’Connor, Director Beacon, SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre, UCD, Dr Dara Stanley, School of Agriculture and Earth Institute.



UCD Energy Institute and Climate Action Plan 2019

To understand how our research aligns to Ireland's Climate Action Plan, read UCD Energy Institute and Climate Action Plan 2019.

PANTERA Dublin Workshop: Ireland’s Smartgrid, Energy Storage and local Energy Systems.

The UCD Energy Institute is pleased to host a workshop as part of the Pantera H2020 project in the Quinn School of Business, UCD, on 2nd Dec 2019. Participation is free of charge but registration is required.

The workshop will explore the opportunities and challenges for Research and Innovation in Smart Grids, Energy Storage and Local Energy Systems in Ireland.
Keynote speakers include:
Dr Eamonn Lannoye, Senior Project Manager, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Dr Paddy Finn, Managing Director, Electricity Exchange
Dr Pádraig Lyons, Future Networks Development Manager, ESB Networks
Dr Jon O’Sullivan, Innovation Manager, EirGrid
Dr Terence O’Donnell, Assoc Prof, UCD Energy Institute

Agenda: Agenda PANTERA Dublin Workshop

The Government of Ireland’s climate action plans aim to achieve a net zero carbon energy systems objective for the Irish society, and in the process, create a resilient, vibrant and sustainable country. The plan includes specific targets for renewable electricity, heat and transport and sets out sectoral roadmaps. These targets present challenges and opportunities that could be addressed by research and innovation. The EU European Technology & Innovation Platform (ETIP) Smart Networks for Energy Transition (SNET) aims to guide Research, Innovation and Competitiveness initiatives to support the EU’s Energy Union strategy, and has set out a roadmap to achieve the objectives by 2050.

The workshop explores the opportunities and challenges for Research and Innovation in Smart Grids, Energy Storage and Local Energy Systems in Ireland, that could be facilitated through the PANTERA project. The workshop also aims to support organisations wanting to optimise their R&D efforts in the Smart Grids domain.

Project partners and stakeholders will share their experience and vision for the future of Smart Grid Research and Innovation. The participants will have the opportunity to contribute directly to the design and functionalities of the coming PANTERA platform.


  • The European and Irish Smart Grid Landscapes;
  • Supporting Research & Innovation through knowledge dissemination;
  • EU and national R&I funding opportunities;
  • Working Teams – Local and Pan-European R&I challenges and gaps;
  • PANTERA Desks – Local and Pan-European Networking for promoting regional needs and capitalising in local strengths and opportunities
  • Next Steps

Where: The Energy Institute & School of Business, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

When: 2 December 2019, 9:00-16:30

Agenda: Agenda PANTERA Dublin Workshop

Register here: https://pantera-platform.eu/register-to-pantera-dublin-workshop/

UCD Sustainable Smart Cities & Communities Symposium - 4th December, 2019

The UCD Sustainable Smart Cities & Communities Symposium will take place on Wednesday 4th December in the UCD Business School. Topics for the symposium will be Sustainable Energy Communities, Consumer and Prosumer Behaviour, Buildings, IoT, Data Analytics, Transport, Renewable Energies, Energy Generation and Management, Water Treatment and Recycling. All these areas are profoundly interconnected target areas of interventions, which can lead to significant improvements to the city ecosystem and path towards decarbonisation and sustainability. Further information on speakers, the agenda and registration can be found at https://www.smartcitiescommunities.org/.


Young Member Showcase & Flexibility in the Irish Energy System Event

The "YM showcase and Flexibility in the Irish Energy System" event took place on Monday 21st October hosted by Enginners Ireland and sponsored by UCD Energy Institute. Feedback from the audience was great, with everyone finding all sessions very informative and enthralling.

The morning session showcased some really interesting research from Cigre Young Members, with 10 presentations covering a range of topics. Congrats to the two YM showcase winners Conor Mulholland and Damien Doheny! Special thanks to our judges Marie Hayden,  Alireza Soroudi, Robert Donaghy and Karl O'Keeffe.

The afternoon session featured a fascinating talk from Marie Hayden from SmartWires outlining the significant changes in the electricity system during her career to date, and a note of optimism about how much more can be done. This led on to an insightful panel discussion on the role of Flexibility in the Irish Energy System, with participation from Padraig Lyons (ESB Networks), Muiris Flynn (Glen Dimplex), Niall Durham (EnelX) and Diarmaid Gillespie (EirGrid) and chaired by Lisa Ryan.

This event would not have been so successful without the great work and commitment of ESIPP/Energy Institute PhD students Valentin Rigoni (Cigre NGN) and Anjukan Kathirgamanathan (UCD ASHRAE Student Chapter).


Grid Integration Week, 14-18 October 2019

UCD Energy Institute is delighted to support Grid Integration Week 2019 which comprises three high-quality conferences:

  • 3rd E-mobility Integration Symposium
  • 9th Solar Integration Workshop
  • 18th Wind Integration Workshop

The preliminary programs are now available and online registration is available at: http://integrationworkshops.org/events/.

With 40+ presentations in 11 E-Mobility sessions, 50+ presentations in 14 solar sessions and 110+ presentations in 26 wind sessions, the spectrum of topics ranges from modelling aspects and market issues to forecasting and harmonics.

The E-Mobility Integration Symposium will focus on charging infrastructure and distribution networks, while the Solar Integration Workshop offers several sessions on storage and power system studies. During the Wind Integration Workshop, participants have the opportunity to discuss special topics like grid forming and the IEC TC 88 Standard and experience dedicated sessions by EirGrid, ENTSO-E, WindEurope as well as the MIGRATE project.

DCSY10060 Energy Climate Change & Policy

Prof Andrew Keane, Director of the UCD Energy Institute, along with Prof Frank McDermott and Dr Lisa Ryan are running UCD Discovery Module DCSY10060 Energy Climate Change & Policy. Climate Change will be one of the defining challenges facing the world over the course of the 21st century. The effects of climate change are already being felt and such effects are expected to grow. The transition to zero carbon energy is now underway and must be accelerated.

This module introduces students from a wide variety of backgrounds to the fundamental drivers of energy demand; it elucidates the connection between energy supply and climate impacts; and it outlines the major policy responses at a global and regional level. The module will explore the consequences of fossil fuel consumption for the Earth’s carbon cycle, the composition of its atmosphere and resulting climate change.

This is a Level 1 module and is open to all. For more information please follow the link: https://www.ucd.ie/students/electives/disc10060.html