Research Areas: Energy and Environment
Energy systems have evolved over decades from individual energy devices and small sub- systems into a complex set of systems, both physical (e.g. electricity grids, gas networks, etc.), institutional (e.g. regulatory and economic) and at all scales (e.g. from individual buildings to continental scale). These systems are increasingly integrated physically (e.g. combined heat and power and electric vehicles), institutionally (e.g. gas/electricity markets) and across scales (e.g. demand side management in power grids). Energy Systems Integration (ESI) is focussed on the interfaces between these systems where there are new challenges and opportunities requiring research, demonstration and deployment to reap the commercial and societal benefits. To build research capacity in the new and emerging area ESI, we have brought together industry and a multidisciplinary research team in all the main engineering disciplines (electrical, mechanical, civil and chemical) with economics, business, mathematics, environmental psychology, and earth science.
Research at the ESRI within the Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP) focuses on two main topics:
1. Model-based assessment of potential benefits from integrating energy systems (e.g., through technologies such as Power-to-Gas and Power-to-Heat or through regulatory interventions) using Operations Research (OR) models for integrated energy market and grid modelling. Such benefits might include cost or emission reduction, security of supply or other societal benefits.
2. Analysing energy market design and its impact on technology investment decisions in integrated energy systems. This includes the development and application of methods to support investment decisions under regulatory and technological uncertainty.
This research is being undertaken in collaboration with colleagues at University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin City University (DCU), University College Cork (UCC), University of Limerick (UL) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and is a co-funded partnership project between Science Foundation Ireland (Grant number 15/SPP/E3125), Industry and philanthropic donation. As a whole, the partnership programme is coordinated by UCD. The research is carried out with strong collaborative links to major energy industry players, such as AIB, EirGrid, Ervia, ESB, Glen Dimplex and seventeen other official industry collaborators.
Further information on the ESIPP programme can be found here.
The ESRI works towards a national vision of ‘Informed policy for a better Ireland’. This means producing high-quality analysis to provide robust evidence for policymaking, with the goals of research excellence and policy impact.
The ESRI produces research that contributes to understanding economic and social change in the new international context and that informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland.