Cork researchers given €3.5m to deliver energy modelling for Ireland

20 Feb 2023

Fionn Rogan, UCC Image: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

UCC academics at the SFI’s MaREI have been working with the Irish Government on energy modelling for several years.

The Irish Government has awarded €3.5m to University College Cork (UCC) to provide energy modelling analysis.

The award from the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications will cover a five-year period.

The research team that received the award is based between MaREI – the Science Foundation Ireland centre for climate, energy and the marine – and the Environmental Research Institute at UCC.

UCC is a base for much of Ireland’s energy systems modelling research. Academics there have been developing specialised modelling tools for the past 20 years. These models provide computerised representations of Ireland’s energy systems. Researchers use these to figure out solutions to ongoing energy problems such as shortages.

The UCC academics have been working with the Government on energy modelling for several years.

To date, UCC researchers have provided energy modelling for Irish climate policy decisions including Ireland’s first low-carbon roadmap in 2013, Ireland’s Energy White Paper in 2015, the first Climate Action Plan in 2019, and Ireland’s first carbon budgets in 2022.

The latest award will enable the Government to use the researchers’ findings to further inform policy.

“This funding from the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications will enable us to track and explore what combinations of policy measures can help Ireland achieve our very challenging climate targets for this decade,” said the project’s co-principal investigator, Fionn Rogan.

Project co-principal investigator Prof Hannah Daly said that the energy systems models the team develop under this project “will provide timely, transparent analysis” to Ireland at a crucial time.

“As Ireland’s climate commitments require a rapid transition to a sustainable, zero-carbon energy system, it’s never been as important that the policy system is supported with a rigorous evidence base,” she concluded.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic