Green Plan Ireland: Planning the transition to 100% renewable energy in Ireland

On March 23, the Institute of International and European Affairs hosted a presentation in Dublin by Dr. David Connolly, Associate Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark, to “outline the steps required in Ireland to transition away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy.”

The presentation was based on Green Plan Ireland, a peer-reviewed study he published in 2014. Green Plan Ireland is a plan for Ireland to “transition to a 100% renewable energy system without increasing the costs of energy, but while creating 100,000 additional jobs at the same time.”

The key steps in this transition are as follows:

  • Expanding electricity production from onshore wind, offshore wind, and solar panels
  • Converting the heat supply in Irish cities from gas boilers to district heating
  • Converting the individual boilers in the rural areas from coal and oil to electric heat pumps
  • Converting our cars from petrol/gas and diesel to electricity
  • Producing liquid and gaseous fuels from a combination of carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which are known as synthetic fuels

Dr. Connolly discusses Green Plan Ireland in this Engineers Journal article from 2014, and he was interviewed about the plan for the Eco-Eye television programme.

In July 2015, Dr. Connolly and two colleagues published Smart Energy Europe: A 100% renewable energy scenario for Europe using a Smart Energy System approach. He summarises the findings of the study here, in a brief video presentation.

Dr. Connolly is part of the Sustainable Energy Planning Research Group at Aalborg University, whose aim is to design 100% renewable energy systems. The EnergyPLAN website explains the concept of a Smart Energy System.