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
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.