100% Renewable Ireland— Can it be done? The Long and Short-term Changes Required to Eliminate Fossil Fuels


Professor David Connolly, Associate Professor in Energy Planning at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, recently gave a presentation on Green Plan Ireland  at the Institute for International and European Affairs (IIEA)  in Dublin. The presentation outlined the steps required in Ireland to transition away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy.

He discussed how Ireland could produce all of its energy needs from renewable resources without increasing the price of energy and also addressed the theme of heating, including district heating and heat pumps, showing what can be done in the short-term.

Green Plan Ireland is based on a peer-reviewed scientific paper published in the International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, which outlines how Ireland can transition to a 100% renewable energy system without increasing the costs of energy, while creating 100,000 additional jobs.

The key steps required in a 100% renewable energy system are:

  • 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 and diesel to electricity
  • Producing liquid and gaseous fuels from a combination of carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which are known as synthetic fuels

Prof. Connolly is an Associate Professor in Energy Planning at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses on the design and assessment of 100% renewable energy systems, with a particular emphasis on the integration of intermittent renewables (such as wind and solar power), district heating, electric vehicles, and the production of alternative fuels for transport. He is the coordinator of the Heat Roadmap Europe series which played a key role in the creation of the EU’s first ever heating and cooling strategy, launched in February 2016.

In other work he has quantified the impact of one potential transition for Europe from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy, based on the Smart Energy System approach. This project was carried out in collaboration with the European Commission. Here is a short video about that study along with some links to the various publication formats.

See more about the IIEA presentation here.

Powerpoint: Download Prof. David Connolly’s presentation in .PDF format by right-clicking here and choosing ‘Save link as’.

Podcast: Download the keynote audio podcast from this event by right-clicking here and choosing ‘Save link as’.

Here you can download more about Green Plan Ireland:

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