The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has formally launched a new UCD Energy Institute which will bring together energy researchers from industry and academia.The UCD Energy Institute has received donor funding of €5 million and further seed capital funding from industry.
|UCD President Dr. Hugh Brady, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny & Dr. David O'Rielly, Chair, UCD Energy Advisory Board|
The Institute will focus its research on Energy Systems Integration which provides the basis for improved energy performance, reduced cost and minimises environmental impact – a challenge across the world.
The Institute is developing a major national initiative Future Grid Test Bed – Ireland in collaboration with EirGrid and the ESB. This activity feeds into a further collaboration with the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Danish Technical University (DTU) in the area of Energy Systems Integration. The integration of renewable energy to electricity grids is a strategically important research area for Ireland given its wealth of renewable energy resources and Ireland’s electricity grid is uniquely positioned to be utilised as an international location for testing new technologies.
The new Institute will host over 200 world class energy researchers working in partnership with industry and the energy policy community and builds on prior research investments by Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Irish Research Council, the EU and importantly, industry in this area.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said, "We are at an exciting juncture in energy research. With the right ideas, talent and support, the next decade has the potential to be transformative in how Ireland produces, uses and transmits energy. UCD’s new Energy Institute will prove an invaluable resource in solving our energy challenges and realising new opportunities. This initiative clearly demonstrates the ability of our public institutions to work together and with other stakeholders in pursuit of common goals and scientific excellence. The Government will continue to support investment in science, technology and innovation through our Action Plan for Jobs."
Dr Hugh Brady, President, UCD said, “Energy research is a strategic priority for UCD and establishing the UCD Energy Institute reflects of our ongoing commitment to this important area. It will supply a critical mass of world class researcher’s multidisciplinary engineers and scientists trying to bring that research and working collaboration with the industry to ensure that Ireland will absorb the new technologies. This is a highly competitive field internationally and we are proud of our research leaders who have built a strong reputation for research excellence on the world stage that can now realise benefits for Ireland.”
The UCD Energy Institute will be led by Professor Mark O’Malley, UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering as Scientific Director and Paddy Teahon as Executive Director.
|UCD students Shaun Sweeney, Lucy Van Djik, Meadbh Ní Chéirigh with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the launch of UCD Energy Institute|
Dr. David O’Reilly, Chair, UCD Energy Advisory Board, added, “I am delighted that the Institute is now up and running. I am confident that it will attract high calibre researchers who will help propel Ireland to a leadership position in energy research.”
Jerry O’Sullivan, Managing Director ESB Networks Ltd said, “ESB is delighted to be involved with the new UCD Energy Institute which we know will transform energy research here in Ireland and internationally. As a leading destination for energy researchers the Institute will capitalise on UCD’s academic expertise across Engineering, Science, Business, Law, Economics and Behavioural Sciences. ESB is committed to the development of Smart Electricity Networks which will implement Smart Grid initiatives and enable the development of renewable technologies capable of making a substantial contribution to transforming and decarbonising the energy industry. We are delighted to be involved in a number of research projects which will enable this to happen and to position Ireland as a leader in the energy field.”
Michael Walsh, EirGrid’s Executive Director for Corporate Affairs, Planning and Strategy said, “EirGrid shares UCD's strong commitment to ensuring that Ireland plays a leading role in the world of energy research. Already Ireland and Northern Ireland’s power system has higher levels of instantaneous wind penetration than any other synchronous system in the world. This creates a unique opportunity to develop new world leading technologies and UCD's Energy Institute will play a crucial role in delivering the cutting edge research to support this.”
He added, “EirGrid is committed to working with all our partners including the UCD Energy Institute to deliver a Smart Grid that will continue to providing secure, sustainable and competitive power for consumers and making sure that the island of Ireland is well placed to attract high-technology employment.”