The electrification of all energy use cannot be relied upon alone to meet the strict Paris temperature goals. The role of heterogenous energy storage needs to be considered.

Project Insights

  • €117,455

    Total Project Costs
  • 2 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2018

    Year Funded

Project Description

Under the stringent requirements implied by the Paris temperature goals, and its commitments to international equity, nett CO2 emissions in developed, industrialised, economies (such as Ireland's) will need to fall to zero, and then go negative (nett removal), much faster than current policies suggest - likely within two decades or less. Existing research suggests that the most technically feasible and cost-effective approaches will require a combination of demand constraint and integration of all energy demand sectors and energy carriers. This will likely involve aggressive deployment of variable renewable electricity (VRE: wind, solar, etc.), significant electrification of heating and transport, and deployment of some dedicated electricity sector storage (battery, pumped hydro, CAES); but it cannot feasibly rely on universal electrification of all energy use. Rather, there will also be a significant need for heterogenous large scale energy storage: particularly direct thermal storage, and integrated production, storage, and diverse use of gaseous and liquid bio-fuels and fully synthetic fuels. The latter will require managed cycling of CO2 via combustion-capture where feasible, but otherwise relying on air capture (biotic and/or chemical). This project will carry out technical and economic modelling of such explicitly negative-CO2 energy system scenarios for Ireland. For reproducibility, transparency, and to support future work, all models, tools and datasets will be selected and made available under open development licensing. The project will provide early insight into policy options and path dependencies likely to directly impact on Irish energy system development within the next two decades.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €117,455

Funding Agency: SEAI

Year Funded: 2018

Lead Organisation: Dublin City University

Barry McMullin | Lead Researcher(s)