NexSys and Energy Institute researchers take part in UCD-ESRI Energy Policy research conference

NexSys and Energy Institute researchers take part in UCD-ESRI Energy Policy research conference

On 16 January, energy policy researchers and collaborators gathered in Dublin’s ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) to take part in the UCD-ESRI Energy Policy Research Conference.

The event featured presentations from researchers in UCD Energy Institute and ESRI, many of whom are also based in NexSys, showcasing a range of research from across both organisations related to energy policy.

Kicking off proceedings, Prof Alan Barrett, Chief Executive Officer of ESRI, and Prof Andrew Keane, Director of the Energy Institute and NexSys, welcomed the full house of delegates and speakers in what promised to be a fantastic conference. 

In the first session, focused on renewable energy and the decarbonisation transition and chaired by Anita Vollmer of ESRI, Joe Wheatley, energy policy research expert at UCD, presented research conducted with Prof Lisa Ryan, of UCD’s Energy Institute and NexSys, around modelling the uptake of solar PV electricity in households in Ireland.

Next up, Dr Kelly de Bruin, senior research officer at ESRI and also with NexSys, presented research on modelling the impacts of the transition in the Irish economy through electrification. This was followed by a talk by Dr Ramon Varghese, postdoctoral researcher at UCD working with Dr Vikram Pakrashi of UCD and NexSys. Ramon spoke about offshore wind turbines, and his research on using subsea micropiles as a solution for offshore wind energy development. 

The next session, focusing on economic and social impacts and chaired by Lisa Ryan, started with a presentation by Dr Niall Farrell of ESRI about the equity and efficiency effects of energy subsidy cost-recovery. This was followed by Dr Nessa Winston of UCD and NexSys, who presented research on energy poverty focused on the impacts of residential and transport poverty on the educational and mental health outcomes of young people in Ireland. The research was conducted in collaboration with Dr Monika Da Silva Pedroso, postdoctoral researcher at UCD, Orla Dingley, PhD student at UCD with NexSys, and Dr Paraic Carroll, based in UCD and lead of the NexSys transport strand. 

The final presentation of the day was given by ESRI’s Dr Miguel Tovar Reanos and was about the role of financial literacy in experiencing fuel poverty. He presented findings based on a survey of 900 Irish homeowners.

NexSys researchers take part in EirGrid research forum

NexSys researchers were delighted to take part in the EirGrid Research Forum which took place on 29 August in Dublin. 

EirGrid is one of NexSys’ industry co-funding partners, which include Ireland’s leading energy providers. 

Three NexSys researchers shared their current research and findings on topics ranging from inverters and the grid, gender and the energy transition, and the role of data centres in future energy systems.

Associate Professor Paula Carroll (pictured below), a NexSys funded investigator who is based in UCD’s School of Business, gave a presentation entitled Gender Mainstreaming in the European Union Energy Transition. She discussed the results of her recent literature review on the Energy/Gender nexus. 

Paula Carroll presenting a talk at EirGrid Research Forum

Associate Professor Terence O’Donnell (pictured below), NexSys Co-Lead of the Energy Systems Strand and based in UCD’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, gave a talk entitled Harmonic resonances associated with grid connected inverters. As part of his presentation, he covered results of recent published research co-authored with Dr Ramy Ali.  


Terence O'Donnell presenting at EirGrid Research Forum



Alireza Etemad (pictured below), NexSys PhD student based in UCD’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, presented his research on The Role of Data Centres as Prosumers in Future Energy Systems. Alireza, who is working with Associate Professor James O’Donnell as part of his PhD, is also a Senior Energy Policy Researcher at SEAI’s Decarbonised Heat Group.

Alireza Etemad presenting at the EirGrid Research Forum

 About NexSys

Next Generation Energy Systems (NexSys) is an all-island multidisciplinary research programme, involving nine different research institutions, alongside industry partners from across the energy sector. The programme’s key aims include tackling the challenges of energy decarbonisation, and developing evidence-based pathways for a just, net-zero energy system.

NexSys is financially supported by Science Foundation Ireland under the SFI Strategic Partnership Programme (Grant Number 21/SPP/3756), industry co-funding partners, and a philanthropic donation by Mr David O’Reilly. NexSys’ nine industry co-funding partners are: EirGrid, ESB Group, Davy, Atlantic Hub, CIE, RWE, EPRI, Gas Networks Ireland and SSE Airtricity. In addition, NexSys has an extensive network of collaborating partners, which will be essential in providing an evidence base for policy and delivery of services.

NexSys represented at networking event for Women in STEM

As a part of Maths Week, Dr. Michelle Carey represented NexSys to attend the networking event with over 60 participants highlighting the Women in STEM activities at UCD, which took place on 20th October. The event showed talks from the UCD Women at STEM network and the UCD Women+ in STEM Student Society.

Only 25 % of those working in Ireland’s STEM industries are women (Daly, Farrell, Grimson & Smeaton, 2018, p. 2). Many of the higher-paid jobs in Ireland are in engineering and information and computer technology (ICT), so this contributes to the gender pay gap of 13.9% between women’s and men’s average gross hourly earnings, which needed to be changed to meet our gender equality objectives. This event is a part of the communication and engagement strategy to drive this significant change.



Learn more about:

Dr.Michelle Carey:

UCD Women at STEM:


District Heating MasterClass with Claus Nielsen

District Heating MasterClass with Claus Nielsen

On Thursday, 29 September 2022, UCD Energy Institute & NexSys, in partnership with Smart Grid Ireland (SGI), hosted a talk on the Future of Heat Generation with Claus Nielsen, Senior Project Manager of Danish multi-utility company DIN Forsyning.


Attended by industry, policy-makers and members of the public, Claus gave attendees an insight to how regions can and should transition from smart grids to a Smart energy system. 


“The energy transition wins through an efficient heating system.” Claus Nielsen



During the talk, Claus gave a presentation to share his experiences as responsible for a new zero carbon district-heating installation in the Danish seaport of Esbjerg, which replaced the city’s coal-fired power plant. The new plant supplies approx 100,000 local people with approximately 235,000 MWh of heat annually.


The installation uses renewable power from nearby wind farms and seawater as a heat source for the generation of heating energy.


Discussion and Q&A session after the presentation covered a wide range of topics relevant to the skills, infrastructure and planning required to achieve such projects.

Professor Andrew Keane delivering the master class

Professor Andrew Keane delivering the master class


Learn more about:


NexSys Energy System and Cities and Communities research Strands:


UCD Energy Institute:


Smart Grid Ireland(SGI):