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.