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Minister English announces new partnership to lead cutting-edge energy system integration research in Ireland

Wednesday, 25 November, 2015 


Pictured L-R: Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr Damien English TD, and UCD Professor Mark O’Malley, at the launch of the Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP) in University College Dublin.

Pictured L-R: Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr Damien English TD, and UCD Professor Mark O’Malley, at the launch of the Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP) in University College Dublin.

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr Damien English TD, has announced funding of over €11 million to the Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP). ESIPP will receive €5.5 million from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland, coupled with €5.5 million from five industry partners - AIB, EirGrid, Ervia, Glen Dimplex, ESB and a philanthropic contribution from Mr David O’Reilly, former Chairman and CEO of Chevron Corporation, and current Chair of the UCD Energy Institute Board.

Making the announcement at UCD, Minister English said: “Fostering partnerships between industry and academic researchers is a key element of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. This partnership programme will enable Ireland to take a leadership role in Energy Systems Integration within Europe and globally. This is a significant investment in a partnership programme by multidisciplinary collaborators who are predominant players in the field of energy systems integration.”

ESIPP programme will be led by Professors Mark O’Malley, Eoin Casey and Frank McDermott of UCD, in collaboration with leading researchers from UCD, DCU, ESRI, NUIG, TCD, UCC & UL and a number of international research institutions. ESIPP will work closely with an additional 17 industry collaborators.

UCD Professor Mark O’Malley said that: “Energy System Integration is the process of making our energy system more coordinated. It does this by finding and exploiting synergies across the system e.g. storing energy as heat at times when there is abundant renewable electricity available. Working at the interfaces between systems requires engineers, scientists, economists, business people and psychologists to find new ways to use resources more efficiently. Successful research, demonstration and deployment will deliver a more cost effective energy system with less impact on the environment. ESIPP is designed to build much needed human capacity which will put Ireland at the forefront of this important area.”

Energy Systems Integration (ESI) is a multidisciplinary area ranging from science, engineering and technology to policy, economics, regulation and human behaviour. ESI is coming to the fore in the planning, design and operation of the global energy system and seeks to optimise the energy system and other large scale infrastructures, in particular water, by leveraging the synergies across all scales and pathways (i.e. electricity, fuels & heat).

Mr David O’Reilly, former Chairman and CEO of Chevron Corporation, and current Chair of the UCD Energy Institute Board said that he is “delighted to be involved in establishing a world class research programme which is targeting new technologies in energy for the 21st century. Successful execution will benefit the Irish and global economies.”