Cleaner Production Promotion Unit - Journal Articles

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Item
    Life cycle assessment of the use of decommissioned wind blades in second life applications
    (Elsevier, 2022-01) Nagle, Angela J.; Mullally, Gerard; Leahy, Paul G.; Dunphy, Niall P.; Science Foundation Ireland; U.S. National Science Foundation; Department for the Economy; Invest Northern Ireland
    53,000 tonnes of blade waste from on-shore wind farms will potentially be generated in Ireland by 2040. The recycling of blades, which are made from composite material, is costly and thus far no high volume recycling solution exists. Repurposing blades into second life structures is an alternative which is gaining in popularity, but has many challenges. Green Public Procurement has the potential to help drive demand for blade products in Irish public works. The Re-Wind project has generated a Design Atlas with 47 blade product concepts and these are screened for their ability to overcome repurposing challenges. Three Irish scenarios are developed based on this ranking, maximal utilization of the blade, and on the end customer. Life Cycle Assessment is used to determine the marginal environmental impacts of the raw material substitution provided by the use of blade material. Focusing on greenhouse gas emissions, an estimated 342 kg CO2 e can be saved for every tonne of blade waste used in these scenarios. Blade substitution of steel products was found to provide the most impact, followed by substitution of concrete products. Although repurposing is unlikely to offer an end-of-life solution for all Irish blade waste, the use of 20% of this material annually would divert 315 tonnes of blade waste from landfill, as well as avoiding emissions of 71,820 kg CO2 e. Green procurement has the potential to create a demand for repurposed blade products, which in turn could create jobs in high unemployment areas. Utilization of repurposed, local material could contribute to creating resiliency in supply chains. Both job creation and supply chain resiliency are essential for a post-Covid recovery in Ireland.
  • Item
    Citizen or consumer? Reconsidering energy citizenship
    (Taylor & Francis, 2019-10-18) Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall P.; Gaffney, Christine; Revez, Alexandra; Mullally, Gerard; O'Connor, Paul; Horizon 2020
    The transition to more sustainable energy systems has set about redefining the social roles and responsibilities of citizens. Implicit in this are expectations around participation, though the precise contours of what this might mean remain open. Debates around the energy transition have been skewed towards a normative construct of what it means to be a ‘good citizen’, the parameters for which are shaped by predetermined visions of statist and/or market-driven determinations of the energy systems of the future. This article argues that concepts such as ‘energy citizen’ are co-opted to reflect popular neoliberal discourses, and ignore crucial questions of unequal agency and access to resources. Paradoxically, official discourses that push responsibility for the energy transition onto the ‘citizen-as-consumer’ effectively remove agency from citizens, leaving them largely disconnected and disempowered. Consequently, energy citizenship needs to be reconceptualised to incorporate more collective and inclusive contexts for action. Considering how much energy consumption occurs in (traditionally female) domestic spheres, do conventional notions of citizenship (especially with regards to its associated rights and duties) need to be recalibrated in order for the concept to be usefully applied to the energy transition?
  • Item
    Community acceptability and the energy transition: a citizens' perspective
    (BMC, Part of Springer Nature, 2019-09-09) Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall P.; Sanvicente, Estibaliz; Horizon 2020
    Background: Every energy transition has had its winners and its losers, both economically and in terms of social justice and community cohesion. The current transition is no different given the complex, intersecting matrices of power and experience that influence the key stakeholders and actors involved. Local oppositions to the deployment of renewable energy technologies have been significantly higher than expected. In numerous instances, these oppositions have been in reaction to the disempowerment of local rights and entitlements associated with specific developments. Consequently, there is a clear need for governance structures and organisational formats that are participatory, inclusive and mindful of the lived experiences of local people. Despite the knowledge gaps and financial constraints that continue to persist, how can local communities become empowered to drive project development and meaningfully engage in the low-carbon energy transition? Methods: This paper presents a methodology for investigating citizen perceptions of the energy transition and the kinds of roles they see themselves having in its implementation. Working with six communities across five European countries (France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the UK), we conducted a series of iterative cross-sectional community engagements using a mixed methods approach. In addition, a number of innovative participatory action research tools were incorporated to engage citizens in co-designing their own energy transition pathways. Results: Participants expressed having restricted agency as citizens participating in the energy system. They also felt locked in to a limiting set of false choices as ‘energy consumers’ that do not translate into real or meaningful power, despite popular narratives to the contrary. The research also resulted in a co-designed characterisation tool to help local communities assess the energy democracy and citizen participation potential of a number of participatory business models. Conclusions: Citizens remain locked out of the decision-making processes of the energy transition. We outline a more integrated approach, using co-design and participatory action research, to incorporate citizen perspectives into the planning and implementation of more appropriate business configurations. This paper presents demonstrable examples of how extended stakeholder perspectives can improve procedural justice outcomes and ensure the rollout of more equitable energy configurations into the future.
  • Item
    Methodology for a socio-technical approach to sharing knowledge and promoting dialogue via use of a knowledge and communication platform
    (MDPI AG, 2017) Oates, Michael; Barbano, Giulia; Bergs, Jessica; Dunphy, Niall P.; Lennon, Breffní; Landini, Alberto; Horizon 2020
    This paper outlines the methodology of a Knowledge and Communication Platform (KCP) as part of the Horizon2020 project Energy System Transition Through Stakeholder Activation, Education and Skills Development (ENTRUST). The ENTRUST project provides a mapping of Europe’s energy system and an in-depth understanding of how human behaviour around energy is shaped by both technological systems and socio-demographic factors. Central to the project is an in-depth engagement with six communities across Europe. The purpose of the KCP is to disseminate and share knowledge and to facilitate and promote dialogue on energy efficiency and transitioning to a low carbon system.