Climate and energy scenarios for Ireland to 2050 using the Irish TIMES energy systems model

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dc.contributor.advisor Ó Gallachóir, Brian P. en
dc.contributor.author Chiodi, Alessandro
dc.date.accessioned 2015-05-11T12:22:30Z
dc.date.available 2015-05-11T12:22:30Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.date.submitted 2014
dc.identifier.citation Chiodi, A. 2014. Climate and energy scenarios for Ireland to 2050 using the Irish TIMES energy systems model. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 174
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/1795
dc.description.abstract Due to growing concerns regarding the anthropogenic interference with the climate system, countries across the world are being challenged to develop effective strategies to mitigate climate change by reducing or preventing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The European Union (EU) is committed to contribute to this challenge by setting a number of climate and energy targets for the years 2020, 2030 and 2050 and then agreeing effort sharing amongst Member States. This thesis focus on one Member State, Ireland, which faces specific challenges and is not on track to meet the targets agreed to date. Before this work commenced, there were no projections of energy demand or supply for Ireland beyond 2020. This thesis uses techno-economic energy modelling instruments to address this knowledge gap. It builds and compares robust, comprehensive policy scenarios, providing a means of assessing the implications of different future energy and emissions pathways for the Irish economy, Ireland’s energy mix and the environment. A central focus of this thesis is to explore the dynamics of the energy system moving towards a low carbon economy. This thesis develops an energy systems model (the Irish TIMES model) to assess the implications of a range of energy and climate policy targets and target years. The thesis also compares the results generated from the least cost scenarios with official projections and target pathways and provides useful metrics and indications to identify key drivers and to support both policy makers and stakeholder in identifying cost optimal strategies. The thesis also extends the functionality of energy system modelling by developing and applying new methodologies to provide additional insights with a focus on particular issues that emerge from the scenario analysis carried out. Firstly, the thesis develops a methodology for soft-linking an energy systems model (Irish TIMES) with a power systems model (PLEXOS) to improve the interpretation of the electricity sector results in the energy system model. The soft-linking enables higher temporal resolution and improved characterisation of power plants and power system operation Secondly, the thesis develops a methodology for the integration of agriculture and energy systems modelling to enable coherent economy wide climate mitigation scenario analysis. This provides a very useful starting point for considering the trade-offs between the energy system and agriculture in the context of a low carbon economy and for enabling analysis of land-use competition. Three specific time scale perspectives are examined in this thesis (2020, 2030, 2050), aligning with key policy target time horizons. The results indicate that Ireland’s short term mandatory emissions reduction target will not be achieved without a significant reassessment of renewable energy policy and that the current dominant policy focus on wind-generated electricity is misplaced. In the medium to long term, the results suggest that energy efficiency is the first cost effective measure to deliver emissions reduction; biomass and biofuels are likely to be the most significant fuel source for Ireland in the context of a low carbon future prompting the need for a detailed assessment of possible implications for sustainability and competition with the agri-food sectors; significant changes are required in infrastructure to deliver deep emissions reductions (to enable the electrification of heat and transport, to accommodate carbon capture and storage facilities (CCS) and for biofuels); competition between energy and agriculture for land-use will become a key issue. The purpose of this thesis is to increase the evidence-based underpinning energy and climate policy decisions in Ireland. The methodology is replicable in other Member States. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2014, Alessandro Chiodi. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Energy systems modelling en
dc.subject MARKAL-TIMES en
dc.subject Renewables en
dc.subject Agriculture GHG emissions en
dc.subject Power systems modelling en
dc.subject Scenario analysis en
dc.subject Climate and energy policy en
dc.title Climate and energy scenarios for Ireland to 2050 using the Irish TIMES energy systems model en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PHD (Engineering) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.check.info No embargo required en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Civil Engineering en
dc.internal.school Environmental Research Institute en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en
ucc.workflow.supervisor b.ogallachoir@ucc.ie
dc.internal.conferring Spring Conferring 2015


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© 2014, Alessandro Chiodi. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2014, Alessandro Chiodi.
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