Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir of University College Cork and Ireland’s MaREI’s Research Center for Energy, Climate, and Marine gave a presentation to EESG and other members of the MIT energy research community.
The ambitions for greenhouse gas emissions reduction have increased dramatically in recent years, in particular the Paris Agreement in 2015 when political leaders changed the target to limit global warming from 2⁰C to well below 2⁰C, and if possible 1.5⁰C. Governments are now seeking to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, meaning energy-related CO2 emissions need to get to zero before then, and power systems emissions before then. This is leading to a urgent and radical change with a focus on energy efficiency, renewable electricity and electrification. This presentation focuses on some of the modelling challenges that this poses, and some of the hot topics currently providing solutions. The presentation will draw on research focusing on Ireland (a small synchronous power system that is now integrating up to 75% instantaneous non-synchronous, variable renewable electricity and facing the risk of electricity supply shortages this winter), the European Union (which has seen significant growth in renewable energy and is currently facing the combined risk of gas supply shortages and low power plant availability) and global analysis (using power systems modelling to ‘sense check’ results from the Integrated Assessment Models that are informing climate policies). It will also touch on some of the current developments emerging from the International Energy Agency Technology Collaboration Programme on energy systems modelling (IEA-ETSAP).