SEAI grants of almost €700,000 awarded to two Trinity professors

SEAI grants of almost €700,000 have been awarded to two Trinity professors.

David Igoe, an assistant professor in the School of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, was awarded €348,950 from SEAI’s research and development programme to lead a research project exploring the dynamic interactions between the foundations and soils for offshore wind turbines.

David Igoe, an assistant professor in the School of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, was awarded €348,950 from SEAI’s research and development programme to lead a research project exploring the dynamic interactions between the foundations and soils for offshore wind turbines.

Eleanor Denny, an associate professor in the Economics Department at Trinity College Dublin, was awarded a research grant of €348,000 to conduct research into electric vehicles and consumer investment behaviour.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD, recently announced that €11m in funding has been awarded to 50 cutting-edge research, development and demonstration energy projects. These projects will develop solutions that will deliver cleaner energy for our homes, businesses and communities.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is responsible for awarding and administering the fund to companies and research institutions nationwide. €1m of this funding comes from three of SEAI’s strategic co-funding partners, the ESB, Gas Networks Ireland and the Geological Survey Ireland.

The funding announcements were made at the inaugural SEAI-DCCAE National Energy Research and Policy Conference.

Eleanor Denny, an associate professor in the Economics Department at Trinity College Dublin, was awarded a research grant of €348,000 from SEAI’s research and development programme to conduct research into electric vehicles and consumer investment behaviour.

Discussing the funding programme, Dr Phil Hemmingway, Head of SEAI’s Low Carbon Technology Department said:

The All of Government Climate Action Plan commits Ireland to significant targets and ambitions in the energy sector. Disruptive innovation will be critical for meeting these targets and for achieving Ireland’s medium and long-term decarbonisation. Ireland’s energy system will undergo a rapid, continual and significant evolution during the period 2020 to 2030 and beyond. Projects such as these are at the forefront of knowledge development. I would like to congratulate the teams behind the successful projects, and look forward to seeing the outcomes, which will help to lead us to our cleaner energy future.

Professor Denny’s project, entitled GREENCAR, will see her partner with Hyundai Ireland to explore consumer decision-making when buying vehicles and will trial new initiatives aimed at increasing the purchase of electric vehicles.

It will look specifically at creating new energy labelling for vehicles to make the benefits of hybrid and electric vehicles clearer to customers.

In Ireland, the transport sector represents over 43% of final energy demand and private vehicles account for 41% of this demand, which is almost exclusively dependent on oil. In a bid to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions, the Government has set a target that all new car and van sales will be zero-emission by 2030. This is a considerable challenge given that just 2.6% of new car sales in Ireland in the first nine months of 2019 were electric.

Speaking about the award Professor Denny said:

This is an exciting area of research with the potential to lead to ground-breaking developments in the design of energy policy across the EU and beyond.  

 It partners with Hyundai Ireland, Ireland’s leading supplier of electric and hybrid vehicles and it will provide an excellent platform to improve and refine EU energy policy with the potential to deliver significant environmental and cost savings.  It will also reinforce Ireland’s position as a leader in this area internationally and will help to grow capacity in this critical field.

 Professor Denny is also coordinator of the European Commission Horizon 2020 project CONSEED https://www.conseedproject.eu/ and partner of the Horizon 2020 project SocialRES http://socialres.eu/

Professor Igoe’s project will explore the dynamic interactions between the foundations and soils for offshore wind turbines

Currently, soil-structure dynamics and soil damping are poorly understood. This project will lead to better engineering approaches and more efficient designs for fixed offshore wind turbines, which will ultimately reduce the cost of offshore wind in Ireland.

Speaking about the award Professor Igoe said:

A better understanding of soil damping, and how it affects the movement of an offshore wind turbine, can lead to big savings in the amount of steel needed for the foundation and tower supporting the turbine.”

“This project will develop new guidelines for engineers designing the next generation of offshore wind turbines.

 To find out more about SEAI’s research funding go to seai.ie.