Modelling energy systems with high levels of renewable electricity and electrification of heat and transport

Monday, September 26, 2022 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Event Calendar Category

Other LIDS Events

Speaker Name

Brian Ó Gallachóir


University College Cork

Building and Room Number



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).


Brian Ó Gallachóir is Professor of Energy Engineering at University College Cork and the Director of the Ireland’s MaREI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Energy Initiative while on sabbatical leave from UCC. Brian’s research focuses on building and using energy systems models that have underpinned Irish and EU energy and climate mitigation policies and energy company strategies. Brian is elected Chair of International Energy Agency Technology Collaboration Programme on energy systems modelling (IEA-ETSAP) and an elected Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering. As a Visiting Scholar at MIT, Brian will be exploring mutually beneficial areas of research collaboration, in particular on topics related to MITEI’s modelling program. He looks forward to engaging with MITEI faculty and researchers and sharing approaches, methods and insights regarding the future evolution of energy systems. This visit also provides an excellent and timely opportunity to contribute to discussions on how to expand MITEI’s modelling and analysis program through the MITEI Future Energy Systems Center.