Senior Energy Policy Researcher

£45180.50 - £49811.50 per annum
19 Oct 2020
End of advertisement period
19 Nov 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Applications are invited for a temporary post of a Senior Energy Policy Researcher within UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Ireland has been a leading country in incorporating large amounts of modern renewable power generation technologies into its electricity system. By the end of this year we will know whether an ambitious target of 40% of electricity demand coming from renewable sources has been achieved.

Moving into the next decade, the 2019 Government Climate Action Plan set a target of increasing electricity generated from renewable sources to 70% by 2030, indicatively comprised of:

  • at least 3.5 GW of offshore renewable energy
  • up to 1.5 GW of grid-scale solar energy
  • up to 8.2 GW total of increased onshore wind capacity

The planned growth of the renewable electricity sector up to 2030, highlights the ongoing potential for Ireland to demonstrate its leadership in decarbonising its electricity system. To date approximately 50% of all new renewable electricity generation has been connected by the DSO, and 80% of the resulting connection assets are owned by the DSO.

The majority of prior research on integrating large amounts of renewable energy in the Irish electricity system has focused upon the generating system and transmission system. Adapting the distribution system, to take advantage of the rebalancing of the generation mix towards distributed generation, may bring benefits in increased system resilience, reduced network constraints, optimised asset utilisation, balanced local generation and demand and reduced operational costs. Such adaptation will involve introducing enhanced control systems at the lower levels of the network and these controls will provide opportunities for enhanced services provision from both generation and demand at smaller scales.

This research will the identify potential changes to the distribution network and its control systems and explore the opportunities that these may open up for innovation in both distributed generation and smart electricity demand. The research will identify opportunities for technology demonstration projects that may take advantage of these opportunities and facilitate the transition to a low carbon electricity system using distributed energy resources. The research will, in particular, focus upon technologies associated with wind power, solar PV, hydropower, electricity storage, electric heating and electromobility and the systems and markets that may support these. The researcher will contribute to defining topics within SEAI R,D&D calls on these topics.

Key knowledge and skills associated with this position include but is not limited to the following:

  • A post-graduate qualification in a relevant energy-related area
  • A strong knowledge of Ireland's electricity system and, in particular, the electricity distribution system;
  • An understanding of national and European sustainable energy policy priorities and how research can support achievement of these priorities;
  • An understanding of the challenges and opportunities for renewable electricity and the electrification of heat and transport in Ireland

The successful candidate will be based in SEAI and will develop collaborative linkages with the UCD Energy Institute and the broader academic and energy policy system.

Salary: €50,000 - €55,125 per annum
Appointment on the above range will be dependent on qualifications

Closing date: 17:00hrs (local Irish time) on 19th November 2020

Applications must be submitted by the closing date and time specified. Any applications which are still in progress at the closing time of 17:00hrs (Local Irish Time) on the specified closing date will be cancelled automatically by the system. UCD are unable to accept late applications.

UCD do not require assistance from Recruitment Agencies. Any CV's submitted by Recruitment Agencies will be returned.