Central to the challenge of climate change is our reliance on damaging and finite sources of energy such as fossil fuels. The energy transition from a fossils fuel based to a zero carbon economy is an international imperative in the coming decades order to avoid dangerous levels of global warming and to meet demanding international decarbonisation targets under the 2016 Paris Agreement. A rapid energy transition will require multiple approaches in parallel focused on phasing out fossils fuels, introduction of diverse renewable energy generation technologies, energy efficiency and conservation measures, new modes of heating and transport, along major policy and behavioural changes.
The Environmental Research Institute has substantial expertise and resources in the areas of energy engineering, wind, tidal and ocean energy, biofuels and biogas, energy policy and modelling, climate finance, and the human aspect of the energy systems. The Institute hosts the national Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, which conducts fundamental scientific research relating to marine and renewable energy applications and enables the development and testing of technology. The ERI Beaufort Building houses Ireland’s National Ocean Test Facility (Lir NOTF) which is a custom designed facility for small to medium scale laboratory testing of ocean and maritime systems.