The IERC 6th Annual Conference “Industry-Driven Innovation: Realising Future Energy Systems” took place on Thursday 30th March 2017 in Fota Island Hotel, Cork.

Conference sessions:

The conference included an opening session and three additional sessions, each of which focused on a particular challenge within the energy sector.

Conference Opening Session

This session included a number of keynote addresses to frame the conference, provided update on emerging policy items and transformative technologies and trends.

Challenge 1: Driving energy performance of the building

Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. The building sector has experienced double digit growth in recent years which creates a challenge to develop innovative methods and technologies for both new building and retrofit activities to reduce energy consumption and increase the use of energy from sustainable sources. This session presented insights into how the building sector of the future can take advantage of today’s innovations to realise measurable energy savings and how smart energy efficient policies can reduce current barriers to market growth.

Challenge 2: Developing systems that enable households and communities to access affordable and reliable electricity

Distributed electricity generation is gaining credibility as a viable alternative to traditional centralised systems that generate-and-then-sell to the consumer. In a challenge to current energy systems, consumers can become prosumers, micro-grids become the norm, and new businesses are built around innovation and new affordable and reliable services to communities. The key concerns are around how to achieve this with ensured continuity of affordable supply, while minimising risk to society and the economy.

Challenge 3: Accelerating the exploration and discovery of new clean energy innovations

Clean energy production is providing a significant portion of the energy that circulates into the electric grids. While diversification of such resources is desirable and possible, costs need to become competitive, risks need to become more manageable, and approaches to deliver energy to consumers need to be more innovative. This session presented experiences and an opportunity for discussion about this evolving, diversified space, of expanding clean energy resources.


Speakers and facilitators on the day included: 

Marie Donnelly (European Commission), Paul Mulvaney  (ESB Innovation), Jonas Rooze (Bloomberg), Thomas Kallstenius (iMEC), Rebecca Minch (DCCAE), Eamonn Confrey (DCCAE), Paul Ruyssevelt (UCL Energy Institute), Simon Shannon (Diageo), Martin Atkins (QUB / Green Lizard Technologies), Daniela Thran (DBFZ), Kevin Maughan (UrbanVolt), Seamus Hoyne (LIT), John Ward (redT), Eamonn O’Brien (Johnson Controls), Eimear Cotter (SEAI), Jerry Murphy (MaREI), Owen Lewis (IGBC), Andrew Keane (Energy Institute, UCD), Caiman Cahill (IERC), Shafi Khadem (IERC)


Conference website:

For information on the conference, including speaker biographies and a full agenda, please see our designated conference website here.

Conference Photos