The research team from MaREI are working on a number of different research areas. Here is an overview of these projects.

Dingle Peninsula 2030 Case Study, and Community Engagement Support

Clare Watson, PhD

Engagement Research Support Officer

To date, Clare has been supporting the practical development of the Dingle Peninsula 2030 initiative and co-ordinating and supporting the work of the MaREI Dingle engaged research team. She is leading a case study tracking and recording the progress of Dingle Peninsula 2030 and the lessons learnt along the way, with a view to providing briefs for policy, community and other interested stakeholders.


  • provide practical support and advice where necessary
  • assist in the setting up and development of effective engagement processes, project structures, and communication channels between stakeholders, and between stakeholders and the wider Dingle population.
  • help develop mutually beneficial networks between the Dingle projects and other experienced people and groups outside of the area
  • document the development of Dingle Peninsula 2030
  • identify and evaluate what worked and didn’t work, the successes, challenges and barriers
  • provide learning for the future roll out of the ESB Networks Smart Grid
  • provide learning for policy makers, state agencies, and other community based groups

Scenario analysis exploring
potential futures for the Dingle Peninsula’s energy system

Connor McGookin, PhD Student

To date, Connor’s work has provided analysis on the Dingle Peninsula’s current energy demand and renewable energy potentials, which formed the basis of the Dingle Peninsula Energy Master Plan and Climate Hack. In addition, through partnership with NEWKD and Dr. Brendan O’Keefe, he is involved in a series of community meetings across the peninsula exploring the social, economic and environmental challenges facing people in order to develop an evidenced-based community plan. The goal is to capture the concerns and priorities of local communities in order to collaboratively form pathways for the Dingle Peninsula’s transition to a low carbon energy system. These elements of the project are funded by the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme as part of the CREDENCE project.


  • collaborate with members of the public and organisations across the peninsula to capture the broad range of opinions / perspectives
  • collaborate with existing initiatives on the peninsula (i.e. Dingle Sustainable Energy Community, ESB Networks, etc.)
  • understand the potential futures for the peninsula and the energy system that these futures are likely to produce
  • empower locals to become part of the energy transition by providing insights into the energy system


Multi-stakeholder approach to the socio-technical transition to a low-carbon society on the Dingle Peninsula

Evan Boyle, PhD Student

To date, Evan’s work has analysed the multi-stakeholder approach to the socio-technical transition to a low-carbon society on the Dingle Peninsula. Using a participatory mapping approach, the different individuals/ organisations involved in the Dingle Peninsula 2030 project are being mapped, to investigate how the multi-stakeholder network develops over time. An investigation has been carried out on the collaborative approach to governance taken by the four partner organisations in the project. The ESBN Ambassador project is being analysed to understand the dynamics required to activate the energy citizen in Ireland in light of the Dingle Peninsula 2030 project. Alongside this, at a national level, this research is working alongside a range of public bodies, including ESBN, to investigate current good practice for community engagement.


  • facilitation of a participatory mapping exercise with a number of key stakeholders related to the range of initiatives on the peninsula.
  • work with ESBN ambassadors to assess the integration of new technologies into their lifestyles to attain lessons for future deployment.
  • conduct regular interviews with a wide range of actors involved in Dingle 2030 to evaluative and analyse this innovative approach to the socio-technical transition to a low-carbon society in a regional context.
  • Facilitation of a workshop on community engagement within public bodies with a number of national organisations.

Impacts of EVs, heat pumps and solar PV on the electricity network

MaREI researchers are also collaborating with ESB Networks and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on medium voltage and low voltage electricity network modelling of the Dingle Peninsula. This research forms part of a larger CREDENCE project funded by the US-Ireland partnership programme involving researchers in the US, Ireland and Northern Ireland. The research on Dingle uses big data approaches to develop advanced computer models of large-scale electricity distribution networks. An automated procedure is being developed which will create detailed medium and low voltage electricity network models directly from Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ESB Networks’ database. This will enable faster and more accurate analysis of smart distribution networks with electric vehicles, heat pumps, local renewable generation and batteries. It is expected that this research, developed using the Dingle Peninsula electricity network as a case study, will be used to inform best practices for future network planning and operation across Ireland.