ESB Collaborates with Trinity College Dublin’s ADAPT and CONNECT Research Centres to Accelerate Technology Innovation in Energy Sector

25 March 2024

ESB, Ireland’s leading energy company, in collaboration with researchers at ADAPT and CONNECT, two SFI research centres based at Trinity College Dublin, is embarking on two innovative research projects to empower large energy users in choosing ‘clean’ sources of energy to power their business operations. The research will help accelerate technology innovation and drive the energy transition to reach Ireland’s carbon targets.  

The collaborative projects with the CONNECT and ADAPT will have clear benefits for society in regards to tackling the climate crisis.  Both projects will run for 18 months each.

The partnership with CONNECT, which will be led by Professor Marco Ruffini, focuses on harnessing the extensive data available from the electrical grid, encompassing energy sources, demand, and predictive models. The project will then explore the effects of providing Large Energy Users (LEUs), such as data centres and pharmaceutical plants, with accurate, market-based data models in order to optimise energy demand.

The partnership with ADAPT focuses on the efficient generation and distribution of Guarantee of Origin (GO) certificates, which verify that a unit of power was produced from renewable sources.  The research will address the current challenges in the GO certification market, including the lengthy processing time, and exploit technologies such as blockchain to explore more efficient mechanisms for real-time generation and distribution of GO certificates, enhancing transparency and ensuring timely consumption by green energy users.

Increased energy demand has led to the depletion of fossil fuel reserves, resulting in higher generation costs and increased carbon emissions. To combat these challenges, ESB has been focusing on integrating renewable energy resources to bridge the demand-supply gap. 

Empowering Sustainability: ESB announces its latest investments in pioneering research aimed at providing greener electricity to large energy users.  Team members pictured in front of ‘Gaia’ in Trinity College Dublin’s Long Room symbolising the commitment to understanding and preserving the intricate connections within our world. (L-R) Chief Innovation and Enterprise Officer at TCD, Dr Michelle Olmstead; Prof Marco Ruffini, CONNECT at TCD; Geraldine Moloney, ESB; Prof Hitesh Tewari, ADAPT at TCD.


Geraldine Moloney, Head of New Ventures at ESB, expressed her excitement about the partnership, statin:, “ESB is delighted to partner with ADAPT and CONNECT at Trinity College Dublin and hope to harness the power of research and innovation to advance us on our Net Zero emissions target by 2040. Tackling these defining challenges requires collaboration with like-minded partners, so this investment will help set a new standard for energy consumption and help drive the energy transition. I look forward to seeing the creative solutions developed through these collaborations.”

Professor Marco Ruffini, Principal Investigator at CONNECT said: “Efficient resource allocation and energy management are critical for both environmental sustainability and cost-effectiveness. In this collaboration with ESB, we will develop an intelligent task scheduler that takes into account real-time energy price fluctuations at multiple locations and allocates computation tasks to locations where energy is more cost-effective and greener. This will have the effect of considerably reducing the overall operational expenditure and maximising the use of green energy.  At CONNECT we have developed globally recognised expertise in the area of Optical Spectrum as a Service. We will leverage this expertise in this project to show how it can be effectively used to pre-book capacity and move large amounts of data at low cost in order to achieve substantial cost reduction”.

Professor Hitesh Tewari, Funded Investigator at ADAPT  said: Our collaboration with ESB is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the power of Distributed Ledger Technology, commonly referred to as Blockchains, for the real-time creation and distribution of Guarantee of Origin (GO) certificates in a secure, timely and transparent manner.  This will enable Large Energy Users (LEUs) to say with a very high-level of confidence that they are consuming electricity generated from renewable sources to power their enterprise operations in Ireland.”

Chief Innovation and Enterprise Officer at Trinity College Dublin, Dr Michelle Olmstead, said: “This partnership underscores ESB’s dedication to leading the energy transition through innovative solutions and collaborative research.  Trinity is committed to creating real impact from our research expertise, in partnering with ambitious organisations like the ESB, collectively driving a culture of innovation and a spirit of entrepreneurship to realise solutions to climate change.  Partnership is key to Trinity’s Innovation & Enterprise strategy; to curate a globally connected innovation community”

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