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Kelly J.A.,Envecon Inc. | Fu M.,University College Dublin | Clinch J.P.,University College Dublin
Energy Policy | Year: 2016

International commitments on greenhouse gases, renewables and air quality warrant consideration of alternative residential heating technologies. The residential sector in Ireland accounts for approximately 25% of primary energy demand with roughly half of primary home heating fuelled by oil and 11% by solid fuels. Displacing oil and solid fuel usage with air source heat pump (ASHP) technology could offer household cost savings, reductions in emissions, and reduced health impacts. An economic analysis estimates that 60% of homes using oil, have the potential to deliver savings in the region of €600 per annum when considering both running and annualised capital costs. Scenario analysis estimates that a grant of €2400 could increase the potential market uptake of oil users by up to 17% points, whilst a higher oil price, similar to 2013, could further increase uptake from heating oil users by 24% points. Under a combined oil-price and grant scenario, CO2 emissions reduce by over 4 million tonnes per annum and residential PM2.5 and NOX emissions from oil and peat reduce close to zero. Corresponding health and environmental benefits are estimated in the region of €100m per annum. Sensitivity analyses are presented assessing the impact of alternate discount rates and technology performance. This research confirms the potential for ASHP technology and identifies and informs policy design considerations with regard to oil price trends, access to capital, targeting of grants, and addressing transactions costs. © 2016 The Authors

Kelly A.,Envecon Inc. | Lumbreras J.,Technical University of Madrid | Maas R.,Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency | Pignatelli T.,Sustainable Development Technology | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2010

The Gothenburg Protocol set national emission ceilings for transboundary air pollutants in 2010. These ceilings were formulated in 1999 using the Regional Air Pollution Information and Simulation (RAINS) model and national forecast data. The 2010 ceiling deadline is approaching as is a revision process which may lead to the setting of emission ceilings for 2020. This paper considers the original 1999 projections of six countries that were used within the RAINS model to inform the setting of their respective Gothenburg Protocol 2010 emission ceilings. These data are then contrast against recent inventory data and contemporary short-term forecasts out to 2010. These recent forecasts indicate that major downward shifts in the trends of pollutant emissions have been achieved, and whilst compliance challenges remain, there is a clear indication of the potential of such international agreements and their associated legislative and policy driven mechanisms. However, in a process governed by a maxim of achieving international environmental objectives at 'least-cost', the recent experience offers some valuable lessons. Specifically, in relation to the accuracy of energy projections and assumptions of other relevant variables in the modelling process. This paper considers these lessons and opens a discussion on the role of more adaptable mechanisms for the ongoing management of international agreements with long-term compliance horizons. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Fu M.,University College Dublin | Kelly A.,Envecon Inc.
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment | Year: 2011

This paper examines whether regional characteristics can have a significant impact on the engine sizes of the car fleet in Ireland. Disposable income is found to be the dominant factor in determining the purchase probabilities of car engine size, but in addition a combination of high population density and the availability of rail transport can reduce the demand for medium and large engine sized vehicles, as well as for new cars generally. Bus services, however, only serve as a substitute for small engine cars. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Andrew Kelly J.,Envecon Inc. | Vollebergh H.R.J.,PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency | Vollebergh H.R.J.,University of Tilburg
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2012

In the context of transboundary air pollution policy the broad ambition is to achieve reductions in the level of environmental and societal damage associated with certain pollutant concentrations and exposure rates in a cost effective manner. Policy formulation and legislative frameworks in this field, such as the current National Emissions Ceiling Directive in the European Union, are challenged by the degree of scientific complexity involved, the dispersed sources of emissions, and the inherent uncertainties associated with long range forecasting under these conditions. This paper identifies the reasons why varied forms of adaptive policy mechanisms (also termed flexibilities) are necessary and valuable in this arena. We present the critical considerations for their design and operation, review a selection of the more prominent options currently considered in the associated transboundary research community, and conclude with recommendations for the next set of transboundary air pollution policy frameworks. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Fu M.,University College Dublin | Fu M.,Guangdong University of foreign Studies | Kelly J.A.,Envecon Inc. | Clinch J.P.,University College Dublin
Applied Geography | Year: 2014

Reducing solid fuel use for home heating can reduce both carbon emissions and air pollution within residential areas and thereby provide for improved environmental and health outcomes. The general models used to identify the determinants of solid fuel use often focus upon socioeconomic factors. Utilising an extended spatial econometric approach our results show proximity to a solid fuel resource as the most significant factor. Other spatially evaluated attributes, such as temperature, legislated solid-fuel sale restrictions and gas network coverage, are also found to have significant impacts on solid fuel use choices. Clear spatial dependence patterns are found for the effects of these attributes, with further evidence of large spill-over effects for neighbouring areas in the case of proximity to either a peat bog or an area subject to a ban on the sale of smoky coal. The research engages a blend of GIS and spatial econometric analysis to generate maps for both a fuel poverty risk and a resistance to fuel change index. These outcomes can serve to informthe design and deployment of effective and equitable solid-fuel and environmental policy interventions. Suggested policy interventions include conservation of peat bogs, expansion of smoky coal ban areas and the development of gas network coverage to specific areas. In addition to the policy support outcomes, the paper offers technical and methodological innovations in relation to combining spatial attributes with econometric models, handling large spatial matrices, understanding direct and indirect effects, and visibly presenting estimated values with spatial dependence. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

King F.,Envecon Inc. | Fu M.,Urban Institute Ireland | Kelly J.A.,Envecon Inc.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2011

National outlooks of emission levels are important components of international environmental policymaking and associated national policy development. This is the case for both greenhouse gas emissions and transboundary air pollutants. However, there is uncertainty inherent in the production of forecasts. In the climate context, IPCC guidelines have been established to support national teams in quantifying uncertainty within national inventory reporting of historic emissions. These are presented to indicate the potential range of deviation from reported values and to offer added evidence for policy decisions. However, the method and practice of accounting for uncertainty amongst emission forecasts is both less clear and less common. This paper posits that the role of forecasts in setting international targets and planning policy action renders the management of 'forecast' uncertainty as important as addressing uncertainty in the context of inventory and compliance work. Failure to explicitly present uncertainty in forecasting delivers an implicit and misplaced confidence in a given future scenario, irrespective of parallel work on other scenarios and sensitivities. However, it is acknowledged that approaches to uncertainty analyses within the literature are often highly technical and the models used are both computationally demanding and time-intensive. This can limit broader adoption where national capacities are limited and scenario development is frequent. This paper describes an approach to presenting uncertainty, where the aim is to balance the technical and temporal demands of uncertainty estimation against a means of delivering regular and practical estimation and presentation of uncertainty for any given scenario. In turn this methodology should help formalise the recognition of the uncertainty dimension in emissions forecasts, for all stakeholders engaged. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Fu M.,University College Dublin | Andrew Kelly J.,Envecon Inc. | Peter Clinch J.,University College Dublin | King F.,Envecon Inc.
Energy Policy | Year: 2012

Working from home is generally perceived as an effective means of reducing energy use and associated pollution from commuter transport. In order to consider the merits of mechanisms and policies to support a change in behaviour that results in greater take-up of home working, this paper applies energy consumption per commute calculations and a logit model using a case study of Ireland. In marked contrast with larger countries, the energy consumption per commute is relatively low in Ireland. Nonetheless, the analysis indicates that, on average, at least an average net saving of 9.33. kW. h per day can be achieved where an individual converts to working from home, after deducting the home energy consumption associated with home working. We find that land use patterns, public transport networks, internet infrastructure, commute distances and socio-demographic characteristics can serve to influence rates of home working. Encouraging the higher and lower professional categories and those in the service sectors to work from home should be the highest priority in terms of energy and emissions reductions. Increased coverage of internet services and railway coverage will support higher rates of home working. Increased dispersion of residential, commercial and industrial areas serves to encourage greater home working. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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EnvEcon - Evidence-Based Decision-Support EnvEcon is a leading provider of government and businessdecision supportservices. Our specialist areas of expertise cover a broad spectrum and include: Economic analysis, economic development policy, enterprise and innovation policy; Rigorous structured program evaluations, forensic policy design and policy deployment advice; Regulatory impact assessments, cost-effectivenessand cost benefit analyses; Environmental modelling, compliance and target negotiation, implementation of environmental directives; Environmentalmarkets, GHG and air pollutant abatement strategies; Sectoral specific research - specialist expertise in transport, residential and agricultural sectors; Strategic development and change management support services; Government relations and public affairs ...

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