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An Economic Analysis of the Adoption of Green Gas Technologies in Ireland

Project Description

4-year PhD position available

An Economic Analysis of the Adoption of Green Gas Technologies in Ireland

Description
Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time, PhD Researcher to be based in Economics, with significant interactions with Engineering, at the National University of Ireland, Galway. This PhD is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) through the new €3.3M Sustainable Energy and Fuel Efficiency (SEFE) spoke in the Research Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy in Ireland (MaREI, http://www.marei.ie/), and is available from 1st September 2018.

MaREI has over 200 researchers working across 6 academic institutions collaborating with over 45 industry partners to tackle the scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the marine and renewable energy sectors. NUI Galway leads the newly-added SEFE spoke at MaREI, which aims to support Ireland’s and Europe’s transition to sustainable and renewable energy through the development of new processes, technologies and markets. GNI operates the natural gas grid in Ireland and has committed to a 100% decarbonised grid by 2050. Ireland has the potential to displace a significant portion of its natural gas demand with a renewable substitute, Green Gas, which can be produced by anaerobic digestion (AD) or advanced thermal treatment (ATT, including pyrolysis and gasification). Green gas production is distinguished by its dispersed nature, highly variable feedstock, and diverse and under-developed supply chains.

The activities that will be carried out by the PhD student are to: (1) Conduct a literature review of factors affecting acceptance and adoption of AD and ATT technologies and analogous systems for Ireland and worldwide; (2) Design a discrete choice survey targeted at potential suppliers of AD and ATT feedstock in the Republic of Ireland (RoI); (3) Develop an econometric methodology to identify factors that influence technology adoption and diffusion and formulate an empirical model to rank these factors and identify interdependencies. The method will then be used to identify ex-ante socioeconomic factors that influence AD, ATT, and AD-ATT cluster acceptance and adoption by target groups in RoI.

Duration: 1st September 2018 – 30th August 2022
Stipend & tuition: €16,000 per annum plus tuition fees for 3 years. The successful candidate will be required to work with the supervisors to secure funding for the 4th year, for example by applying for the Irish Research Council Scholarship Scheme.

Requirements: Degree in Economics (Masters) or Engineering (Masters or Bachelors) with at least a 2.1 Honours grade or equivalent. The successful candidate will have a strong background in modelling languages (including for example Excel, Matlab, Stata, Eviews, NLOGIT, Limdep) and an interest in multidisciplinary research involving economics and engineering. The applicant will be required to bridge the gap between socioeconomics and energy technology. Supervision will therefore be provided by both Dr Van Rensburg (NUIG Economics) and Dr Monaghan (NUIG Engineering). Extremely strong written and spoken English communication skills are essential.

How to apply: Send a one-page cover letter, and your CV with names and contact details of two referees to the project co-supervisors, Dr. Thomas Van Rensburg () and Dr. Rory Monaghan (), with “Green Gas PhD application” in the subject line. The closing date for receipt of applications is 9pm (Irish time) Sunday 15th July 2018.
Additional information
Dr Thomas Van Rensburg: http://www.nuigalway.ie/economics/people/thomasvanrensburg/
Dr Rory Monaghan: http://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/people/engineering-and-informatics/rorymonaghan/
Informal questions: 

Funding Notes

Stipend & tuition: €16,000 per annum plus tuition fees for 3 years. The successful candidate will be required to work with the supervisors to secure funding for the 4th year, for example by applying for the Irish Research Council Scholarship Scheme.

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