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Society is maintained by a continuous flow of energy, one of the most fundamental and basic resources. So, energy is an issue that affects almost all human activities and cuts across all policies. Europe has entered into a new energy era. Humanity is faced with the huge challenge of a growing global demand for energy to power economic development and growth. As emphasized in the EU 7th Framework Programme “Sustainable, affordable and secure energy has to become one of the basic pillars of daily life”.

The Ryan Institute is addressing Europe’s energy challenge, by generating synergies between established energy research activities within NUI  Galway.  The Ryan Institute’s Energy Research Centre (ERC) brings together over 100 academic staff and researchers, from four NUI Galway Colleges, and many key national and international collaborators.  Ongoing projects Energy include (but are not exclusive to):

  • Emissions Reduction: In collaboration with Rolls–Royce Canada Limited, Texas A&M University, and Georgia Institute of Technology, combustion chemists are focusing on an increased understanding of the oxidation of natural gas under gas-turbine conditions to reduce transport emissions.
  • Biorefining and Bioenergy: The Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy (TCBB) is a national organisation of industry members, academic experts, institutions and government agencies working together to develop the Irish biomass resource.  Ireland has one of the highest growth rates of agricultural biomass per hectare of any country in Europe.  Combined with an extensive shoreline area the country has enormous potential for development of an efficient, viable biomass industry.
  • Miniaturized Electromagnetic Generators: With the advent of wearable electronics, demands of power sources for portable electronic equipment are increasing. The possibility of capturing some of the energy expended by a person while walking/running and converting it into electrical energy is being investigated as part of NUI Galway’s Power Electronics Research Centre.

For more information on Energy-related research that is being conducted at the Ryan Institute, please consult the Research section of the website.  Key pages for this research include Energy, Built Environment and Smart Cities, Environmental Technologies, and Socio-Economics and Policy.