Galway Energy Summit to Discuss ‘Changing for our Climate’ and ‘Can Technology Save Us?’

Plants and climate change with the concept of global warming, stock photo. Photo: NUI Galway/Shutterstock
Mar 07 2019 Posted: 12:02 GMT

Students from the College of Engineering and Informatics and Ryan Institute at NUI Galway will host Ireland’s second annual student-led, Galway Energy Summit 2019, with this year’s event focusing on the themes ‘Changing for our Climate and Can Technology Save Us?’ The summit is the only one of its kind in Ireland and shows that young people are driving this initiative and leading the way for change in Ireland. Companies such as ESB, Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi Electric and Gas Networks Ireland will participate in the event, which takes place on Tuesday, 12 March in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway.

Dr Rory Monaghan from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Galway Energy Summit continues to put our students on the map of the Irish energy community. They really are leaders when it comes to engaging academic, industry and the public in this hugely important challenge our society faces. We see student movements springing up all over the world inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg and her School Strike for Climate. To have any hope of not only coping with climate change, but continuing to grow and thrive into the future, we need highly motivated and passionate young people like those behind the Galway Energy Summit.”

Panel Discussions and Events

  • Can Technology Save Us?’ – John Byrne, Head of ESB smart meter roll out. ESB plan to roll out a smart meter in every home this year. Ian Kilgallon, Gas Networks Ireland and Russel Vickers, Jaguar Land Rover will discuss the role of electric vehicles and connected autonomous vehicles in our future. Each industry will play a huge role in our future day-to-day lives. The discussion will be moderated by Kate Kerrane, former Energy Society Auditor at NUI Galway.
  • Changing for our Climate’ - Environmental scientist and Newstalk’s ‘Down to Earth’ co-presenter, Dr Cara Augustenburg will discuss the environmental aspects; Dr Mary Greene, NUI Galway will focus on social and community aspects; Tom Short will speak on behalf of the Irish Farmers Association; and researcher, Dr Paul Deane, MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, UCC will speak about the technical aspects and facts of climate change. The discussion be moderated by George Lee, Agricultural and Environment Correspondent for RTÉ News.
  • A keynote speech by Niall O’Hara, ChangeX, hosted by Climate Cocktail Club. ChangeX partners with the world’s top social entrepreneurs to bring countless ways to improve communities. A truly inspiring organisation, their projects include ‘Plastic Free 4 School’ which helps schools avoid single use plastics, reduce waste and maximise recycling, and the ‘GreenPlan’ a new system that uses behavioural change to tackle climate change providing a clear framework outlining practical actions across several themes.  
  • An Innovation, Energy and Careers Fair will provide delegates with the opportunity to speak to industry and organisations. The fair will bring together several energy experts, companies, start-ups, students and academics. Companies include ESB, Gas Networks Ireland, Mitsubishi Electric, and a number of organisations such as An Taisce Climate Ambassadors and Trocaire.

Conor Deane, Director and Founder of Galway Energy Summit from NUI Galway, said: “Last year’s event was a huge success as we welcomed over 400 delegates to Galway ranging from students, industry, academics and the general public. The goal this year is to build on that success. This year’s theme ‘Changing for our Climate’ has never been as relevant, especially with the challenges Ireland faces for the future. The day provides a unique opportunity to gain knowledge in the area while networking with companies such as ESB and Mitsubishi. We welcome everyone to the West on the 12 March.”

Caoimhe Culhane, a student at the Ryan Institute and Director of Galway Energy Summit: There was no doubt that the topic of climate change would feature heavily in this year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last October. I hope that this event will encourage people to make changes as we move towards a just energy transition. As an engineering student I realise it is important that a holistic approach is taken to combat climate change which is why I am looking forward to meeting people from many different disciplines and walks of life at Galway Energy Summit.”

Galway Energy Summit’s main sponsors are ESB, Gas Networks Ireland, Mitsubishi Electric, MaREI and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway.

For full event details and free registration, visit: Refreshments will be provided and music from NUI Galway’s Medical Orchestra. Follow on Twitter @GES_2019.

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