Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy to the Technological University Dublin, July, 2010.


The consumption of energy and related carbon emissions are a development challenge requiring analysis and policy insights. Current analysis of future change in Ireland relies on quantitative point forecasts within which accuracy is difficult to achieve. A scenario analysis approach has often been applied with the longer term but is also useful on shorter time-scales. This research applied a combination of decomposition analysis and scenario analysis to identify and analyse the driving forces of change in Ireland historically from 1990-2007 and in the future to 2020. The historical decomposition used the LMDI I technique and was further quantified to 2020 using an integrated qualitative and quantitative scenario approach to explore plausible alternative developments. The historical analysis gives insights at macro and sectoral level to attribute change to a range of structural, scale and intensity effects. The macro decomposition was based on an extended Kaya identity while the sectoral offers deeper insights including a detailed representation of transport. Since 1990 energy intensity improved substantially in the macro decomposition, but the sectoral decomposition shows considerable heterogeneity. The four scenarios show divergence in emissions trajectories based on alternative development paths. This presents in absolute emission totals but also in sectoral contribution. Change arises not only in technological and economic drivers but also through drivers such as governance and society that underpin the evolution of the alternative scenarios.