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Architecture engineering

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Energy and Buildings (SSRN Platform)


The aggregated fuel cost of domestic hot water (DHW) generation in Ireland, in 2022, was €529M with associated emissions/load of 1.3MtCO2/289GWh. The shadow price of carbon monetises the negative impact of emissions, rising with time; DHW generation has an associated shadow carbon cost of €13M in 2022, rising to €42M in 2030 and €335M in 2050.

In 2020, c12%/€441M of wind was curtailed or wasted as inter alia, there was no demand at times of high wind. Meanwhile, a ‘silent crisis’ is occurring in Ireland wherein one-in-two dwellings were considered in fuel poverty in 2022. Households in fuel poverty are known to limit DHW generation, impacting hygiene and well-being.

As most Irish households have an electrical immersion already installed in DHW tanks, this research develops a preliminary (first round) wind allocation model to assess the potentials and economics of redeploying excess wind to heat DHW and, in the interest of a just-transition, focuses on households at risk of fuel poverty.

It is found that fuel-poor households in Ireland could be theoretically provided with a ‘free’ full tank of hot water, once in every 3 weeks, redeploying 89% of overnight curtailed wind energy in 2019, realising a potential carbon cost saving to the Irish state of c€4M in 2030, rising to c€11M in 2050 along with a better quality of life for fuel-poor citizens.

This research concludes this massive, readily deployable, shared, citizen-owned dispatch-down resource should be utilised and further research into redeployment of dispatch-down as a service is merited.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.