Module Overview

Energy Economics and Policy

The objective of this module is to provide the student with a strong appreciation of economic, environmental and social constraints on the supply of and demand for energy, and of the technological, policy and economic/market developments that are taking place in Ireland and internationally in respect of those constraints.

Module Code

ECON H4008

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Review of Energy Demand and Supply

Economic importance of energy, energy trends, final energy demand,primary energy demand - Ireland, UK, Europe, international, uses of energy; sources of energy - oil, gas, coal, renewables, nuclear; trends in electricity generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy; sustainability, energy trade, self-sufficiency; energy infrastructure; environmantal concerns.

Energy Policy

Irish, UK, European and international energy policy; policy drivers: competitiveness, security, sustainability, resilience; structure of energy supply; drivers of change: economic conditions, technology advances, environmental issues; energy forecasts; energy regulation, energy efficiency.


Infrastructure and organisation of generation, transmission and distribution; liberalisation of markets; de-regulation of retail markets; market organisation and players; the Single Electricity Market; advantages of interconnection; current and future interconnections; distributed energy resources; electricity regulation; smart grids.

Environmantal Issues

Climate change, overview of the science; greenhouse gas emissions; natural, social and economic consequences of climate change; sustainable energy, low-carbon technologies; carbon-reduction measures: regulation, taxation, carbon trading; carbon markets; the Kyoto Protocol, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, US Carbon Markets, other schemes; other environmental impacts of energy supply.

Renewable Energy, Lifestyle and Energy Consumption

Review of sources of renewable energy and renewable technologies; case for renewables; wind, bio, ocean, other; policy measures - feed-in tariffs etc., Ireland, UK, Europe, elsewhere; Transport, electric vehicles; distributed energy resources; corporate behaviour and lifestyle changes for a low carbon world.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination50
Other Assessment(s)50