Energy security to safeguard community water services in rural Ireland: Opportunities and challenges for solar photovoltaics

C Devereux, J Coscia, Kemi Adeyeye, John Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper employed a socio-technical approach to assess the feasibility of solar PV installations by independent Group Water Schemes in Ireland, examining the complex relationship between water and energy demands in conjunction with stakeholder perspectives in these communities. The temporal resolution of energy data and the unique characteristics of the schemes (size, connection type; energy demand breakdown, etc.) were key factors influencing the solar PV design process. A poor daily correlation (R2 = 0.22) contrasted with strong weekly (R2 = 0.91) and monthly (R2 = 0.99) correlations between energy demands and water consumption, highlighting the technical design challenges for a balanced solar PV and water services system. The presence of a water storage tank offers a potential water and energy storage facility for a solar PV installation, to balance the intermittent energy demands with the diurnal water consumption profile. Community stakeholders were aware of solar PV’s potential, with two GWSs moving towards installation. Key priorities were economic viability and associated environmental benefits i.e. added value to these communities. Stakeholders require knowledge sharing on solar PV, its operations and financial support, to help make an informed decision on this technology. The successful implementation of solar PV can provide energy and water security in these rural water communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101377
JournalSustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
Volume47
Early online date11 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Energy efficiency
  • Water distribution networks
  • Community renewables
  • Water-energy nexus
  • Decentralised systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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