Research 196: Climate Technology - Realising the Potential

Authors: Fionn Rogan, Paul Bolger and Brian Ó Gallachóir

Summary: Research report 196 on Climate Technology - Realising the Potential

Published: 2016

ISBN: 978-1-84095-676-4

Pages: 66

Filesize: 1,722KB

Format: pdf

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Climate change mitigation and adaptation challenges are faced across all facets of activity; government, business, energy, transport, agriculture and domestic life. Deployment of new technologies, including observation systems, smart systems in electricity distribution, in buildings and in cities, is required. Innovative processes and materials as well as uptake of low emissions energy sources will be crucial to meet long term mitigation goals. Adapting to climate change impacts will also benefit from technological solutions such as sensors, information technologies and observation systems e.g. for early warning systems, to increase resilience of infrastructure and improve response to extreme weather events. These approaches require focussed solutions building on cross disciplinary understanding of technological capacities and climate solution requirements.

Identifying Pressures

Analysis was based on a broad survey of current and recent climate technology research in Irish third-level organizations and institutes, and of climate innovation and technology use activities in the private sector. A technology innovation system framework was employed to explore strengths and weaknesses in climate innovation across sectors.

Informing Policy

Government has a key role to play in supporting climate technology innovation, enterprise and deployment. For many climate technologies, national or local governments and even state-owned companies are key customers, therefore government procurement policy can have great impact. Given the current emphasis on cost in public procurement and the weakness of “green directed” government procurement, there may be potential for government policy to more carefully support the young climate technology sector.

Developing Solutions

There is a very broad range of companies in Ireland developing technology or working with technology that has a direct relationship to climate change. While certain companies and sectors are more directly engaged with climate change than others - e.g. power generation companies compared to pharmaceutical companies - more and more types of companies are bringing climate change into their business models. To capture and describe the diversity of these companies, a climate technology company catalogue was prepared that categorised 261 companies into seven sectors and described each with one or more tags. These climate technology companies are actively involved with different parts of the value chain and for products and services.