The following chapter will introduce the dissertation topic by means of its intended goals, outline of content within each chapter and the research methodology. The research goals present the author's aims to be achieved, core objectives and hypothesis to test. The chapters shall be briefly described as to their particular topic area. Research methodology will establish the research process, planning, data collection methods utilized and finally mention limitations encountered throughout completing the dissertation.
To investigate is renewable energy the way of the future, the potential of renewable energy sources and to analyse their long-term capability of meeting Ireland's future energy needs.
- To consider past and present trends of energy consumption in Ireland.
- To investigate the suitability of this technology for Ireland.
- To evaluate the environmental advantage of using the technology.
- To examine in detail the practical adoption of renewable energy technology in another country.
- To compare traditional energy sources against renewable sources.
- To examine the financial implications of changing from the traditional energy supply to a more renewable supply.
Renewable energy is a viable option for meeting energy requirements for the future of the Irish energy market.
Outline of Chapters
This chapter introduces the dissertation and details the author's core objectives to be researched. The structure of the dissertation is briefly described, which details the key sources of information followed by a short account of the chapters to follow.
The dissertation begins with a short first chapter explaining what is known as renewable energy.
Talks about potential future energy demands. Energy trends are evaluated to prepare an estimated energy forecast for Ireland's future.
Investigates into why a renewable energy future? The chapter deals with the rising demand and price of oil and gas. Also the concerns about climate change and Ireland's commitment to the EU's Directives on the deployment of renewable energy are dealt within the chapter.
The chapter reviews the renewable energy options available to Ireland. The options are assessed on the extent to which they could be used in meeting future demands.
Examines the Governments present proposal "Renewable Electricity - A 2020 Vision," which is to set up an All-Island Energy Market between the Republic and Northern Ireland. The Chapter evaluates the proposal to secure future energy supply through renewable energy for the whole island.
This chapter considers nuclear energy through certain areas which may be beneficial or not to Ireland.
This is the final chapter of the dissertation where the author reaches conclusions from the research carried out to date, followed by recommendations and areas for further study.
Research may be defined as, 'the systematic study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions' (Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2005).
This section outlines the research methods used to prepare this dissertation. The structure of this dissertation presents the findings of research, clearly identified, which was conducted by the author. Also aspects of data collection associated with problems encountered and limitations will be summarized.
Preliminary research began during the Author's placement year (year 3 of BSc Construction Economics & Management in Limerick Institute of Technology). As part of the year a dissertation proposal submission was required. An initial investigation on the availability of information was carried out and being satisfied that the information available was sufficient, I decided to continue with the topic. The initial sources primarily included books, Internet, papers and magazines.
For the research process consideration was given to the possible methods of approach to the actual dissertation. To carry out the research effectively and in a detailed manner a research plan and programme was established. This plan consisted of giving sufficient time for the detailed research of material both published and unpublished. From this the author got a detailed understanding of the topic and the exact focus of the dissertation was established along with the content and scope of the various chapters.
After choosing the title, aim, objectives and hypothesis, a detailed plan had to be formulated to meet each objective of the dissertation. This proved vital to the success of the dissertation, given the limited time frame to review material, engender results and complete the dissertation. Due to the amount of publications and information that needed reviewing for inclusion into the dissertation file, reading and analysis was continuously ongoing. All articles of information were scanned generally to assess their suitability and all relevant information marked accordingly. All relevant information, once analysed, was categorized based on its relevance to a given chapter.
Data Collection Methods
In order to test the hypothesis of this dissertation effectively detailed information had to be sought on all aspects of renewable energies and the Irish energy market.
The types of data used for compiling this dissertation came from both primary and secondary sources. Material from both sources was read in detail and any information relevant to any aspect of the dissertation topic was highlighted and noted. For the actual structure of the separate chapters, this information was subdivided into separate files for each proposed chapter.
The dissertation utilized primary sources, as work contained provided accurate information. The volume of the information was obtained from Government organisations and EU reports. The up to date factor of the reports was its main advantage. Other organisations such as Sustainable Energy Ireland published reports which proved very beneficial. As the dissertation subject is topical at present, there have been many related conferences and the proceedings published. Official Government publications were helpful especially for information relating to the All Island Energy Market. Other official publications from the EU were used to gather information on EU Directives and the Kyoto Protocol. Finally structured interviews were conducted in relation to setting up and operating wind farms as the results offered accurate first hand information. Past dissertations have been utilized but for the purpose of guidance.
An in depth documentary review was undertaken by the author, which involved examining various sources of information for factual information. This information was taken from construction journals, textbooks, brochures and magazines. Text books were used only for background information. Magazines and national papers proved helpful in keeping up with new developments affecting the topic, for example the Budget and Government publications. As the dissertation required up to date information on the topic, a large quantity of information was obtained from the Internet.
There were a number of difficulties encountered during the research of this dissertation. The main concern for the author was the realization that new information on the chosen topic was constantly being up dated with new developments. As the dissertation is somewhat based on what may happen in the future, the conclusions and recommendations are based on educated assumptions.
There exists a lack of published work in relation to the All Island Energy Market, as the consultation period is still on going. Contact with the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources was made with regard to the topic and all other topics relating to the dissertation. The author was informed that the most up to date information would be available in the Government's Energy White Paper 2007 "Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland" and that information contained within it could not be released until the Government's official launch on the 12th of March 2007. Due to time constraints the author was not able to exploit this source.
Based on the limited amount of information available the author utilized a significant amount of secondary sources. Also research questionnaires had to be abandoned due to a lack of response from organisations. Although certain information available was limited, with continued research and perseverance though all possible avenues it is believed that suitable material was compiled delivering a complete dissertation on the subject matter.
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