Dingle Peninsula 2030


Corca Dhuibhne 2030/ Dingle Peninsula 2030

Start Year


End Year


Research partner/host

MaREI Centre, Environmental Research Institute, UCC, Ireland

Project Partners

Dingle Creativity and Innovation Hub (Mol Teic), North East & West Kerry Development (NEWKD) and ESB Networks 

Funding Bodies

Science Foundation Ireland, ESB Networks, US-Ireland Partnership Programme  

Principal Investigators

Prof Brian Ó Gallachóir, School of Engineering – Energy Engineering, University College Cork, Ireland

Prof Edmond Byrne, School of Engineering – Process & Chemical Engineering, University College Cork, Ireland

Dr Gerard Mullally, Department of Sociology, University College Cork, Ireland

Research Area

Climate Change, Community Engagement, Societal Transitions, Energy System Analysis 


Dingle Peninsula 2030


Established in 2018, Dingle Peninsula 2030 is an exciting and innovative multi-partner initiative on the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, involving the Dingle Creativity and Innovation Hub, ESB Networks, North East and West Kerry Development (NEWKD), and MaREI. The premise is based on the Quadruple Helix Model involving science, policy, industry, and society. Partners are actively collaborating with the local community, schools, business, transport, and farming sectors to enable the broader societal changes required for the sustainable transition. 

Team members, from left to right; Seamus O’Hara (NEWKD), Evan Boyle (MaREI), Deirdre de Bhailís (Dingle Hub), Connor McGookinNiall O’Leary, Clare Watson & Brian Ó Gallachóir (MaREI), Claire McElligott (ESB Networks), Brendan Tuohy (Dingle Hub) 

Over the past two years, this work has included:  

  • Establishing the Dingle Sustainable Energy Community 
  • Developing the Dingle Peninsula Energy Master Plan  
  • Trials with 5 Ambassadors and local participants involving PV panel, battery management system, heat pump, and electric car technologies (beginning in Sept 2020)run by ESB Networks as part of  The Dingle Project  
  • Developing an education and outreach programme and website  
  • Piloting a ‘Climate Hack’ in local secondary schools, to encourage students to make informed decisions about the future energy system  
  • Completing a feasibility study for an anaerobic digester  
  • Initiating a pilot Farm Ambassador Programme, to increase agricultural sustainability and productivity  
  • Training ten local energy mentors to support people in retrofitting and efficient use of energy  
  • Supporting the emergence of a community energy co-operative  
  • Delivering community meetings on the Peninsula, to develop a plan for a sustainable future  
  • Development of a sustainable transport initiative 
  • Mutual learning with other groups in the area, including Transition Kerry, and SEAI Community Mentors 

Through engaged research with its Dingle Peninsula 2030 partners, MaREI is tracking, analysing, and documenting experiential learnings. 

Work Packages

WP1; Dingle Peninsula 2030 Case Study and Community Engagement Support

Clare Watson, Engagement Research Support Officer

To date, Clare has been supporting the practical development of the Dingle Peninsula 2030 initiative and coordinating and supporting the work of the MaREI Dingle engaged research team. She is leading a case study tracking and recording the progress of Dingle Peninsula 2030 and the lessons learned along the way, with a view to providing briefs for policy, community, and other interested stakeholders


  • provide practical support and advice where necessary
  • assist in the setting up and development of effective engagement processes, project structures, and communication channels between stakeholders, and between stakeholders and the wider Dingle population.
  • help develop mutually beneficial networks between the Dingle projects and other experienced people and groups outside of the area
  • document the development of Dingle Peninsula 2030
  • identify and evaluate what worked and didn’t work, the successes, challenges, and barriers
  • provide learning for the future roll-out of the ESB Networks Smart Grid
  • provide learning for policymakers, state agencies, and other community-based groups


WP2; Scenario analysis exploring potential futures for the Dingle peninsula’s energy system

Connor McGookin, PhD Student

To date, Connor’s work has provided analysis on the Dingle Peninsula’s current energy demand and renewable energy potentials, which formed the basis of the Dingle Peninsula Energy Master Plan and Climate Hack. In addition, through a partnership with NEWKD and Dr. Brendan O’Keefe, he is involved in a series of community meetings across the peninsula exploring the social, economic, and environmental challenges facing people in order to develop an evidence-based community plan. The goal is to capture the concerns and priorities of local communities in order to collaboratively form pathways for the Dingle Peninsula’s transition to a low carbon energy system. These elements of the project are funded by the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme as part of the CREDENCE project


  • collaborate with members of the public and organisations across the peninsula to capture the broad range of opinions/perspectives
  • collaborate with existing initiatives on the peninsula (i.e. Dingle Sustainable Energy Community, ESB Networks, etc.)
  • understand the potential futures for the peninsula and the energy system that these futures are likely to produce
  • empower locals to become part of the energy transition by providing insights into the energy system


WP3; Multi-stakeholder approach to the socio-technical transition to a low-carbon society on the Dingle Peninsula

Evan Boyle, PhD Student

To date, Evan’s work has analysed the multi-stakeholder approach to the socio-technical transition to a low-carbon society on the Dingle Peninsula. Using a participatory mapping approach, the different individuals/ organisations involved in the Dingle Peninsula 2030 project are being mapped, to investigate how the multi-stakeholder network develops over time. An investigation has also taken place on the collaborative approach to governance taken by the four partner organisations in the project. The ESBN Ambassador project is being analysed to understand the dynamics required to activate the energy citizen in Ireland in light of the Dingle Peninsula 2030 project. Alongside this, at a national level, this research is working alongside a range of public bodies, including ESBN, to investigate current good practice for community engagement.


  • facilitation of a participatory mapping exercise with a number of key stakeholders related to the range of initiatives on the peninsula.
  • work with ESBN ambassadors to assess the integration of new technologies into their lifestyles to attain lessons for future deployment.
  • conduct regular interviews with a wide range of actors involved in Dingle 2030 to evaluative and analyse this innovative approach to the socio-technical transition to a low-carbon society in a regional context.
  • Facilitation of a workshop on community engagement within public bodies with a number of national organisations.

Publications & Outputs


The Dingle Peninsula 2030 ‘Learning Briefs’ are short documents focusing on learnings from particular activities, projects or outcomes relating to the work of the partnership. The process is co-ordinated by MaREI but the learning briefs themselves are co-created with other members of the partnership.

Each learning brief endeavours to:

  • provide context and background
  • document what happened and how it happened
  • explain the roles of the different participants
  • demonstrate what worked, what didn’t work and how improvements might be made
  • highlight the benefits, challenges and lessons learnt and how these might be diffused more widely, if relevant
  • make recommendations

The overall aim is to capture the learnings in a format that is accessible and useful to the participants involved and to other communities, groups, researchers, companies, agencies and policy makers.

Learning briefs are produced relatively quickly and often during an ongoing process. This means that they are a way of collecting and presenting data in close to real-time.

The process of writing a learning brief involves intensive, collaborative reflection and deliberation. They therefore also provide a useful form of internal reflective learning and evaluation, which helps inform future decisions and actions and ultimately makes our work more effective.


Regional energy transitions case studies

McGookin C., Ó Gallachóir B., Byrne E., O’Callaghan K. (2018) 


Dingle Peninsula 2030 Brochure Dingle LED Bulb Swap Brief Dingle Climate Hack Energy Master Plan Learning Brief
The Value of Collaboration Anaerobic Digestion on The Dingle Peninsula The Community Energy
Mentor Training Course
Evidence-based Planning Corca Dhuibhne

Lessons Learnt and Recommendations for Policy and Practice


Academic publications & events

Conference presentations

  • McGookin C., Ó Gallachóir B., Byrne E., (2019) ‘A transdisciplinary approach to energy system modelling; Case Study Dingle 2030’, 1st Energy and Environment Clustering Event. Durham University, 23-24 September 2019.
  • Boyle E., Ó Gallachóir B., Mullally G., (2019) ‘Participatory Mapping on an Emergent Social Network for a regional transition to a low-carbon society’, Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference. RGS London, 27-30 August 2019
  • Boyle E., Ó Gallachóir B., Mullally G., (2019) ‘A multi-stakeholder approach to a regional sustainability transitions’, International Political Anthropology Summer School. Acquapendente, Italy, 24-28 June 2019.
  • McGookin C., Ó Gallachóir B., Byrne E., (2019) ‘Developing a regional energy balance; Case study from the Dingle peninsula’, Environ. IT Carlow, 18-20 April 2019.
  • McGookin C., Ó Gallachóir B., Byrne E., (2018) ‘New Societal and Energy System Frameworks; Case Study Transition Dingle 2030’, International Sustainable Production and Consumption Conference. University of Manchester, 3-5 October 2018.

Engagement and Outreach


Ó Gallachóir B., Watson C., Boyle E., McGookin C., Byrne E. and Mullally G. 2020 ‘Dingle Peninsula 2030 – Diffusion of sustainability Proceedings of MaREI’s 9th Annual Energy and Climate Policy Research On-line Seminar on 20th May 2020.

Launch of Dingle Peninsula 2030

The official launch of Dingle Peninsula 2030 was held on February 13th, 2020 and attracted over 200 local people. It included the following:

  • The launch of the Energy Master Plan, developed by MaREI
  • The launch of the ‘Activating the Energy Citizen on the Dingle Peninsula’ outreach programme
  • An introduction to the Community Energy Mentors
  • Opening of applications for the ESB Networks Electric Vehicle Trial
  • Poster presentations by students from Meanscoil Nua an Leith-Triuigh, Coláiste Íde & Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne that were developed as part of the ‘Climate Hack’ run during Science Week 2019.
  • An LED bulb swap
  • Information from local organisations such as DPTA Sustainable Tourism tips and Bus Eireann Transport options

Evidence-based planning with communities from Corca Dhuibhne

Throughout November 2019 and February 2020, Connor McGookin, Seamus O’Hara and Dr Breandán Ó Caoimh ran a series of community meetings in the parishes across the Dingle Peninsula. The purpose of these meetings was to explore the social, economic and environmental challenges facing each of the parishes within the area in order to develop a plan for a sustainable future. For further information, please see; http://nekd.net/socio-economic-survey-of-the-dingle-peninsula/about/

November 2019 February 2020
Parish Date Parish Date
Lispole Nov 12th Annascaul Jan 30th
Camp Nov 13th Castlegregory Feb 3rd
Ballyferriter Nov 14th Camp Feb 5th
Castlegregory Nov 18th Cloghane Feb 6th
Annascaul Nov 19th Ballyferriter Feb 17th
Dingle Nov 26th Lispole Feb 18th
Keel Nov 27th Dingle Feb 19th
Cloghane Nov 28th    

Read the Notes from Community Meetings November 2019 Here 

Read the Notes from Community Meetings February 2020 Here 

Climate Hack

During SFI Science Week (November 10 -17th) 2019, Connor McGookin and Deirdre de Bhailís, ran a ‘Climate Hack’ in the three secondary schools across the Dingle peninsula. These two-hour sessions involved initially providing the students with some fact sheets on the key challenges facing the area before asking them to develop their own ideas and solutions.

Blindboy Podcast

Prof Jerry Murphy and Clare Watson spoke with Blindboy about the wicked problem of climate change and what we can do to tackle it, with a focus on anaerobic digestion and the importance of community engagement. The interview was released on 6th November 2019, prior to SFI Science Week

You can listen to the podcast here.

Roundtable with Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar

On 11th November 2019, as part of Science Week, Clare Watson spoke about Dingle Peninsula 2030, and the need to support community engagement at a meeting hosted by the Taoiseach, in collaboration with SFI. Clare attended alongside MaREI’s Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir and Dr. Barry O’Dwyer, and six other climate related scientists.

Farmer’s Forum 2019

A second Farmer’s Forum was held during the Dingle Food Festival on Friday, 4th Oct 2019, entitled ‘Farming – the Key to a Sustainable Future’, focusing primarily on bio-digestion. The event also included technology demonstrations.

Speakers were:

  • Deirdre de Bhailís, Dingle Hub
  • Xavier Dubuisson, Lead consultant on Anaerobic Digestion Feasibility Study
  • Áine Macken-Walsh, Senior Research Officer at Teagasc
  • Kieran Coffey – inventor of micro-scale digester for the treatment of home food waste mygug.eu

Panelists included:

  • Denis Galvin, Lispole ESB Networks Ambassador and IoT Farm Ambassador
  • Noel Malone, Gortadoo StoreNet battery project participant
  • Richard O’Shea, MaREI Researcher focusing on the use of by-products from the food and drink industry to produce renewable gas.


Presentations to the SFI EPE Meeting

Deirdre de Bhailís, Claire McElligott, Clare Watson, and Evan Boyle presented the work of Dingle Peninsula 2030 to the Education & Public Engagement reps from the 17 SFI-funded Centres in the ERI on 2nd  October 2019.


LED bulb swap

The first ‘LED bulb swap’ event was held in April 2019. The overall aim was to begin a discussion on home energy use, by demonstrating how something as simple as changing to LED bulbs can have a significant impact on the amount of electricity used – even small things do add up.

Farmer’s Forum 2018

A Farmer’s Forum was held during the Dingle Food Festival on Friday, 5th Oct 2018, entitled ‘Farming and Energy – A Time of Transition?’. The event focused on the biogas opportunity, and sustainable energy on farms, and included an information fair with key stakeholders and companies involved in the sustainable energy sector

The speakers were:

  • Deirdre de Bhailís, Dingle Hub
  • Ian O’Flynn, Gas Networks Ireland
  • Shane McDonagh, MaREI
  • Xavier Dubuisson, XD Consulting & SEAI SEC mentor
  • Barry Caslin, Teagasc
  • Thomas O’Connor, Manna Organic Farm, and Store

 Participatory Mapping

In 2018, Evan Boyle brought a number of organisations in the community together for a mapping workshop. This exercise sought to map out the different goals of the organisations underneath the shared vision of Dingle Peninsula 2030 and to assist in future goal planning. Alongside this, the wider organisational support network and the support types in place to achieve these goals were highlighted. Representatives from the following organisations attended:

  • Mol Téic
  • Transition Kerry
  • Údarás Na Gaeltachta


Meeting on Anaerobic Digestion

A meeting was held in the Skellig Hotel in Dingle on 1st August 2018, with six local farmers and other key stakeholders to discuss the potential for an anaerobic digester on the Dingle Peninsula. Prof Jerry Murphy, MaREI gave an opening presentation, which was followed by a group discussion.


Seminar on Dingle Transition Project

Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir gave a presentation on the work of MaREI at a seminar with key local and national stakeholders, organized by Brendan Tuohy, and held in the Skellig Hotel, Dingle on 4th December 2017. Also in attendance were MaREI’s Gillian Bruton, Aoife Deane, Clare Watson, Connor McGookin and Evan Boyle.


Clare Watson

MaREI Engagement Research Support Officer

Email: clare.watson@ucc.ie


Connor McGookin

PhD Researcher, Energy Policy and Modelling Group

Tel; +353 (0)21 4901944

Email: connor.mcgookin@ucc.ie


Evan Boyle

PhD Researcher, Energy Policy and Modelling Group

Tel; +353 (0)21 4901944

Email: evan.boyle@ucc.ie

Photo Gallery