Tyndall’s IERC outlines recommendations to achieve Ireland’s ambitious target of 600,000 domestic heat pumps by 2030

Financial Incentives and Employment Training are key

Renewable energy is now even more urgent as houses have become both home and office

Heatpumps Ireland

The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) at Tyndall National Institute is calling on Government to introduce a combination of capital grants, tax breaks. zero interest loans and employment training to help meet its target to install 600,000 environmentally efficient domestic heat pumps to homes across Ireland by 2030.


The targets were initially set out under the 2019 Climate Action Plan as part of Ireland’s commitment to reduce its environmental impact. Although the current Programme for Government includes a plan to commence a targeted programme to install heat pumps in homes that are already suitable for this technology, it is not yet clear how targets will be achieved.


This renewable heating option extracts heat from the air around a home and will mean lower heating costs for consumers, as well as significant improvements in local air quality and health outcomes.


Tyndall’s IERC (International Energy Research Centre) today published a report ‘Best Practices and Policy Solutions for Ireland’s 2030 Heat Pump Target’ that identifies the barriers and pathways for Ireland to meet this ambitious target, including best practices in international policy and extract insights from existing scientific research.


The IERC Heat Pump report highlights that, in countries leading in heat pump installations, capital grants covering a proportion of installation costs and tax breaks on labour costs have been two of the most common financial supports to encourage adoption. The report recommends a combination of innovative financial incentives such as low or zero interest loans, investment subsidies to cover a proportion of installation cost, and tax breaks on labour costs.


Ireland is already in the process of developing heat pump technical standard for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of heat pump systems for new and existing dwellings. However, according to the SEAI, there are approximately 5,000 plumbers in Ireland but only 3% meet the SEAI criterion to install heat pumps.  Therefore, along with attractive financial incentives, they say the availability of skilled and certified installers will also be a critical factor.

Professor Brian Norton, Head of Energy Research at Tyndall National Institute, explained

The findings of this report lay out the strategies of countries leading the heat pump market and will enable policy makers and Ministers focus on areas that need to be prioritised for Ireland to achieve 600,000 heat pumps installed by the end of 2030.


Report author and IERC Senior Energy Policy Analyst Dr. Piyush Verma said

The current pandemic has made renewable energy even more urgent as houses have become both home and office. People need warm, healthy environments without a surge in home heating costs.

Comparing Ireland to Norway, Verma pointed out that Ireland has around 10 heat pumps per thousand households while Norway has over 400 per thousand households. “In Ireland, a lower penetration of heat pumps is primarily due to three factors - lack of awareness among consumers; a lack of a strong consumer proposition; and lack of policy support to overcome the high initial installation cost for heat pump technologies.”

Norton says there is an urgent need to strengthen the heat pump supply chain by an active cross-industry participation.

We need to incentivise manufacturers and installers to improve their product and service quality.  Relevant continuing professional development is essential for those working in the plumbing and heating sector.  Though the plumbing apprenticeship curriculum has undergone revision relatively recently, it could be augmented further on heat pump installation. As part of a wider re-skilling to support a green economic recovery, measures are required to encourage the take-up of apprenticeships by new entrants to the industry.

Launching this first report under the IERC’s Energy Policy Insights for Climate Action (EPICA) series, Professor Norton concluded, “Our EPICA project will be delivering a series of papers providing evidence based policy recommendations on a range of pressing climate issues as well as targets set under the Climate Action Plan.”


The new Best Practices and Policy Solutions for Ireland’s 2030 Heat Pump Target report is supported and funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC).

About IERC  

The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) is a centre of international excellence in integrated energy systems research funded by Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Government of Ireland and hosted at Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Ireland. IERC is a key element of the Government Energy Research Strategy and conducts sustainable energy research and examine the knowledge gaps through five different research lenses: Technology, Data Analytics, Behaviour, Business Models, and Policy & Regulation. www.ierc.ie


About Tyndall National Institute

Tyndall is a leading European research centre in integrated ICT (Information and Communications Technology) materials, devices and systems. It is one of Ireland’s five National Labs, specialising in both electronics and photonics. Tyndall works with industry and academia to transform research into products in its core market areas of electronics, communications, energy, health, agri-tech & the environment. With a network of over 200 industry partners and customers worldwide, they are focused on delivering human and economic impact from excellence in research. A research flagship of University College Cork, Tyndall is home to a research community of 600 people of 52 nationalities. www.tyndall.ie



Pandemic Unemployment Payment will remain open for new entrants until end March 2021

photo Stephanie Hau via Unsplash

From Department of Social Protection

Published on 24 November 2020


Social Protection Minister, Heather Humphreys TD, secured Government approval today to keep the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) open to new applicants until March 31st 2021.

To date, over €4.3 billion has been paid out under PUP to hundreds of thousands of people who lost their jobs as a result of the Pandemic.

Following a Government decision in September, PUP was due to close to new applications on 31st December next.

However, the extension of the closing date to 31st March will ensure workers can still access the PUP in January in the event that their employment ceases after Christmas.

Commenting on the extension, Minister Humphreys said:

“By keeping the PUP scheme open to new applicants until March 31st 2021, we are providing certainty to employees who may be returning to work in the run-up to the Christmas period.

I have listened to the retail and hospitality sector and I know they have had concerns that closing PUP to new entrants on December 31st, as originally planned, would act as disincentive to take up work.

“Workers can be re-assured that if they have to re-apply for PUP in January, February or March, they will have an entitlement to the payment.

The Minister added:

“The Pandemic Unemployment Payment has proved to be an extremely effective tool in responding to the economic impact of Covid-19 and in cushioning hundreds of thousands individuals and families from sudden income shocks.

“This extension will help mitigate the risk that employees might think they would encounter were they to take up work in the lead-in to Christmas. It’s about giving employees some peace of mind.”

Extension of the waiver on waiting days for jobseeker’s payments

Minister Humphreys also secured Government approval to extend the waiver on waiting days for Jobseeker payments until the end of March 2021.

Ordinarily, when a person makes an application for jobseeker’s benefit or allowance, payment is not made for the first three days of unemployment – these are called 'waiting days’. These waiting days will continue to be waived on applications for Jobseeker’s payments until the end of March 2021.

Minister Humphreys said:

“In line with keeping the PUP scheme open for applications, I am also extending the waiver on the waiting days for jobseeker’s payments. This will ensure that individuals who get temporary work between now and the end of March, and who lose their job can claim a jobseeker’s payment and receive their income support immediately.”




Tyndall celebrates its 100th H2020 European Research Funding Award


Tyndall National Institute’s newly published Annual Report highlights that Tyndall is leading the way in this competitive €80 billion European programme

(12 Nov 2020)  Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has announced that Tyndall National Institute (Tyndall) has succeeded in securing more than 100 Horizon 2020* awards totalling over €56M in funding, making it one of the most successful institutes in Ireland for European funding. The announcement was made during the launch of the Tyndall 2019 Annual Report.

The report announced that in 2019 alone, 17 new projects were funded by H2020 to the value of €10m, a success rate that is three times higher than the European average. It has been assessed that for every €1 of EU funding channelled through the research framework programme approximately €11 is generated in direct and indirect economic effects through innovations, new technologies and products.

Tyndall has secured over €57m to date in direct funding from EU Programmes such as Horizon 2020 and ERDF (European Regional Development Funds).  Irish-based partners in Tyndall projects have also secured an additional €51m direct funding.  As such, TNI is contributing a very significant share of Ireland’s overall draw-down from Horizon 2020. Tyndall’s own drawdown and of its linked Irish partners accounts for 10% of the €1.039bn to Ireland to date. Tyndall consistently ranks in the top performers in the EU for Information Communication Technology (ICT) research funding. 

Projects funded in 2019 ranged from making new deep-tech discoveries and developing next generation innovations, to training early career talent, providing expertise and access to infrastructure to SMEs, and addressing global challenges in health, agri-food, the environment, and energy. 

In the 2019 Annual Report, Tyndall reported income of €42m, up 17% on 2018, including €32m from competitive research projects. This also included €10M in European funding and an industry commitment to new research programmes of almost €6M. 

Other key developments in the 2019 Annual Report include:

  • A continued strengthening of partnerships between researchers and international industry, including Intel and Seagate, for critical knowledge transfer activities.  
  • Tyndall achieved significant industrial impact through the deployment of platform technologies such as integrated magnetics, as demonstrated through the awarding of a joint patent with Apple Inc.
  • SMEs accounted for 49% of all industry programmes during the year, and indigenous SMEs now account for one-third of all industry researchers-in-residence at Tyndall. 
  • The launch of high-potential spin-out Varadis* 
  • Tyndall supported 143 PhD and Master’s students.
  • A new ambitious strategic plan ‘Tyndall 2025’ was developed, with the objective of doubling the size of the institute double in size to become a significant player on the international research stage and secure a global leadership position for Ireland in deep-tech research.

Commenting on the Annual Report and the H2020 funding, Minister Harris said, “Horizon 2020 is a highly competitive programme with excellence at its core, and achieving the milestone of 100 funded projects by Tyndall to date demonstrates the high calibre and quality of Irish research.

“This success cements Tyndall as one of Europe’s leading institutes in the area of ‘deep-tech’, the use of advanced technology that will have a profound effect on the lives of citizens, as well as industry through robotics, engineering, smart industry and medical devices. 

“Industry-academia collaboration is the driver for the successful translation of research from the laboratory into innovative new products and services in the marketplace, ultimately leading to the creation and retention of high-quality sustainable jobs.

 “The ground-breaking work delivered by the Institute will transform our high-tech economy and secure Ireland’s future as a worldwide technology leader, whilst supporting key Irish technology companies and SMEs.”

CEO of Tyndall National Institute, Prof. William Scanlon, said “2019 was another phenomenally successful year for the Institute, building on our position as a leading centre of scale in translational research while continuing to further the development of deep-tech innovation in Ireland.  

Our success rate in securing H2020 funding is over three times the European average, and 2019 brought in over €10m alone.  Tyndall is also the main Irish beneficiary in EU ICT funding as well as the principal contributor to UCC’s position in the top five ICT-funded universities Europe-wide.” 

Tyndall is behind some of Ireland’s most advanced research, particularly in electronics and photonics – the science of light generation and manipulation.

Prof. Scanlon, added “For our research to be relevant we need to actively transfer it to industry.  We support businesses through access to the very best research talent, and we help to promote and commercialise research.   In 2019, we continued to strengthen critical knowledge transfer activities with partners across the globe, including Intel and Seagate.  

 “Our Tyndall 2025 goal is to be the international research partner of choice and to build on Tyndall’s 40 years of research excellence and industrial impact and to significantly scale to address societal challenges through deep-tech innovation.

Under the H2020 programme, Tyndall has driven forward the research and development of key enabling technologies across micro- and nano-electronics and photonics, advanced materials and nanotechnologies, life-sciences, and artificial intelligence. These translate into smart products and digital solutions for the manufacturing industry, medical technologies, agricultural processes, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability.  

 Dr. Giorgios Fagas, Head of EU Programmes at Tyndall, said, “The Irish economy has ultimately been the major beneficiary of these funds. Over €51m of this has gone to our Irish partners, including 23 SMEs and 15 multi-nationals. Over 100 high value jobs have been created through these Horizon 2020 projects in Ireland. ”  

The full Annual Report is available for download on https://www.tyndall.ie/contentFiles/documents/Tyndall Annual Report 2019.pdf

Editors Notes:

About Tyndall National Institute

A research flagship of University College Cork, Tyndall is a leading European research centre in integrated ICT (Information and Communications Technology) materials, devices and systems. Tyndall is Ireland’s largest Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) specialising in both electronics and photonics. Tyndall works with industry and academia to transform research into products in its core market areas of electronics, communications, energy, health, agri-tech and the environment. With a network of over 200 industry partners and customers worldwide, they are focused on delivering human and economic impact from excellence in research. Tyndall is home to a research community of 600 people of 52 nationalities.

 About Horizon 2020

Horizon H2020 is the EU funding programme for research and innovation, distributing its €80bn budget over seven years. Running since 2014, the programme is scheduled to end this year. To date, Ireland has won over €1bn in H2020 funding. €56.1M of this has been won by Tyndall National Institute. 

 About Varadis Spin Out

Varadis, although only formed in 2019, is already on a path to early customer acquisition and scale. The company, led by CEO Brad Wrigley, and supported by Tyndall’s radiation sensors (RADFETs) research team, was launched with the aim of maximising the impact of the Institute’s radiation technology research.  The new spin-out is riding the wave of investment in private and public space exploration markets. In other global markets for radiation measurement devices, RADFETs can measure the amount of radiation that a tumour has absorbed in radiotherapy sessions, as well as having important applications in industrial power, disaster recovery, worker safety and wearables. Varadis spun out with the benefit of an exclusive technology licence, access to the research talent of the RADFETs team and the advanced fabrication infrastructure at Tyndall. This ongoing access to Tyndall’s world-class infrastructure, and the future support of UCC’s Innovation and partner agencies in Enterprise Ireland and the European Space Agency, gives Varadis the ability to scale quickly and deliver high-impact return for all stakeholders.


For further information please contact:

Ursula Morrish

Marketing and Communications Manager

Tyndall National Institute 

University College Cork, Lee Maltings, Dyke Parade, Cork, Ireland. T12 R5CP

t  +353 21 234 6463

m +353 85 2372189

e  ursula.morrish@tyndall.ie

Business Groups Appeal for Withdrawal of Morrison’s Island Judicial Review

Cork’s leading representative business organisations,  Cork Chamber, Cork Business Association, Construction Industry Federation, Vintners Federation of Ireland Cork City Branch and Retail Excellence Ireland, have jointly called for the withdrawal of legal challenges to the Morrison’s Island flood defence and public realm scheme. The unprecedented collective call from organisations which represent thousands of businesses comes ahead of a High Court hearing tomorrow (Thursday, November 5th) of an application from the Save Cork City (SCC) group for a judicial review of the scheme.

Speaking on the potential for SCC to conclude their legal challenge to the Morrison’s Island flood defence and public realm scheme the leading representative organisations of the impacted business community, Cork Chamber, Cork Business Association, Construction Industry Federation, Vintners Federation of Ireland Cork City Branch and Retail Excellence Ireland say the following:

“Securing a flood defence solution is essential to the international reputation of Cork if it is to deliver as the economic and cultural hub of our region. At the riverside of Morrison’s Island, there is a comprehensive plan to turn a rundown car park into a waterfront promenade and to protect the most vulnerable part of our city core while doing so.

drawings of Morrison Island Flood Defense Scheme

Along with the significant restoration of the existing historic quay walls, the change at Morrison’s Island creates a valuable amenity space for residents and visitors alike. It transforms what has become a dilapidated section of our City into an inviting pedestrian corridor through the removal of parked cars, a new pedestrian bridge at the College of Commerce and a revamped Parnell Plaza with an attractive seating area. It is the very embodiment of a liveable city.

We ask SCC to consider whether this judicial review is proportionate to their stated goal of protecting heritage and whether it is appropriate to delay a project that has received such widespread support and approval.

Judicial review does not weigh up the benefits or otherwise of a project, a step already taken by a vote of the elected representatives of Cork City Council. Nor does it assess the planning and environmental context, a role that has already been carried out independently by An Bord Pleanála, Ireland’s unique appellate body. Right now acknowledging progress, accepting concessions and building consensus is important and we ask SCC to reconsider their actions on Morrison’s Island.

Stakeholders from all quarters have engaged at every stage of the public consultation and have influenced the project we have before us today. Two weeks ago, a day before lockdown, traders were up to their knees in water, their premises damaged without the ability to secure insurance. The city and its people deserve the protection that Morrison’s Island works will provide. The severity of this flooding and the potential for it to reoccur is something that is entirely avoidable, making the events of this October all the more frustrating.

We can’t allow flooding to be considered acceptable, and we ask SCC to consider the reality of what their ongoing judicial review means for people running businesses in the area and for developers and investors looking to focus their activity in Cork. The collateral damage of flooding is not just to properties, it is to people and their ability to earn a living.”


Find the Plan here https://www.corkcity.ie/en/media-folder/environment/mi-s177ae-planning-application_issue-1.pdf

Find all documentation here https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/services/environment/flood-management/morrisons-island-public-realm-and-flood-defence-project.html