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Researcher in residence Dr Nicholas Vafeas

Dr Nicholas Vafeas spent three months as a researcher in residence with us under the SFI Public Service Fellowship Programme. During his time with us, Dr Vafeas examined the potential of geothermal energy in Ireland and the policies surrounding its development.

Dr Nicholas Vafeas alongside an image representing geothermal energy


Read Dr Vafeas's research paper published after the end of his residency. The paper examines some of the primary driving forces incentivising geothermal energy in Europe and the barriers to its development in Ireland.

Geothermal energy is a viable alternative to fossil fuel-sourced electricity and heating, with proven successes in Europe. It is a sustainable source of renewable energy that can contribute towards achieving Ireland’s binding emission targets for 2030 and 2050.

Dr Nicholas Vafeas is a researcher and Earth scientist at the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG), University College Dublin, where he specialises in base metal deposits and sustainable resources.

Geothermal energy is a clean, sustainable source of renewable heat and electricity that is used throughout Europe but is potentially underutilised in Ireland. Dr Vafeas’s research paper examines the advantages to geothermal energy adoption and highlights the possible legislative barriers to its development in Ireland.