EirGrid Opens Consultation on Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios 2019

28June 2019

EirGrid has opened its consultation on Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios 2019, a wide-ranging analysis of Ireland’s electricity future over the next 20 years.

The scenarios outline a range of pathways for Ireland’s energy transition, with specific focus on the electricity system.

EirGrid’s research team has identified three possible scenarios: A plan-led world in which Ireland achieves a low carbon future; a world in which the pace of change is not sufficient to meet climate objectives; and one where citizens recognise climate change as a risk and take appropriate action.

The report forecasts a significant increase in demand for electricity and in weather-dependent renewable energy sources across all three scenarios.

Mark Foley, chief executive of EirGrid, said: “One of our roles is to plan the development of the electricity transmission grid to meet the future needs of society. Key to this is considering a range of possible ways that electricity supply and consumption may change in the future.”

The publication of Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios 2019 follows last week’s launch of the Government’s Climate Action Plan that sets a target of 70% of electricity consumption to come from renewable sources by 2030. Renewable energy accounted for 32% of electricity consumption in 2018.

Mr Foley added: “More than doubling the amount of renewable energy on the power system represents a significant challenge that will require investments in the electricity transmission grid and meaningful engagement with communities throughout Ireland.

“We will use our scenarios throughout our grid development process, ensuring that needs remain valid as the electricity transmission grid changes over time and more information becomes available. ”

EirGrid is asking the energy industry, members of the public and interested groups to provide feedback on the scenarios. The consultation period runs from June 28th to August 9th.

You can submit feedback via our survey form here.

For more information see our energy future webpage.

More information on TES 2019 scenarios:

Centralised Energy

Centralised Energy is a plan-led world in which Ireland achieves a low carbon future. There is a step change in the uptake of electrified transport and heating.

Electrification of the existing housing stock occurs in tandem with improved thermally efficiency due to deep retrofitting. Although uptake is significant, there is only a modest level of grid flexibility offered from consumer technologies.

Renewable electricity is mainly generated by large scale sources. The diversity of the renewables mix increases due to reducing technology costs and auction designs.

Carbon capture and storage is developed to decarbonise fossil fuel generation.

Delayed Transition

Delayed Transition is a world in which decarbonisation progress is made, but the pace is not sufficient to meet climate objectives.

Policy measures fail to break down barriers to a systematic clean energy transition.

Consumer behavioural change is modest, with a gap remaining between climate change awareness and action. This means that the shift to electrified transport, and, in particular, heating occurs later.

Deployment rates of renewable and low-carbon technologies are slower than required. This diminishes the benefits of sector coupling. Data centre growth, albeit sizeable, is lower than the median forecast.

Community Action

Community Action is a world where sustainability and economic circularity are core to future decisions. Citizens recognise climate change as a risk and take appropriate action.

Policy measures are targeted at and embraced by energy consumers and communities, leading to a more decentralised electricity system. Centralised decarbonisation solutions still play an important role in moving toward energy and climate targets.

Consumer adoption, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence help realise a change in current consumption patterns and help manage the daily peak in electricity demand.

There is significant growth in generation connected to the low voltage electricity network. This micro generation is accompanied by battery storage, yielding high levels of self-consumption.