EirGrid has won a prestigious award for its work on the “Shaping Our Electricity Future” roadmap at the Third PCI Energy Days conference taking place in Brussels today.
Mark Foley, chief executive of EirGrid, accepted the “Good Practice of the Year” award from the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI), a pan-European consortium of NGOs and electricity transmission system operators.
A jury of experts selected EirGrid for the “Communication & Engagement” prize, one of three award categories.
The award recognises practices that enable grid developers and stakeholders to work closer together for mutual benefit.
RGI said it selected “Shaping Our Electricity Future” because “it is this type of strategic outreach that can help bring citizens on board for a wider energy conversation and reach the underlying objective of fighting climate change.”
The “Shaping Our Electricity Future” roadmap is the result of a comprehensive 14-week consultation across all sectors of society. This comprised a series of workshops, meetings and forums across the country to inform people and gather feedback that directly influenced the final roadmap.
The consultation was supported by a range of traditional and innovative engagement and participation activities. These included a Deliberative Dialogue (modelled on Ireland’s Citizens Assembly), complemented by national forums involving industry, civil society and youth.
In addition to this, EirGrid engaged at grassroots level with rural communities, local businesses and young people. In response, there were 492 submissions from members of the general public and 80 industry submissions.
Mark Foley commented: “The collaborative consultation process undertaken to support “Shaping Our Electricity Future” is the most extensive we have ever used in Ireland.
“The centrepiece of the consultation was the use of a citizen’s assembly, to get the true and honest voice of Irish citizens on electricity grid options open to us as the transmission system operator. Those citizens, and the many organisations we partnered with, have helped us to bring forward a realistic – and realisable – grid development strategy that will enable Ireland to decarbonise while securing our electricity supply.”
EirGrid has twice previously won the RGI Communication & Engagement Award, most recently in 2020 for its engagement on the Celtic Interconnector project.