Shaping Our Electricity Future

At EirGrid, we are making the grid ready to carry 70% of Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, as set out in the Government's Climate Action Plan (2019).

In order to achieve at least 70% clean electricity by 2030, EirGrid needs to add more energy from renewable sources, such as wind and sun, to the power system. This means that the electricity grid will need to carry more power from energy sources that vary depending on the weather. This power will also need to be carried over longer distances.

As a result, we need to make the grid stronger and more flexible. To help decide how best to do this, EirGrid has created four draft approaches to developing Ireland's grid in order to reach the 2030 clean electricity target.

On Monday 8 March 2021, EirGrid and the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD launched a nationwide consultation on these four approaches. The consultation is called Shaping Our Electricity Future.

 

Consultation

The four approaches in Shaping Our Electricity Future comprised the following:

  1. Generation-Led: Government policy would influence where renewable energy is generated – favouring locations where the grid is already strong
  2. Developer-Led: In this approach, we continue to connect new sources of renewable electricity as requested in any location
  3. Technology-Led: This approach uses technical solutions to make the grid more resilient so it can better handle the variable nature of renewable energy
  4. Demand-Led: Government policy determines where large energy users locate in Ireland

Each of the four approaches requires numerous investments in network development projects throughout the country, with costs ranging from €500 million to €2 billion. There are some foundation projects that are common to all four approaches and the final plan is likely to include elements of all approaches, strongly led by one of them.

Between Monday 8 March and Monday 14 June, EirGrid held a series of online workshops, meetings and fora across the country to inform people and gather feedback that will directly influence the final roadmap. The consultation material was prepared with the support of the National Adult Literacy Agency to ensure the language is accessible to non-technical audiences.

In addition to this, EirGrid launched a new consultation portal at consult.eirgrid.ie that hosted the consultation material and acted as an accessible platform for people to submit their views.

Next Steps

Based on feedback received by the end of the consultation, we will develop a final plan which is due for publication in Autumn 2021.