ESB plan pushes for renewables in Ireland to meet climate goals

30 Sep 2021

Image: © urbans78/

Minister Eamon Ryan said the low-carbon electricity plan will support the electrification of heat and transport.

To meet Ireland’s climate targets for 2030, State-owned energy company ESB has announced a multimillion-euro plan to change the way electricity is used and stored in the country.

The National Network, Local Connections programme will see ESB collaborate with others in the energy sector to find ways to deliver a low-carbon electricity system by the end of the decade.

Future Human

This will involve a shift of focus to renewable energy sources and new technologies. It said redesigning and optimising the electricity network would be crucial for the adoption of products such as solar panels, heat pumps, electric vehicles and smart electricity plans.

Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, TD, said the programme would be a “major transformation” of Ireland’s electricity distribution network, making a secure, low-carbon network “a reality for us all”.

“It will facilitate the use of more renewable energy and will support the increased electrification of heat and transport, along with sustainable electrification technologies for homes, farms and businesses across Ireland,” he said.

‘Significant milestone’

Part of a €4bn network investment programme until 2025, the plan aims to meet the 2030 targets set out in the Government’s Climate Action Plan, which includes binding targets on reducing carbon emissions.

ESB Networks managing director Nicholas Tarrant said it is a “significant milestone” for the energy company, with a low-carbon electricity system due to be delivered over the next decade.

Ellen Diskin, manager of the programme, added that it is intended to create new opportunities for renewable generators, households, farmers, local communities and businesses as they adopt emerging, climate-friendly tech, manage energy costs and tackle carbon footprints.

“With more renewable generation and more efficient consumption of electricity, and active participation from stakeholders and consumers, the National Network, Local Connections Programme will put in place a smart electricity system that is safe and secure, responsive to new local and regional needs, and make a positive impact in the fight against climate change.”

ESB has been putting a greater focus on renewable energy. Earlier this year, it revealed plans to turn its Moneypoint site into a green energy hub, and last month ESB and energy company DCarbonX announced plans to develop a large-scale green hydrogen storage project off the coast of Co Cork.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic