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Electricity Grid

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 23 June 2021

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Questions (63)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

63. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent of electricity grid expansion in the past decade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33950/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The electricity grid has undergone significant change over the past decade and the next decade will see further development as we reinforce Ireland’s position as a world leader by integrating at least 70% renewable electricity, principally wind and solar generated electricity, onto the power system by 2030. EirGrid, the electricity grid operator, has over the last decade overseen significant investment in the power system in the order of €1.7 billion to achieve our energy targets up to 2020. The last decade has also seen the connection of over 2.8GW of renewable generation across 92 windfarm developments and an increased level of interconnection with the energisation of the 500MW East-West Interconnector to Wales. In addition, EirGrid has added over 800km of new circuits by working with communities, connecting to 34 new substation locations as well as additional improvements and upgrades to existing circuits and substations to maintain security of supply.

The next 10 years will see a need for developing approximately 12GW of renewable power by harnessing the power of offshore wind and a range of new and existing technologies. EirGrid anticipates that the development of the grid will require levels of investment of circa €2 billion over the next decade and see the completion of further electricity interconnection to France.

Accordingly, EirGrid recently concluded a public consultation, 'Shaping our Electricity Future', which considers how we can best meet our 70% renewables target by 2030. The grid of tomorrow will need to become stronger and more flexible and this consultation will inform how EirGrid can best deliver these investments to see Ireland achieve the Climate Action Plan targets in electricity in a balanced way and support our transition to a net zero carbon economy by 2050.

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