Skip to Content
Back to Press Releases 30 September 2021

ESB Networks unveils transformative plan to deliver a low carbon electricity system by 2030

  • Multi-million-euro programme will see Ireland’s electricity network optimised for customer, community and renewable participation 
  • Future smart network will be a key enabler to Ireland achieving its climate change ambitions  

Thursday, 30 September 2021  

The Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD has today unveiled a major new initiative by ESB Networks. The National Network, Local Connections Programme, part of the €4bn plus network investment programme to 2025, will transform how energy on Ireland’s electricity network is managed and consumed at a local level by customers and communities across the country, and will be a key enabler to Ireland achieving its climate change ambitions.

The multi-million euro programme provides the first step to collaborating across the energy sector, to create new opportunities for customers to use and store electricity locally in a way that makes the best use of renewable energy sources.   

To redesign and optimise the electricity network for renewable, customer and community participation, ESB Networks is actively engaging with organisations across the energy sector including emerging energy companies, renewable energy generators, technology developers and manufacturers.  In tandem, it is actively consulting with communities, consumers and representative bodies that will be crucial to the adoption of evolving technologies, products and services that are coming on stream such as solar panels, heat pumps, electric vehicles and the smart electricity plans and products facilitated by the National Smart Metering Programme.   

Commenting, Minister Eamon Ryan said:  

“I’m delighted to announce this major transformation of our electricity distribution network by ESB Networks. 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. 

“The National Network, Local Connections Programme will make a secure, low-carbon network a reality for us all. It is an initiative that is to be applauded and engaged with by all in society over the coming years, as we begin to change how we manage our electricity usage. In doing so this programme will assist greatly in Ireland hitting its climate goals.”   

Nicholas Tarrant, Managing Director of ESB Networks, said: “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone for ESB Networks, where a low carbon electricity system will be delivered over the next decade. Through this Programme, ESB Networks is firmly committed to investing in and transforming the distribution system and are proud that this initiative will play a critical role in achieving the 2030 targets set out in the Government’s Climate Action Plan and our path to net zero.” 

Commenting, the Programme Manager of the National Network, Local Connections Programme, Ellen Diskin said:   

“This programme will create new opportunities for customers, from renewable generators to homes, farms, communities and businesses, as they adopt new technologies, manage their energy costs and drive down their carbon footprint.  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.” 


Media Enquiries: Grainne Burns, ESB Press Office, 087-9536640 

About ESB Networks: 

ESB Networks employs over 3,200 people, which includes specialist network technicians on the front line connecting, maintaining and repairing the electricity system for Ireland’s homes, farms and businesses to create one of the world’s most resilient energy networks.