Sustainability in ESB

ESB’s Brighter Future Strategy puts sustainability at the heart of our strategic objectives and our purpose as an organisation. Our ambition is to create a Brighter Future for the customers and communities we serve, by leading the transition to reliable, affordable, low-carbon energy.

Aligning our activities and progress to the broader global efforts to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) allows ESB to demonstrate its contribution to the global purpose and climate action focus that underpins the SDGs.

To deliver this clean, energy future, ESB is;

  • Reducing carbon intensity by 50% by 2030
  • Increase renewables to 50% of generation capacity (generating 40% electricity) by 2030
  • Meet customers’ energy needs through diverse businesses across the energy value chainESB Sustainability Timeline

Examples of how ESB is leading the transition to a low-carbon future

Offshore Wind

ESB is collaborating with internationally respected developers such as Parkwind and Equinor to develop large scale projects in Ireland and the UK. To date, ESB has acquired a shareholding in the 353MW Galloper Wind Farm in Suffolk, partnered with Parkwind to develop the Oriel and Clogherhead projects off the Irish coast and invested in the Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland with EDF Renewables. 

Onshore Wind

ESB has an onshore wind asset portfolio which has the capacity to supply nearly 720MW of green energy to the homes, farms, hospitals, schools, and businesses throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom. This year, an additional 62MW will be added as Grousemount Wind Farm comes into full commission.

Strategic partnerships to deliver renewable projects

We have formally reached an agreement with Coillte on a renewable energy joint venture. Pending approvals, this joint venture aims to deliver 1,000 MW of renewable energy by 2030.

We also have a co-development agreement with Bord na Mona to develop solar power in four locations in Roscommon, Offaly and Kildare, which will provide renewable energy to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes.

Transitioning our generation portfolio to low-carbon

As part of our commitment to transitioning our generation portfolio to renewables, we are closing our two peat stations at Lough Ree and West Offaly Power in December 2020 and will not burn coal after 2025 at our Moneypoint Power Station. 

Developing Ireland's EV charging infrastructure

From 2010, ESB has developed a comprehensive EV public charging infrastructure across the island of Ireland with 1,100 charge points now in place. Following a €20m investment in 2019, ESB is currently upgrading the AC network with plans to roll out super-hubs to facilitate the increasing uptake of EVs. 

Developing Smart Products and Solutions

Through our retail brand, Electric Ireland, we offer a host of products that can help home and business owners lower their energy usage including 100% Green Electricity Price Plans, installation of EV chargers for electric vehicles, smart heating control systems, solar PV panels and battery storage solutions. Electric Ireland also rewards customers with special price plans for those with electric heat pumps.

ESB's Smart Energy Services

ESB's Smart Energy Services collaborate with large energy users to deliver industry-specific energy insights while recommending and offering innovative, energy saving solutions to reduce costs and carbon emissions. As well as working with key market players such as Tesco and IBM, this business unit helped deliver a world-first £120m greenhouse project (largest installed capacity of heat pumps in UK) and the charging infrastructure for Ireland's first electric bus operating at Dublin Airport and Crowne Plaza hotel.

Smart Metering Programme

The CRU has tasked ESB Networks with the roll-out of the National Smart Metering Programme (NSMP), which involves replacing all existing electricity meters with Smart Enabled Meters. Smart metering will enable the development of the smart grid and facilitate more flexible, reliable and better network planning. 

Connecting renewables to the grid

ESB Networks are committed to playing a leading role in enabling Ireland’s transition to a low carbon energy future, powered by clean electricity. By 2030, it is forecast that ESB Networks will have connected over 8GW of renewable generation.

Innovation Projects

ESB Networks are currently investing in projects and trials with the ambition to deliver new and improved services. One such development is the Dingle Project where the company is deploying a range of technologies which will future proof the electricity network for the benefit of homes, farms and businesses on the Dingle Peninsula. The findings from the project will in turn help ESB Networks deliver an electricity network to facilitate Ireland’s transition to a low carbon future.

Environment and Sustainability Reporting

At ESB, we strive to be as transparent and open in our sustainability and environment reporting. 

CDP – Carbon Disclosure Project Rating

ESB achieve A list for Climate Change 2020

ESB has been recognised for leadership in corporate sustainability by global environmental non-profit CDP, securing a place on its prestigious ‘A List’ for tackling climate change. This makes ESB one of only four companies in Ireland  and one of just 270 globally that achieved the A score for climate change disclosure in 2020.

The Carbon Disclosure Project – CDP, is the world's leading disclosure system for environmental data. It enables companies, cities and organisations to voluntarily disclose their climate-related strategies, performance and risks and opportunities. Investors and customers commonly use the information reported to the CDP as a basis for decision-making.

Based on companies' performance and disclosure CDP provides a score ranging from A to F, based on set criteria

Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, said on the achievement: “Our inclusion on the CPD A List is a huge endorsement of ESB’s Brighter Future Strategy, which is anchored in our ambition to lead the transition to a low carbon energy future powered by clean electricity. This A grading acknowledges the collective efforts of everyone in ESB to track and report on our environmental progress, and to innovate and implement new low carbon solutions. In doing so, we are not only reducing our own carbon footprint, but also enabling our customers to take this journey with us.”

December 2020