ESB and IIEA gather international experts to set out a vision for Ireland’s low carbon future

ESB report identifies heat pumps and electric vehicles as key drivers in Ireland’s low carbon transition

23 November 2017

Note: Photos  from this event are being issued by Fennell Photography - sales@fennell-photography.ie

International and Irish energy experts are today exploring how Ireland can reduce its carbon emissions over the next decade, at a landmark Take Charge conference hosted by ESB and IIEA.

ESB set out its vision for a low carbon future at the conference which also explored different technology options and approaches for achieving lower emissions in Ireland across electricity, transport and heat.

A new report, Ireland’s Low Carbon Future - Dimensions of a Solution, identifies heat pumps and electric vehicles as delivering the most immediate and long-term solution to Ireland’s carbon challenge. Unveiled today by ESB, the report is now available for download on www.esb.ie.

The conference, co-hosted by the Institute of International and European Affairs, is hearing from leading energy experts including Michael Liebreich, Founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Sara Bell, Founder and CEO of Tempus Energy, and Patty Durand, President and CEO of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.

Speaking at the conference, which is taking place in the historic Round Room in Dublin’s Mansion House, Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, said: “Ireland has committed to reducing its Greenhouse Gas Emission by at least 80 per cent by 2050. Our current emissions arise from how we heat our homes and businesses, how we transport ourselves and our goods around the country and how we generate our electricity.  This a significant challenge and will require profound change in all these sectors. Our Take Charge conference, in conjunction with the IIEA, explores how new technologies can empower active, connected customers to be central to this transition.

“The future, as set out in our report Ireland’s Low Carbon Future - Dimensions of a Solution, will include a decarbonised electricity system providing the energy for the heat and transport sectors which will enable very different customer engagement through new technologies. Doing this successfully will address up to 60 per cent of Ireland’s total emissions providing a brighter future for the communities and people we serve. ESB intends to lead that transition.”

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Denis Naughten TD, who delivered a keynote address at the conference commented: “Today’s conference aims to place the customer at the heart of Ireland’s low carbon energy future. The contributions by a range of thought leaders from Ireland, Europe and the United States have provided valuable insights into the role that peoples’ behaviour will play in achieving these ambitious targets. I look forward to studying the detail of Ireland’s Low Carbon Future - Dimensions of a Solution report published by ESB today. I welcome the fact that it states an uptake in existing technologies such as heat pumps and electric vehicles will make significant inroads in this transition.”

IIEA Director General, Barry Andrews, said: “The IIEA is delighted to host this important conference with ESB. At a time of unprecedented change in the global energy sector, it is critical that we bring together experts and policymakers to debate and reflect on the role we all have to play on the path towards a low carbon future.

“Energy consumers, as well as governments and energy providers, all have a stake in this transition towards a low carbon future, and by bringing them together we hope to shape the conversation leading to effective policy solutions.”

Key findings of Ireland’s Low Carbon Future -Dimensions of a Solution report:
• Ireland has committed to reducing by at least 80 per cent its Greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector by 2050. This means a reduction from 38Mt of greenhouse gases in 2016 to less than 6Mt in 2050.
• This will require profound change in the electricity, heat and transport sectors and cannot be achieved by ‘perfecting’ the current high carbon system.
• The fundamental premise to the report is that a decarbonised electricity system powering the heat and transport sectors will address the majority of Ireland’s energy emissions and enable Ireland to reduce by around 60 per cent its total emissions.
• The electricity sector has halved the content of carbon in each unit of electricity since 1990 and is on target to have 40 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2020, creating the platform for further renewable penetration over the course of the following decade.
• Heat pumps and electric vehicles will deliver immediate and longer-term solutions to Ireland’s carbon reduction challenge.
• By 2050, it is envisaged that that 60 per cent of households will have a heat pump and that Electric Vehicles will account for 60 per cent of new car sales by 2030.
• Intelligent energy use through battery storage, demand side response in addition to embedded generation and district heating can all contribute to a more stable, efficient and sustainable energy system.  
• It is anticipated that a combination of wind, solar, biomass and carbon capture and storage will be required for Ireland’s future electricity demands.

ENDS/

Note: Photos are being issued by Fennell Photography - sales@fennell-photography.ie and are available for download on the ESB Flickr Photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/esb_group

About the report:
Ireland’s Low Carbon Future - Dimensions of a Solution report, a joint study by ESB and Pöyry Management Consulting, can be accessed in full on www.esb.ie.

About ESB:
ESB operates right across the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers. ESB is the owner of the distribution and transmission networks in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

ESB contributes over €2 billion annually to the Irish economy through dividends, investments, taxes and jobs. ESB provides significant employment both directly, with 7,600 employees, and indirectly through contractors and service providers.

About IIEA:
The IIEA is Ireland’s leading independent think tank and policy research institute. It acts as a forum, bringing together stakeholders to discuss issues of national, European and international significance.
For details of all upcoming IIEA events, please visit www.iiea.com. To subscribe to the IIEA’s bulletin of upcoming events contact reception@iiea.com