By Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU

EirGrid has unveiled on July 27 “Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios 2017 – Planning our Energy Future”. This is a series of scenarios helping EirGrid to efficiently develop the electricity grid while taking into account uncertainties regarding future demand for, and technology used to generate electricity.

In February of this year EirGrid published draft scenarios and over the course of nine weeks gathered input from government departments and agencies, energy research groups and representative groups, stakeholders, and the public.

“At EirGrid, one of our roles is to make sure that the electricity transmission grid is ready for the future. We have worked with a number of stakeholders across the industry in developing Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios and their input has been vital in helping us to identify Ireland’s future energy needs” said Fintan Slye, EirGrid chief executive.

Each scenario examines a different potential energy future. The ‘Steady Evolution’ scenario envisages a steady pace of growth in the generation of renewable electricity. ‘Low Carbon Living’ outlines the potential impact of high economic growth on the energy environment. In contrast, the ‘Slow Change’ scenario sees little change in the way electricity is generated when compared to today due to a poor economy. Finally, ‘Consumer Action’ examines Ireland’s energy future in a strong economy which leads to electricity consumers generating their own electricity and limiting their energy use.

“It is important that we look at all the factors that can influence change to help us anticipate the future in a changing energy environment. This can be challenging so it is important that we collaborate with our stakeholders and the wider energy industry. This allows us to make truly informed decisions when it comes to planning for Ireland’s future energy needs” added Finan Slye.

This represents a long-term investment for EirGrid. The company will consult on an ongoing basis as well as updating the scenarios every two years.

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