Transforming Future Energy

New technologies have revolutionised the energy industry. The customers of today are nothing like the customers of a few years ago. They need greener solutions, faster connections and more flexibility.

Our networks are becoming smarter, allowing customers to take control of their energy in a way that was never possible before, increasing efficiency and enabling them to turn from user to producer.

At the core of all these technologies is the environment around us. The power we generate is greener than ever. We are investing in exciting solutions that harness the power of solar, wind, wave and storage to provide a cleaner future.

Ireland's
Future Energy

This map shows Ireland's low carbon electricity system in 2030, when our homes and businesses will be part of the Smart Network.

Click a dot to learn more.
Smart Network Element Smart Network Interconnectors
European SuperGrid
Smart Network Smart Home Smart Business Onshore Wind Energy Offshore Wind Energy Battery Storage Tidal Energy Interconnector Wave Energy Pumped Storage Hydro Power Thermal Power Station Solar Energy

European
Super Grid

The European Supergrid is a concept to increase interconnection in Europe in order to lower the cost of our energy by allowing the entire region to share the most effecient power plants, allow for wider user of renewable energy, and increase renewable electricity storage.
Smart Network Interconnectors
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Smart Network

Ireland's renewable electricity by 2030
The smart grid will allow for the integration of a very high proportion of renewable electricity by 2030 in Ireland. It will also allow individual customers to sell their self-generated electricity back to the grid as well as allow them to benefit from cheaper electricity when using renewable power during off-peak periods.
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ESB Networks are testing self-healing network as part of their rollout of the smart grid. This self-healing network uses intelligent switches which can detect faults in the grid and automatically isolate the fault and redirect power around the fault to minimise the number of homes or businesses that will lose power.
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Smart Home

Generating renewable electicity
In the future our homes will be a key part of the electricity system. Our hot water and home heating will be provided by renewable electricity. Homeowners will generate their own renewable electricity and sell excess power back to the grid. Smart home devices will automatically use power when it is cheapest from the grid and help balance the grid as a result.
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ESB and Vodafone have joined forces as SIRO to provide fibre to the home which will enable all Irish homes to become smart homes with smart appliances connected to the internet.
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Smart Business

Businesses of the future
Businesses of the future will be housed in energy efficient buildings and will generate a proportion of their own electricity demand on site. Through their connection with the smart grid, businesses will be compensated to allow large electrical loads to be controlled remotely and switched off if necessary during peak periods.
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Kingspan and ESB have announced a Funded Solar Energy joint venture where they will design, install and maintain a solar PV system on a business premises roof for a 25 year period, selling the electricity generated at a discounted rate. This venture is the start of the large scale rollout of Solar PV technology in Ireland.
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Onshore
wind energy

Onshore wind farms
In the future onshore wind farms will continue to provide the majority of our renewable electricity supply. Capacity may be as high as 7.5 GW, or three times the current capacity, as new farms are built and older turbines are replaced with more efficient modern turbines.
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Wind Energy now supplies over 20% of Ireland’s total annual electricity demand and at any one time over 50% of electricity comes from wind.
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Offshore
wind energy

Offshore wind farms
The Vestas V164 is an 8 MW turbine that has a tip height of 187 m, over three times higher than Liberty Hall in Dublin.
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ESB Networks is a concept to increase interconnection in Europe in order to lower the cost of our energy by allowing the entire region to share the most effecient power plants, allow for wider user of renewable energy, and increase renewable electricity storage.
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Battery storage

Small and large scale battery storage
Wall mounted battery packs in our homes and large grid scale battery storage projects will be common by 2030. These batteries can be slow acting, to store intermittent renewable electricity or fast acting to help balance the frequency of the grid. Your own electric car battery will also be used to store excess renewable electricity for zero carbon commuting.
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The biggest Lithium Ion Battery in the world is planned near Los Angeles city and will have a capacity of 400 MWh when fully charged. That’s enough electricity in a single charge to power 200,000 IPhones for a year.
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Tidal Energy

Tidal flow turbines
The flow of the tides is entirely predictable and can be captured by tidal flow turbines which will provide a significant and reliable source of renewable electricity in our future energy system. These turbines will be located mainly in the narrow straight between Ireland and Scotland where the flow is fastest.
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ESB International invested in the world's first commercial-scale and grid-connected tidal stream generator, the 1.2 MW SeaGen, in Strangford Lough. This device is still operating and the first tidal energy farms using this technology are due to be operational before 2020.
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Interconnector

Export/import renewable energy
Ireland currently has 3 interconnectors however in the future many more will be built. This will allow us to export and sell electricity when we have excess and to import renewable energy from other European countries if our own renewables generation is temporarily low.
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At 260km in length the East West Interconnector would stretch from Dublin to Cork. The cable can carry 500 megawatts or enough energy to power 300,000 homes.
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Wave energy

Wave energy farms
By 2030 Wave Energy Converters will be converting the power of ocean waves to electricity, in Wave Energy Farms located along Ireland’s west coast. The accessible wave energy resource off our coast is estimated to be 21 TWh which would be sufficient to supply 75% of the Republic of Ireland’s annual power demand.
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The ESB Westwave project is an exciting 5 MW wave energy project currently being developed near Doonbeg in Co. Clare. This will be the first wave farm in Ireland.
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Pumped storage

Pumped storage plants
Pumped storage will be a vital part of the future energy system as it is the electricity storage system with the greatest capacity and the stored energy can be released very quickly when needed.
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The largest pumped storage plant in the world is in Bath County Virginia. The plant is rated at 3,003 MW or ten times the capacity of our own Turlough Hill. It can provide this power for 8 hours to give 24,000 MWh of energy. Its lower reservoir covers an area of 555 acres.
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Hydro power

Ardnacrusha hydro station
Our first source of renewable electricity in Ireland was provided by ESB’s first power station, Ardnacrusha, and even in 2030 hydroelectricity will still be an important base load for the Irish electricity system due to its proven reliability.
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Although wind and solar PV are catching up fast, hydroelectricity still provides the highest percentage of global renewable electricity production and will remain a major source of energy in the future.
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Thermal
power station

Thermal power station (biomass/gas)
In the future, fast acting, highly efficient, natural gas power stations could provide renewable energy through the use of Biogas. Biogas is created by using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then combined with carbon dioxide from the air to produce natural gas.
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Denmark plans to increase its production of renewable Biogas more than five times over current levels by 2016 to 179 million cubic metres a year. This is enough energy to heat 100,000 homes for a year.
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Solar energy

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels
By 2030 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels will be a common sight on Irish rooftops, providing clean renewable energy from the sun. In our homes these solar PV panels may be connected to a home battery pack, to store this electricity for use at night.
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If we could capture all of the solar energy that reaches the earth every single hour, we could provide all of the world’s energy needs for a year.
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