Empowering ideas - Michael Flynn
The need for renewable energy is increasing rapidly around the world and Ireland is no exception. As Deloitte Ireland partner Michael Flynn highlights “In fact, Ireland has the potential to be a major player in the renewable energy industry, with the west of Ireland being one of the strongest wind zones in Europe. The Irish Government plans to have 40% renewable electricity consumption by 2020 in order to reduce our CO2 emissions, and infrastructure plays a key role in reaching this target”.
A recent report conducted by Deloitte on behalf of the Irish Wind Energy Association identifies that to capitalise on this potential fully, the construction and development of wind energy projects across Ireland, north and south, will involve an investment of approximately €14.75 billion, of which €5.1 billion could be retained in the Irish economy.
Through her experience on infrastructure within the energy industry Deloitte Director, Ferga Kane also highlights that “inroads are being made in this area here in Ireland. For example, EirGrid, in conjunction with their Grid Development Strategy (GDS), Grid25, has commenced development of a high voltage transmission grid to meet the country’s demand for more economical, reliable, and environmentally friendly electric power. The GDS is a proactive approach to meet the country’s anticipated needs up to 2025, by which time it will carry 60% more power to towns and cities around Ireland.”
The strategy will involve an overall investment of approximately €4 billion and will provide a strong platform for economic growth. Furthermore, the east-west interconnector that EirGrid is currently developing between Dublin and North Wales will provide greater access to the grid for renewable energy and allow Irish companies to export any excess energy to the British market. Deloitte has been the lead advisor to EirGrid on the fundraising for the €600m interconnector project. It is hoped that by 2025 Eirgrid will have developed another interconnector, with either Britain or France.
The implementation of Grid25 is essential if Ireland is going to meet its targets for generating electricity from renewable sources - and the potential is there to do more.
In our global report ‘Empowering ideas’ we look at ten of the top emerging issues in the global energy sector. It is interesting to see what issues will be of high priority, not only for us in Ireland, but for energy organisations around the globe. As demand for electricity increases and our need for lower carbon emissions also rises, Irish energy organisations need to focus on innovative ways to meet this demand”.
For related reading see our Energy Predictions 2010.