Capital investment in Ireland’s energy sector could reach €30bn in the period up to 2020. This includes investment in conventional and renewable power generation, gas and electricity distribution networks, the National Grid, interconnection to the UK, advanced metering programmes and infrastructure for electric vehicles.

These plans are based on pre-economic crisis growth projections which envisaged growth in energy demand of approximately 30% between early 2008 and 2020. Because of the economic downturn the actual growth rate could be as low 10% in this period.

Ireland’s energy prices are already among the highest in the EU with highly negative consequences for competitiveness in the critical export sector. Price moderation is now vital.

The Irish Academy of Engineering has examined the background to the above situation and produced a detailed report for consideration by policy makers.

The Report recommends:

• A major and early review of national energy policy to reflect the economic downturn.

• Deferment, or freezing, of a wide range of capital projects to ensure investment matches demand in the most economic manner.

• More rigorous techno-economic studies as the basis for all capital investments.

• That Ireland keeps abreast of all the areas of emerging technology, including nuclear energy, in a “technology neutral” manner.

• That a major step up in energy conservation and efficiency programmes take place over the next three to four years. This is viewed as the best means of stimulating job creation in the wider energy sector in an economic manner.

The full report is available for download form the Publications page on this site.

Related Documents

Review of Ireland’s Energy Policy – June 2009
Review of Ireland’s Energy Policy – June 2009
Review of Ireland’s Energy Policy – Executive Summary – June 2009
Review of Ireland’s Energy Policy – Executive Summary