All Island electricity industry commits to decarbonised 2050

The Electricity Association of Ireland (EAI) has today launched its 2019 - 21 Corporate Strategy, which sets the direction of the Association towards its vision of a ‘decarbonised future powered by electricity’.

The strategy highlights one of the Association’s key objectives of a 90% reduction in emissions from energy use in the economy by 2050, which it says can be achieved through removing barriers to electrification and ‘visualising 2050’ for electricity customers.

The Strategy is centred around four strategic goals:

  1. A cost-effective transition to a decarbonised electricity sector by 2050
  2. Electrification of the heating and transport sector
  3. Efficient and competitive electricity and gas markets that support customer preference and sustainable investment in the sector
  4. Appropriate regulatory governance and effective accountability structures are in place

EAI CEO Dara Lynott said: “We believe that a decarbonised electricity system will decarbonise society and move transport and heating away from fossil fuels. Our Members are fully committed to leading this vital journey of transition and working with others to accelerate the rate of decarbonisation and electrification.

“To make this transition to a decarbonised future we will need an efficient and competitive energy market that supports sustainable investment in our sector. This investment will drive Ireland’s competitiveness and ability to deliver choice and value for customers. However, there is a need for increased urgency to deliver on Ireland’s ambitions and fulfil our commitments to the Paris agreement.

"A lack of progress to date will result in the need to adopt more robust, costly and higher risk measures in the future and therefore the Government must increase the scope, intensity and urgency of the measures proposed in heating and transport to ensure a reduction of at least 80% in CO2 emissions (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050."

Referencing the level of change already underway within the electricity sector, Dara added: “The new Integrated Single Energy Market (ISEM) and the National Smart Meter Programme (NSMP) in the Republic of Ireland will facilitate greater engagement by our customers than ever before, both in how they consume electricity and the services that will derive from it.”

The launch, which took place in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin, saw almost 30 representatives of the All Island electricity industry and key stakeholders gather to hear first-hand the key elements of the strategy and gain a preview of the Association’s new branding. The new branding will be phased in through late December and into early 2019.