ESB has announced intentions to expand its renewable generation portfolio from almost 1GW to 5GW.
By 2030, the Irish firm wants to cut the carbon intensity of its power output by two-thirds.
ESB Networks and NIE Networks are already working with Eirgrid and SONI, as well as all renewable developers, to double the amount of renewable energy connected to the electricity transmission and distribution networks.
They want to increase from 6.2GW presently to more than 15GW by 2030, as both Ireland and Northern Ireland aspire to generate 80 percent of their electricity from renewables.
The ESB’s plan is part of a larger effort to attain net-zero energy by 2040 and to build the infrastructure and services that will allow customers to accomplish the same.
According to the strategy, ESB will continue to invest in electrical resilience, which it characterises as a critical and difficult component in the transition.
It will also continue to fund system services, which will be required to assist system operators in dealing with large amounts of renewable energy.
ESB went on to say that finding a mechanism to store clean power when there is an excess so that it can be used when the wind isn’t blowing is a critical aspect of getting to net zero.
The company stated that it is committed to playing a key role in making this a reality, both through batteries and other short-term storage options, as well as clean energy storage technologies such as hydrogen in the long run.
Paddy Hayes, ESB’s chief executive, said: “At ESB, we are driven to make a difference and will focus our efforts on the areas where we can make the biggest impact – creating and connecting sustainable, reliable, affordable electricity – and supporting the customers and communities we serve to achieve net zero.
“By setting a clear, timebound ambition to achieve net zero by 2040, along with a Science Based Target for 2030, we are determined to play our part in taking urgent action to combat climate change, delivering a brighter future.”
Eamon Ryan, Environment Minister, added “The window of time to stabilise our climate is closing.
“Here in Ireland we recently passed the Climate Act, placing us on the journey to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“I welcome the ambition and urgency shown by ESB in its Net Zero 2040 strategy launched today that sets a clear direction and exercises leadership in tackling climate change.
“Building on a proud history, the ESB strategy recognises the role of resilient electricity generation and networks infrastructure in providing secure, clean and affordable electricity.
“I welcome in particular the multi-billion investment to repurpose our electricity system to power 1.3m EVs and 600,000 heat pumps with low-carbon energy by 2030, placing the citizen centre of this transformation.”