Smart grid roadmap for Ireland launched


Professor J. Owen
Lewis, CE, SEAI
Dublin, Ireland — (METERING.COM) — January 4, 2012 – A smart grid in Ireland could see an accumulated reduction in energy related CO2 emissions of 250 million tonnes by 2050, with 8 million tonnes per annum derived directly from the implementation of smart grid and the balance from the displacement of fossil fuels due to the electrification of transport and thermal loads facilitated by the smart grid, according to a new smart grid roadmap from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

Further, the greater integration of indigenous renewable energy sources could see a net reduction in energy imports in excess of 4.3Mtoe, equating to savings of €3.8-7.5 billion in direct fuel offset by 2050.

The Smart Grid Roadmap is aimed to explore how a smart grid can be operational in Ireland by 2050 and examine the contribution this would make to the decarbonization of the electricity supply.

It identifies six key steps to achieve a smart grid scenario resulting in 13.4 million tonnes of CO2 emission reduction by 2050, along with the policy framework, infrastructure, technology and research and customer engagement requirements. These steps are:

  • Peak and load shifting and demand side management
  • Reduced line losses, infrastructure improvements, and volt/var management
  • Integration of renewables
  • Electrification of transport
  • Electrification of heating, cooling, and hot water
  • Electrification of industrial heating/cooling loads.

Other findings are that Ireland’s overall annual electrical final energy demand would be in excess of 48,000 GWh by 2050, with onshore wind generation able to supply up to 33,000 GWh of this, and that the implementation of smart grid infrastructure and its associated technologies could create more than 10,000 Irish jobs.

The Smart Grid Roadmap was developed in conjunction with roadmaps for wind energy and electric vehicles. Key findings from these are that by 2050, Irish wind energy could contribute 2.5 percent to EU electricity demand and offset up to €10 billion of fossil fuel requirement, and that there could be 1.8 million electric vehicles on Irish roads reducing transport fossil fuel imports by 50 percent.

“The Roadmaps show a great many benefits, including reduced energy imports leading to increased security of supply, increased use of renewables leading to lower CO2 emissions and significant employment and economic opportunities,” said Professor J. Owen Lewis, chief executive of SEAI. “Importantly, the Roadmaps assist in informing the necessary decisions and actions about our long term ambition for sustainable energy in Ireland.”

The SEAI is Ireland’s national energy authority.