Draft approach 4: Demand-Led

Closed8 Mar, 2021, 12:00am - 14 Jun, 2021, 11:59pm
Image of number 4


Put large electricity users close to sources of clean energy generation

The amount of electricity carried by the grid will significantly grow in the next ten years. As has always been the case, a small percentage of electricity users will use a lot of the power on the grid.

In the past, these were cement factories or metal smelting plants. Today, high-demand users are typically from the pharmaceutical, high-tech and computing sectors. In particular, we forecast that data centres will use 27% of all electricity on the grid as we near 2030.

At present, EirGrid has no say on where high-demand users locate. As a regulated utility, we are obliged to connect them to the grid wherever they choose, regardless of existing demand for power in the area.

Most existing and proposed high-demand users are choosing to locate on the east coast. This is placing pressure on the local demand for electricity, and on existing grid infrastructure in this area. In contrast, most developers of new renewable electricity want to locate in remote areas of the country, where the grid is weaker.

With this draft approach, changes to government policy would see new high-demand users locate closer to sources of clean power. To make the most of existing grid infrastructure, they would be sited near major towns and cities in the west and south of the country.

What work will be needed, and how much might it cost?

This draft approach is based on 4 GW of new inland wind farms, 2 GW of solar farms, and 2 GW of offshore wind. It is also one of the least expensive approaches. We estimate it would lead to approximately 41 projects to upgrade or add to the grid at a cost of over €0.5 billion.

However, this approach would need a change in government and regulatory policy. 

This approach would make the grid ready for 2030 clean electricity targets. But this success requires large electricity users to locate in the preferred regions of the grid, going forward.

EirGrid - Shaping Summary - Cropped Approach Images1

What might this draft approach look like?

This approach needs new data centres and other high-demand users locating near major towns and cities in the west and south. It would also see the concentration of new wind and solar farms in these areas.

Map of Ireland illustrating approach 4

Draft Approach 4: Demand-led
Cities and larger towns are the areas that have much higher demand for energy provided
Draft Approach 4: Demand-led
Possibly interesting idea but no idea how well it could work
Draft Approach 4: Demand-led
This approach makes sense if high demand projects are located in remote areas which would be suiitable for generation of renewable energy, offshore wind and tidal along west coast would suit this...
Draft Approach 4: Demand-led
Demand -led will be formed by Eirgrid and national policy. National policy is not being written to indicate where power generation should be located. Geophysical conditions means wind...
Draft Approach 4: Demand-led
I would agree with idea 1 put electricity generated near where  demand is. I also have an issue with no feed intarrif in Ireland the only country in Europe. We have 27 kW solar unit but...