EAI welcomes the opportunity to engage and participate in EirGrid Group’s initiative on Shaping our Electricity Future (SOEF). Our members across the island took part in industry workshops hosted by EirGrid and SONI on the morning and afternoon of both the 22nd of April 2021, 2nd of June, and other bilateral engagements before the consultation closed on 14th of June 2021.
Notwithstanding the outcome of SOEF, the focus of EirGrid Group must continue to be the delivery of much-needed grid infrastructure and network reinforcement. The situation today, where the grid has not kept up with demand for generation connections, has put significant pressure on the underlying connections policy. The priority for EirGrid group should be to address internal constraints, rather than seeking to manage them. We would have concerns with the proposals in this initiative which merely seek to manage away some of these constraints, at least in the short term.
We are on a pathway to net-zero by 2050 (and earlier for the electricity sector) and need to develop all our resource options (including onshore). If these longer-term objectives are considered, there is a concern that the need to develop the transmission network onshore has not been avoided, but merely postponed.