Meeting Ireland’s Renewable Energy Targets
The Transition to a Low-Carbon Energy Future: Renewable Energy and Grid Development.
About the Event:
This event focused on the importance of the electricity grid as a key enabler of renewable energy integraton in Ireland and Europe.
Over recent years the electricity sector has entered a period of remarkable change. This change has been characterized by a drive to increase environmental sustainability, energy security and economic competiveness, and is being delivered through a commitment to increase the level of renewable energy on the power system. The European Union (EU) aims at increasing the share of renewable energy sources in Europe’s final energy consumption to 20% by 2020, and estimates that 35% of total electricity consumption has to come from renewable energy generation to meet this target. Ireland has also adopted its own ambitious renewable energy target that 40% of electricity demand be derived from renewable sources by 2020.
Although considerable progress has been made in Ireland and across Europe in the renewable energy space, it is important not to underestimate the many challenges that lie ahead. Today, electricity networks in Ireland and across Europe require significant upgrades and new grid infrastructure in order to integrate increasing amounts of renewbale energy and faciltate the transition towards a low-carbon energy future. While EirGrid’s “Grid25” strategy provides Ireland with a solid platform to achieve this goal, difficult challenges remain. Without the approprite grid infrastructure in place, integrating distributed intermittent renewable energy sources will be impossible.
In November 2010, the European Commission will present a new Energy Infrastructure package to the European Council and Parliament. It aims to replace the current framework for trans-European energy networks with a broad framework for building a modern integrated grid system Europe-wide.
At this event, leading representatives from the European Commission, ENTSO-E, (the represenentative body for EU Transmission System Operators (TSO)) and EirGrid, Ireland’s TSO, discussed the challenges and opportunities of building grid infrastructure, and meeting the renewable energy targets in Ireland and Europe.
About the Speakers:
Dr. Konstantin Staschus
Konstantin Staschus, commenced his appointment in the Bussels office of ENTSO-E in March 2009. Originally from Berlin, Dr Staschus received a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Virginia Tech in the USA. After 9 years at Pacific Gas and Electric, USA, he held management positions in German utility associations, including 6 years as Managing Director of VDN, the association of German electricity network operators.