Ireland draws up smart grid, electric vehicle roadmap

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) recently unveiled three energy roadmaps to focus on the potential benefits of Ireland moving to a future energy system where electricity, managed via a smart grid, meets more of the country’s energy needs.  The roadmaps, which are developed to inform energy policy in Ireland, demonstrate the potential to positively exploit abundant, indigenous energy resources, create employment and reduce our CO2 emissions, says the SEAI.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) recently unveiled three energy roadmaps to focus on the potential benefits of Ireland moving to a future energy system where electricity, managed via a smart grid, meets more of the country’s energy needs.  The roadmaps, which are developed to inform energy policy in Ireland, demonstrate the potential to positively exploit abundant, indigenous energy resources, create employment and reduce our CO2 emissions, says the SEAI.

The series of energy roadmaps relate to smart grid, wind energy and electric vehicles, and map out potential benefits over the next forty years.

Potential benefits by 2050 include fuel import savings of between $4.9 billion and $9.7 billion, 1.8 million electric vehicles on Irish roads reducing transport fossil fuel imports by 50%, and Irish wind energy contributing 2.5% to EU electricity demand and offsetting up to $12.9 billion of fossil fuel requirement, says the SEAI. 

In the smart grid roadmap, findings indicate that by implementing smart grid infrastructure and technologies more than 10,000 jobs could be created.  Furthermore, according to the roadmap, decarbonization of electricity could result in an annual savings of 13 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050, eight million of which could be derived directly from the implementation of smart grids.

In order for Ireland to see these potential benefits the smart grid roadmap provides requirements for the next ten years.  These requirements include a national rollout of smart meters, the development of interoperability standards, and the development of a secure, high speed communications system for the electricity system.

In the electric vehicle roadmap, the SEAI states that vehicles currently account for one third of Ireland’s Energy requirement and energy related CO2 emissions.  The SEAI predicts that the electric vehicle is going to grow from 2.4% of vehicles in 2020 to 60% in 2050 in the “medium” scenario.  In the roadmap the SEAI maps out a low, medium and high scenario for the adoption of electric vehicles. The low scenario has 48% of vehicles being electric in 2050, while the high scenario predicts 70%.  Overall, the SEAI predicts that the cumulative savings for electric vehicle adoption will be between $2.9 billion and $18.4 billion by 2050 depending on the scenario.