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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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ESB and Bord na Móna to develop solar power for 150,000 homes

Renewable energy in Ireland is currently predominantly generated from the wind.

Mike Quinn, CEO of Bord na Móna, and Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, with some of the solar panels
Mike Quinn, CEO of Bord na Móna, and Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, with some of the solar panels
Image: Andres Poveda

ESB AND BORD na Móna have announced a joint agreement to develop solar power in four locations in Roscommon, Offaly and Kildare.

The initiative will generate enough renewable energy to power about 150,000 homes and businesses when it becomes operational in 2019.

The venture will access part of Bord na Móna’s land in locations across the midlands.

The semi-state companies have committed €10 million (€5 million each) to kickstart the project.

Speaking at the launch today, ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said the company is “committed to a future where low-carbon electricity powers a low-carbon society”.

“We already have an established position in the solar market in Ireland, with both ground mounted and rooftop solar projects under development.”

O’Doherty added that the new partnership will “help Ireland meet its carbon reduction targets beyond 2020″.

Renewable energy in Ireland is currently predominantly generated from the wind, with the government seeking to introduce more diversity in the sector through biomass, wave, tidal and solar energy.

Emission targets 

Mike Quinn, Bord na Móna’s CEO, said community consultation will be “placed at the heart of the project”.

The solar industry, although in its infancy here in Ireland, has the potential to form an important part of Ireland’s future energy mix in the medium to long-term.

Climate Action Minister Denis Naughten also spoke at the launch, noting: “Government policy sets a vision of a low-carbon energy future by 2050 which will include greater levels of energy efficiency and renewable energy with an associated reduction in our dependence on fossil fuels.

“We need to focus on areas where the impact on emissions is greatest, and adopt technologies that are as cost-effective as possible and that fit with our carbon reduction targets.

“We have made great progress in the decarbonisation of our electricity sector with over 25% of our electricity coming from renewable sources. We need to continue this progress in the electricity sector but also increase our efforts in the transport and heating sectors.”

The Environmental Protection Agency has previously criticised the government for being unlikely to reach its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions targets.

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Órla Ryan

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