The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is calling on young people from Clare to share their thoughts on the future of Ireland’s electricity system, at a major online Youth Assembly on 21st April 2021.
The event takes place as part of a nationwide consultation, run by EirGrid, exploring ways to redevelop the electricity grid, to ensure 70% of Ireland’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2030.
Following its recent report ‘Shaping Our Electricity Future’, which outlines four approaches to meeting the 2030 renewable energy targets, EirGrid is seeking feedback and input from members of the public, including young people, on the four proposed options.
Commenting today, Mary Cunningham, CEO of NYCI, said: “The voices of young people are absolutely crucial within this national conversation. They are one of the key groups that will be affected by any change in how the electricity grid operates. We are happy to be supporting them to learn about the potential options, and to help in providing them with a platform to share their thoughts and shape the future of energy generation in Ireland.
“We know from working with our members that many young people are already engaged and care deeply about the future of the planet and sustainability. It is very important that they take an active role in shaping their future. As part of this project, we are calling on young people from Clare and across the country, whether they have been active on these issues before – or are still learning – to share their thoughts and join the conversation. There is a space for all voices on this topic, as its outcomes affect everyone.”
EirGrid has been working on ways to get the electricity system ready for a future without coal, oil, peat and gas-based generation. As tasked by the Government, it must redevelop the grid to manage 70% of Ireland’s electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030.
The four approaches outlined in ‘Shaping Our Electricity Future’ to achieve this, include:
Generation-Led: Government policy would influence where renewable energy is generated – favouring locations where the grid is already strong.
Developer-Led: Continue to connect new sources of renewable electricity as requested in any location.
Technology-Led: This approach uses technical solutions to make the grid more resilient so it can better handle the variable nature of renewable energy.
Demand-Led: Government policy determines where large energy users locate in Ireland.
Mark Foley, EirGrid Group Chief Executive, said: “The grid requires unprecedented change in the next ten years. This transition to clean electricity will affect everyone in Ireland and will sometimes be difficult. Because of this, we are hosting a nationwide consultation to find an agreed approach to reach the 2030 targets.
“As part of this collaboration, we want to specifically engage with and hear the thoughts of young people, as we understand that these decisions will impact their future. We want them to understand, analyse and challenge future plans and outcomes for energy generation in Ireland.”
Following the national consultation on the four approaches to facilitating clean electricity, EirGrid will publish the inaugural ‘Shaping Our Electricity Future Roadmap’ in autumn 2021. The roadmap will outline the optimal pathway to renewables-based power system targets, while maintaining an affordable, secure, and reliable power system for the country.
Young people can find out more about how they can have their say by visiting: https://www.youth.ie/eirgridconsultation/