ESB unveils Strategic Framework to 2020


ESB has announced that the company is to embark on an unprecedented capital investment programme of €22 billion.

The Board of ESB has approved a Strategic Framework to 2020 that will see major company investment in renewable energy, the halving of its carbon emissions within 12 years and the achievement of carbon net-zero by 2035.

Fifty percent of the overall investment package is geared towards investments in the renewables future - €4bn of this will be directly invested in renewable energy projects and €6.5bn will be spent facilitating renewables, including smart metering and smart networks.

The plan, which will establish ESB as a world-class renewables company, makes emissions reduction and energy efficiency central to its ambitious targets.

By 2020, ESB will be delivering one-third of its electricity from renewable generation. This will include over 1,400 megawatts of wind generation, in addition to wave, tidal and biomass. To promote this, the company will invest in emerging green technologies.

The €11 billion to be invested by ESB in its Networks will ensure continued efficient delivery of the vital infrastructure needed to support the Irish economy. It will also facilitate the development of up to 6,000 megawatts of wind on the island.

ESB will maintain its market share of power generation at well below 40 percent to facilitate continuing competition in the energy market. Completion of the present closure/divestment of 1500 megawatts of its stations and sites will assist this process. ESB will continue to enhance plant availability and performance in line with EU norms.

ESB will drive substantial cost reductions in overheads across all its businesses in order to meet its new financial challenges. Strong financial performance and continuing rigorous funding will underpin the investment plan - while achieving shareholder and customer value.

Preparing for competition in the retail market, ESB will focus on delivering energy conservation and new initiatives on energy efficiencies.

With the development of a single British-Irish electricity market by 2020, ESB's international profile will continue to expand. The company will invest in more generation plants and renewables in Britain and further plants in Europe.

ESB Chairman, Lochlann Quinn, said the Strategic Framework to 2020 addresses ESB's response to those major imperatives now demanding action. "ESB is operating in a dramatically changing environment. Three overarching concerns now exist - the consequences of climate change, energy security and competitiveness of energy supply - and ESB is strong, focused and prepared to deal with them" - Mr Quinn said.

ESB Chief Executive, Padraig McManus, said the organisation had demonstrated its ability to execute strategic change in the past while maintaining profitable growth.

"ESB is now entering a new period of particular challenge that we embrace with enthusiasm and vigour. This robust plan will deliver tangible and sustainable results for the economy as we face global challenges in a coherent and managed way. It positions us as a leading energy company in Europe" - he said.