Call to promote electric transport


ESB Chief Executive, Padraig McManus has urged the Government to promote electricity use in transport.

He told the Irish Management Institute's annual conference in Enniskerry that electricity is the cleanest and most efficient energy at the point of use.

Speaking at the conference, Mr McManus outlined how the ESB was working towards a position where it had "net zero carbon emissions" by 2035. The State-owned organisation plans to replace its oil and coal-fired stations with wind and ocean energy and stations powered by 'clean coal' over the next 25 years. This is part of a 22 billion capital investment by the company to 2022 (Click Here).

Mr McManus said the electricity required to power all of our cars here would amount to about 2,000 megawatts per day. He said that this could easily be supplied by electricity providers - including the ESB - during the night, when most people are asleep and demand level is low. The ESB's electricity output is currently about 5,500 megawatts.

"I believe the Government should look to maximise the use of electricity in the economy and particularly in the transport sector" - Mr McManus said. "The development of electric cars is going to grow and I think Ireland should be pushing in that direction."

Commenting on public transport, Mr McManus cited the example of Belgium, where about 85 per cent of the rail services are electrified - in Ireland that figure is just 3 per cent - adding that this shift would probably be a "slow process". Mr McManus said that we should begin working towards this scenario now - starting with investment in buses powered by electricity.