A Euro 22bn capital investment programme has been announced, half of which is geared towards funding the country’s renewable future.

Some Euro 4bn will be directly invested in renewable energy projects, while a further Euro 6.5bn will be spent to facilitate renewables, on schemes such as smart metering and smart networks.

The company also plans to halve its own carbon emissions within 12 years, and to become entirely carbon neutral by 2035.

By 2020 ESB aims to be producing one third of its electricity from renewables, including more than 1,400 megawatts of wind power, as well as wave, tidal and biomass sources.

It will invest in emerging green technologies, continue to provide vital infrastructure and deliver cost reductions to meet future financial challenges.

The company said it will also maintain a market share of power generation “well below 40%” to allow competition to continue.

Company chairman Lochlann Quinn said: “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.”

Ben Meggeson

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