What is the grid?

The electricity grid is a network of underground cables, overhead lines and substations which runs all over the island of Ireland. Its purpose is to carry electricity from where it is generated, by a wind farm, a solar farm or a fossil fuel power station, to your home, your business and your community.

Why is it important?

These cables and substations were not built for renewable energy. Every year about 10 per cent of the country’s cheapest renewable power is lost because the grid is simply not strong enough to take it. That is the equivalent to losing all the electricity in Leitrim, Longford, Roscommon, Carlow, Monaghan, Sligo, Offaly, Laois & Cavan. 

Expensive and dirty fossil fuels are then used to provide that power instead. 

We cannot have a zero-carbon electricity system without a grid able to support it.

What are we demanding?

We want an electricity grid that can transmit and distribute 100% clean renewable energy. 

EirGrid and ESB Networks have each published their plans for how they will reinforce the grid in the coming decade. But even with every project identified in those plans we are still emitting more than 70 million tonnes of carbon over the decade. We cannot stop there. 

We must replace our fossil fuel back-ups with zero-carbon technologies like:

  • battery storage
  • new interconnectors
  • demand-response technologies which lower demand when there is tight supply

We must introduce smart grid technologies like Dynamic Line Rating which allows the electricity system to carry more power when the weather is cooler.

We must upgrade several existing power lines. 

And we must still deliver every single project in EirGrid’s Shaping our Electricity Future.


A stronger grid means a cleaner, cheaper and more secure supply of electricity for everyone on the island of Ireland. 

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