Commercial Manager, Bord na Móna
We all have a role to plan in helping achieve to a net zero future. A new energy park could help improve energy supply across Ireland.
As the recent COP26 summit has shown, achieving net zero carbon emissions poses a significant challenge but there is no doubt that, as former President Mary Robinson said, the world is now in ‘crisis mode’.
The consequences for our planet of not reaching our climate targets are so serious it is difficult to comprehend. Failure will have a severe impact on every person, particularly those living in poorer countries.
Reaching net zero carbon emissions is now a priority for many companies as well as countries. Companies recognise their Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) responsibilities and in some cases are leading the climate action agenda.
More and more companies are directing investment towards attaining net zero carbon emissions and becoming part of the transition towards a green economy. These companies are looking at all areas of their business, including how the sources of energy used to power their operations.
It is now recognised that generating electricity from fossil fuels must be phased out if we are to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Generating energy from sustainable sources such as wind and solar is the way forward and luckily Ireland is well positioned with an abundance of these natural resources.
Reaching net zero carbon emissions is now a priority for many companies as well as countries.
More sustainable energy sources
Bord na Móna is set to develop Ireland’s first dedicated renewable energy business park on 3,000 hectares of its landbank in Offaly and Westmeath. The Park will attract industrial-scale high demand energy users seeking sustainable sources of energy.
There will be 200MW+ of electricity supplied to businesses locating in the Park which will be generated from renewable sources such as wind, gas and solar. It will also contain energy storage facilities which may include battery and hydrogen.
Impact on the community
The Energy Park will bring plenty of benefits to the region. Substantial direct and indirect employment will be generated locally during construction and by companies establishing in the park. Providing a secure supply of renewable energy will also facilitate economic growth and development in the Midlands region. It will also form an important part of supporting Irish economic and population growth and helping to achieve Irish climate and biodiversity ambitions. This project will make a significant contribution to Ireland reaching its climate goals by 2030 and will also result in the improved integration of renewable energy assets with the National Grid.