Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte T.D. announced today, 3 April, that he has approved a €1 billion capital investment programme for ESB for 2014, which will mainly focus on transmission and distribution electricity network expenditure.
Minister Rabbitte, who was delivering the UCD Engineering Graduates Association Spring Lecture* emphasised the significance of capital investment for economic growth. “As we see continued improvement in the macro economy expected through 2014 into the coming years, it is important to keep a strong focus on capital investment which will support jobs and inward investment in Ireland. The ESB’s investment plan is a fine example of infrastructure investment which is additional to exchequer spending.”
ESB’s expenditure includes investment in the core network infrastructure programme which forms part of the regulated allowance permitted by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and includes planned asset replacement and refurbishment, to reduce and manage risks with regard to safety, security of supply and environmental damage in conjunction with maintenance.
ESB will also invest in power generation in Ireland and England this financial year, involving plant overhaul and refurbishment projects, as well as new projects to strengthen ESB’s footprint in the Ireland UK regional market. The company is also investing in a number of innovative renewable energy projects, primarily related to wind, and is also evaluating biomass opportunities in the Single Electricity Market and in the UK.
ESB is continuing its investment in the Electric Vehicles project which relates to the Government policy of having 10% of vehicles powered or part powered by electricity from the grid by 2020. All of the major infrastructure for Electric Vehicles including charging infrastructure and installation is largely in place and work will continue in this regard in 2014.