€3bn plan sees half of Energia’s electricity come from renewables

In the latest of Irish businesses to publish its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) responsible business report, electricity player Energia has sparked upon a sustainable €3bn plan.

Energia Group generated 6 Terrawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in Ireland over the past year, from which 50pc came from renewable sources.

The Group owns and operates 15 wind farms across the island and has a portfolio of over 1,200 MW of renewable electricity capacity under contract. Through the Group’s electricity generation and supply activities, 97pc of the carbon emissions from its efficient gas-fired generators in Huntstown were offset in 2020/21.

“Our sector finds itself at the epicentre of the climate crisis where the biggest challenge of our times demands an enthusiastic response”

Energia plans to deliver a further 1.5 GW of additional renewable capacity over the next decade through its €3bn Positive Energy investment programme, which will generate 200 new jobs.

The group said that significant progress has already been made on number of offshore wind, onshore wind and solar projects, all of which will to help realise the renewable energy targets that have been set for 2030 and beyond.

Energia Group’s Responsible Business Report will be published annually and the report will form part of a wider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiative being undertaken by the Group.

Powerful targets

This year’s report (2020/21) contains information, statistics and performance indicators across a wide range of programmes.

“Behaving responsibly is core to our values as people and as a business where Energia Group’s organisation is built on key pillars of trust, dynamism, resourcefulness and community focus,” said Energia group CEO Ian Thom.

“Our sector finds itself at the epicentre of the climate crisis where the biggest challenge of our times demands an enthusiastic response.

“Accordingly, as a business, we have maintained and enhanced our commitment to tackling climate change and to playing a leading role in energy transition on the island of Ireland. At both a local and international level, ambitious but necessary targets have been set for 2030 and beyond, and through our Positive Energy programme we have the ambition to invest up to €3bn to facilitate the achievement of these targets.”

In early 2021, Energia Group passed the 820,000 customer mark, supplying homes and businesses with 7.3 TWh of electricity.  The Group supplies 100pc green electricity in Ireland (through Energia) and offers a 100pc green product to customers in Northern Ireland (through Power NI).  The Group also entered into Electric Vehicle Home Charging Infrastructure partnerships with Opel and Hyundai dealerships.

Energia Group is also supporting customers on their sustainability energy journey through the provision of energy services including smart metering, intelligent energy management systems, in-home devices, apps and energy efficiency services and systems. The Group provided €3.4m in funding to customers’ energy efficiency projects – 55 business and 5,611 residential – saving customers over 15,000 tCO2 and €4.5m.

At the end of the year Energia Group employed 916 people at offices across Ireland and Northern Ireland (+68 2019/20).  The Group strives to provide a positive, caring and rewarding work environment at all times and through ongoing work on diversity and inclusion, had achieved a gender breakdown of 44pc female and 56pc male.

The Group moved to remote working throughout the pandemic and has acknowledged the commitment and dedication of all staff in making this work successfully.  Incorporating changes for this new environment, over 60pc of all staff undertook learning and development, and 70pc took part in wellbeing initiatives during the past year.   A company-wide survey of staff found 96pc were ‘confident the Group was managing the impacts of COVID-19 effectively’.

The company also contributed €600,000 across 92 community groups and sponsored Seachtain na Gaeilge with funding disbursed across 113 communities, Christmas Foodbanks providing over 10,000 meals, the Get Ireland Growing initiative with 1,000 participants and the More Powerful Together campaign providing over €40,000 to local digital and community initiatives in Northern Ireland, as well as 33 community projects in the Power NI Brighter Communities and Helping Hands programmes. 

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 20 July 2021