“By 2030, most houses will produce energy; bio-monitoring devices will track our food and exercise habits, determining our health insurance rates in real time; an Asian Union will have been created; 50% of kitchens in OECD nations will produce meals through 3D printing; and the first Mars One ships will have taken off, never to return”, according to world renowned futurist and political scientist Sohail Inayatullah. He believes we are in the middle of a major global transition: the shift from coal and oil to solar and renewables; from vertical power relations to flatter power relations; and from centralised production centres – the factory and office – to decentralised production centres – the home.
Mr. Inayatullah was speaking at ESB’s Powering Potential Expo, a major technology and energy expo hosted by ESB in Merrion Square, Dublin on 10th and 11th June 2015. The interactive showcase explores the future landscape of energy, telecoms and the electrification of transport. At the Expo, a number of interactive exhibits showcase how ESB and its partners are developing ideas and innovations that bring value and benefits to customers, international clients, and to Ireland.
ESB International announced a number of major overseas contracts at the Expo. These contracts include: a recently signed €12m contract in Ghana; a contract with the World Bank in Zambia and Zanzibar; a €17m contract which will be signed in Saudi Arabia next week; and a contract under negotiation with the Botswana government for €35m.
Opening the event, Alex White TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, said: “Ireland’s commitment to 2020 energy efficiency, renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets – and our longer-term goal of deep decarbonisation by 2050 – will have a positive impact in the market for sustainable energy technologies and services. Technologies that are yet to be invented will, no doubt, play a role in our energy transition, which means we must wisely balance the choice between acting and waiting. Our energy transition will see more Irish businesses providing world class green products and services. And I believe we can achieve and sustain world class success in this growing and employment-rich sector.”
Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive, ESB said: “The energy landscape is changing at a rapid pace, both in Ireland and on a global scale. Everything is shifting, in terms of how energy is generated, to how people consume energy in homes and businesses and the transition to electric transport. In order to keep up with this changed world order, ESB has made some major strategic moves including a series of joint ventures – ‘SIRO’ with Vodafone; a solar joint venture with Kingspan; and an innovative energy agreement with the DAA to achieve a 33% energy saving at Dublin Airport.”
Mr O’Doherty continued: “The ESB Powering Potential Expo demonstrates the innovative capabilities of ESB: how we are developing new ways for customers to control home energy usage and how we are leading the charge for sustainable driving with a nationwide network of ecar charge points. We are building Ireland’s Smart Network to harness our rich renewable wind, solar and ocean resources and pioneering new ways to create a low carbon energy system. In the near future, we hope to announce a Wind Storage joint venture.”
Paul Mulvaney, Executive Director, Innovation, ESB, made a series of announcements at the event including the launch of Metro Express, an exclusive high capacity Dark Fibre route in Dublin. The Metro Express is a business to business fibre product and a key piece of infrastructure which, in conjunction with the T50, will create the perfect fibre ring. This unique and superior network, buried deep underground, will increase protection for datacentres and their customers in the Dublin area.
Discussing ESB’s international operations, Mr Mulvaney said; “ESB International is trading strongly in highly competitive markets overseas; the contracts announced today are testament to ESB International’s growing international reputation and its ability to compete on a global stage.”
Mr Mulvaney also spoke about the results of ESB’s year-long electric vehicle trial, The Great Electric Drive, which has now concluded. During the trial, 32 ambassadors covered a total of over 200,000 kilometres of electric driving in 10 vehicles and recorded combined fuel cost savings of over €18,000, eliminated over 34 tonnes of carbon dioxide in tailpipe emissions in the process. The electrification of transport will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve air quality in our cities and towns by eliminating pollutants and particulate matter.
He highlighted the company’s continued sponsorship of the Spark of Genius award, now in its fifth year at the Web Summit. Finally, Mr. Mulvaney outlined ESB’s plans to open an Innovation Hub where new ideas can be cultivated to develop solutions for a low carbon energy system and smarter living solutions for customers.
The ESB Powering Potential Expo is open to the public on Thursday 11th June from 12-5pm; registration and streaming of the event is available at www.esb.ie/innovation.
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