The operator of the national grid, Eirgrid, and Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan are launching a 14-week consultation process on the future of Ireland's electricity system.

The consultation will discuss different approaches to preparing the grid to run with 70% of the country's electricity generated by renewable means by 2030.

Under the Climate Action Plan, 70% of Ireland's electricity is to be generated by renewable means, with most of that coming from wind.

For that to happen, there needs to be considerable investment in the national grid.

Depending on which approach is taken, that could cost between €5000m and €2bn.

Over the next 14 weeks, Eirgrid will host meetings and online sessions for businesses and communities across the country.

The different approaches sketched out by Eirgrid include Government influencing the location of renewable projects closer to existing grid infrastructure in places such as the east coast.

It is also considering directing where big users such as data centres can locate.

It is also considering new, expensive technology to tunnel renewable energy from the west coast to the main centres of demand in the east.

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