The Economic and Social Research Institute has estimated that electricity prices in Ireland could rise by 263% if there is low public acceptance of more renewable types of energy like wind farms. 

If there is "moderate acceptance", prices are calculated to rise by 14%, the ESRI added. 

The research, published in the journal Energy Policy, uses a model which incorporates survey data into the cost of building new grid infrastructure and renewable power generation. 

It bases its calculations on the Government's plan for 70% of Ireland's electricity to be generated by renewable means by the end of this decade. 

It also relies on forecasts that the demand for electricity here will be 28-55% higher in 2030 compared to 2018. The increase in demand is expected to come from transport, heating and data centres. 

The report details how an expansion of renewable generation capacity requires "considerable land area" and "power system upgrades". 

Public acceptance of this has faced "strong opposition" across many jurisdictions, it notes. 

The researchers conclude that the lower public acceptance of new transmission lines and infrastructure like wind farms, the higher will be the cost of power system expansion. This will be "ultimately absorbed by electricity customers". 

A survey conducted as part of the research found that 77% of people had a positive assessment of wind turbines but only 23% had a positive assessment of transmission lines. 

However, just 36% were willing to accept wind farms within 5km of their homes. That fell further to 28% who would accept transmission lines within 5km. 

The report finds that financial compensation, part-ownership of projects and tighter regulations have all contributed to greater levels of acceptance in some communities across Europe.  

Ireland has the second highest penetration of wind-generated electricity in Europe, after Denmark. It has increased fivefold from 7.2% in 2005 to an estimated 38% last year.