The Irish Academy of Engineering has called for an official estimate of the cost of Ireland's planned transition to more renewable electricity to be published by Government.

The Government is committed to 70% of Ireland's electricity being generated by renewable means by 2030.

In a new report, the Academy says current estimates of the cost of this transition range from €60 billion by the MaREI Institute in UCC to €200 billion by the IMF.

It says an official analysis of the cost is needed to know the knock-on implications for the price of electricity and what taxes might be needed to fund the required investment.

It also asks why it will take two and a half years for the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to produce a report into Ireland’s energy security.

The report was first announced by the former minister Richard Bruton, back in November 2019 and is not expected to be completed until next year.

It also questions what steps are being taken to ensure Ireland has a reliable supply of imported gas, adding that any remaining supplies of gas in Irish waters will be completely exhausted by 2030.

It also notes that by that date, the UK will be importing 75% of its gas supplies.

It notes that even if our electricity system develops to a point where a majority of generation comes from renewables, it will still depend on gas as a back-up fuel "for the foreseeable future".

It also asks why recent attempts to add extra generation capacity to Ireland’s grid "failed".

This refers to plans by grid operator Eirgrid to lease temporary generators this summer.

The plans were dropped following a legal challenge and assurances that two gas fired generating plants would be back up and running later this Autumn.

The Academy also expresses concern about the lack of progress on the planned North South Interconnector and why regulatory bodies are only now examining the concentration of data centres in the Dublin area and its implication for electricity supplies.

There have been a number of "amber alerts" on the grid this year when weather conditions diminished the capacity of wind farms to generate electricity.