Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten has published the first climate change adaptation plan for the electricity and gas networks sector. The objective of this plan is to identify options that will help to build resilience against the impacts of climate change. It focuses on assessing our vulnerability and the likely impacts of such on our electricity and gas networks, based on our current understanding of climate change and its consequences for Ireland. It also highlights some of the significant adaptation work already under way by the network companies within the sector which safeguards energy services and infrastructure.

'Energy sector critical to functioning of modern economy'

The minister said: "The energy sector is critical to the functioning of a modern economy and, as we know from extreme weather events, disruptions to the supply of energy can have significant negative impacts on the economy and the citizen. "Adapting and future-proofing our energy system is therefore essential, so that we can continue to accrue the many benefits of energy to the economy and Irish society in general." This first plan for the electricity and gas networks sector was prepared in the context of the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework, 2012. As such, it is a precursor to and will inform the preparation in 2018 of the first statutory plan for the sector under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015. The plan has been informed by input from the relevant energy network companies, energy sector stakeholders, the Climate Change Advisory Committee, and also by submissions received as part of a public consultation held on an initial draft in the last quarter of 2017. The plan can be accessed here.