New impact report outlines ESB’s contribution to Ireland’s economy

ESB’s economic activities generated approximately €3.7 billion in value for the Irish economy, accounting for both direct and indirect GVA (Gross Value Added) impacts

Last month, ESB officially launched Ireland’s largest onshore Wind Farm at Oweninny as part of a €320m investment with Bord na Móna

For generations of Irish people, ESB has long been a household name – and as Ireland’s leading energy company, it has been a central player in the social and economic progress of Ireland since 1927.

Constantly striving to make a difference, ESB Group is one of the largest investors in the state and according to a new independent economic impact report undertaken by Frontier Economics, it has invested approximately €14 billion in Ireland across its energy and other business units from 2006 to 2022.

Clearly instrumental in all stages of the Irish electricity supply chain, including generation, transmission, distribution, retail supply and the development of public charging infrastructure for electric vehicle drivers, it not only generates power but also much needed revenue.

Figures show that in 2022, ESB’s economic activities generated approximately €3.7 billion in value for the Irish economy, accounting for both direct and indirect GVA (Gross Value Added) impacts, representing a 2% increase in the last five years. And, in addition to this, it generated approximately €1 billion in direct and indirect Exchequer contributions in 2022.


Along with helping to boost the economy, since 2006, ESB has invested a total of €13.3 billion in a range of energy assets in Ireland, including joint ventures with domestic and international companies in the energy sector totalling €256 million.

Undertaking transformational investments has been a key strategic aim of ESB to ensure it can support national climate action plans and address a range of sustainability challenges facing Ireland. To this end, electricity-generating assets have accounted for approximately 17% of ESB’s investment in electricity assets from 2006 to 2022, with recent and future investment increasingly focused on renewable-generating assets.

In February, ESB launched a new major battery plant at its Poolbeg Energy Hub alongside Minister Eamon Ryan TD as part of a €300m investment

Just last year, ESB entered a joint venture with Ørsted – the world leader in offshore wind – to jointly develop a portfolio, with the potential to deliver up to 5GW of renewable energy and complementary renewable hydrogen projects.

Its most significant investment in the telecommunications sector is the SIRO joint venture with Vodafone. This joint venture is aimed at building Ireland’s first 100% fibre wholesale network with speeds up to 2GB.

ESB continues to invest significantly in the transmission and distribution networks in Ireland and over a 15-year period has invested a total of €10.7 billion in both networks, accounting for around 81% of its investment in electricity assets.

But it doesn’t end there as significant network investment is expected to continue in the future to support Ireland on its electrification and decarbonisation journey.

So, it is clear that ESB has long had a significant impact on economic growth that has brought benefits for both the Irish economy and society as a whole.

The organisation is putting in place the critical infrastructure and wider services to enhance the lives of people in Ireland, to support everyone to live more sustainably and to drive economic development.

Over the last 15 years, the €14 billion investment in Ireland is unrivalled in the energy sector through its commitment to cutting-edge infrastructure implementation, the creation of highly-skilled jobs and overall capital investment. As an organisation which remains at the centre of Irish life, the organisation is continuing to invest to be a leader while on its journey to net zero by 2040.


Healthy economics and a sustainable future are undoubtedly important, and much of ESB’s success is rooted in its people. Approximately 10,400 jobs were directly or indirectly supported by the organisation in 2022, the equivalent of 0.5% of total Irish employment – and over the past five years, its total estimated employment contribution has increased by approximately 2%.

Giving employees the opportunity to develop new skills through apprenticeship and upskilling programmes showcases ESB’s commitment to the development of the Irish energy sector and the wider workforce.

Employees work on hundreds of innovative projects across the energy sector with the ultimate aim of delivering a brighter future for the customers they serve. And, they are driven to make a difference and play a key role in ensuring that the organisation will be able to achieve net zero by 2040, through delivering clean and sustainable electricity.

ESB is a member of the Green Tech Skillnet, which provides individuals with electrical, mechanical or engineering backgrounds (both ESB employees and others) the opportunity to become certified wind turbine technicians by taking part in technical training and an industry placement. This is just one of numerous initiatives ESB is implementing to support its employees on their education journey.

Supporting the wider energy sector

For almost a century, ESB has harnessed its capabilities and resources to bring energy to communities across the country and has been a huge enabler of social and economic progress.

This ethos continues as it looks towards a greener future. So, as Ireland looks to capitalise on its natural resources, it makes sense that ESB is a key driver of a high-growth, high-value energy sector which can meet the country’s domestic needs and support decarbonisation across Europe.

With this aim, in 2021, ESB announced the transformation of its Moneypoint site in Co Clare into a green energy hub to support the Government’s ambition of reaching net zero by 2050. The multi-billion investment programme – Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint – aims to deploy a range of renewable technologies to deliver enough capacity to power 1.6 million homes.

The technologies being developed include a floating offshore wind farm of 1,4GW, €50m synchronous compensator capable of providing 4,000MWs of inertia, and green hydrogen production and storage – all contributing to the wider Irish economy.

Research and Development

Despite its achievements so far, ESB is constantly working towards the future - and research and development is one of its strategic priorities to drive innovation in the energy sector and lead the transition to a net zero future. It has several long-term R&D partnerships with Irish universities and technical colleges, as well as several national and international energy research groups.

One such initiative is its current collaboration with TU Dublin involving the installation of a hydrogen electrolyser which will help ESB, and the Irish energy sector more broadly, to understand how electrolysers work. ESB is also a founding member of Free Electrons, which connects energy-related start-ups with experts in several leading energy utilities around the world.

The full Report is available at www.esb.ie

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