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SEM Chart of the Week

2019

Good thing: 70% renewables and the looming shortfall

James Goldsmith Senior Consultant (Ireland)

The government has recently announced that Ireland will no longer be behind the rest of Europe when it comes to climate action. The announcement that 70% of electricity generated would come from renewables by 2030 was welcomed by many. It’s a great ambition but how realistic is it? In this week’s chart we look at routes to market for renewable assets required to meet the 2030 target. Where we stand According to EirGrid’s latest Capacity Generation Statement, Ireland currently has the capacity to produce between 8TWh and 9TWh from renewable sources annually, depending on wind generation in any given year. This makes up about 30% of Ireland’s demand, which currently stands at ~29TWh annually. EirGrid anticipates a growth in demand in Ireland of up to 40TWh by the end of the next decade, most of which is due to expansion in demand from large energy users such as data centres. With this additional demand, the 70% requirement from renewables grows to the region of ~28TWh.  Where we need to go As a result, Ireland will need to see a big increase in renewable generation of more than 20TWh. This is likely to come from onshore wind, offshore wind, solar and potentially biomass conversion of existing assets. The high-level design for the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) gave the trajectory of the size of auctions in the years up to 2027, indicating that they will support an additional 12.5TWh of renewable generation. This, plus the 8-9TWh of ...

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