SEM

  • Energy storage and flexibility

    All-Island Power Market Outlook to 2030

    This report provides an annual overview of trends for the All-Island Power Market out to 2030 using outputs from Cornwall Insight’s latest forward curve for the All-Island (AI) Single Electricity Market (SEM) covering Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This publication is based on comprehensive market and asset-level power...

  • Low carbon generation

    Week-on-week day-ahead power price losses in the SEM

    The first reported week of February 2022 recorded week-on-week day-ahead power price losses in the SEM. Source: SEMO/Cornwall Insight Ireland Despite recent week-on-week price losses, day-ahead power prices remain significantly higher than the prices observed in the opening week of February last year, currently out turning 171.0% higher. Day-ahead power...

  • Low carbon generation

    Demand trends: August sees highest demand since March

    This article was originally published on 25 August 2020 in our ‘SEM and commodity pricing report’.   In this week’s blog we take a look at the latest fundamental developments impacting power prices in the SEM. This will see us take a look at wind generation in the SEM this year, while...

  • Commercial and market outlook

    Changes: how our Spectrum service is evolving

    This article was originally published on 9 June 2020 in our ‘Energy Spectrum Ireland’ publication.  Since Cornwall Insight launched the Energy Spectrum Ireland Service in 2015, it has been providing insight on key developments in the energy markets in Ireland. With the macro market trends of decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitilisation,...

  • Energy storage and flexibility

    Tootsie slide: Demand drop

    Since both governments of Ireland have restricted movement in the light of COVID-19, we have observed changes to working patterns. This has subsequently resulted in a reduction and shift in demand profile for the island of Ireland. This week's blog looks at demand reduction since COVID-19 restrictions have been in...

  • Energy storage and flexibility

    The next episode: Qualification for T-4 Capacity auction

    The final qualification results for the upcoming 2023/24 T-4 Capacity Auction were published on the 3 April. In this week’s blog, we consider what these qualification results tell us. Click here to view full article

  • Low carbon generation

    The Pain: SEM prices get low

    It is easy to forget that this weekend is Easter where a large part of the country will have a 4-day weekend.  This year the demand levels are still trending down as restrictions due to COVID-19 become ever tighter. So what will this mean for the electricity generators? This week’s...

  • Net zero corporates and ESG

    Editor’s Pick Ireland | Clean Energy Package: what does it really mean?

    The Capacity Market Code removes or restricts payments to fossil fuel generators and allows cross border participation in Capacity markets, arising from the Clean Energy Package (CEP). We look at some of the other potential changes in the way EirGrid and SONI operate our energy system arising from the implementation of the...

  • Low carbon generation

    Sail away: Offshore wind vs. RESS

    Last week the European Commission proposed a “Climate Law” enshrining in legislation the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. In this week’s blog, we consider the role of wind in achieving this goal, and Irelands role in the European Green Deal. As we would expect, the green deal identifies...

  • Energy storage and flexibility

    In the balance: Analysing volatility in the BM

    In this week’s blog, we focus on developments for the Balancing Market (BM) in the SEM.  The BM is where the Transmission System Operator (TSO) can take actions to ensure the transmission system remains within operational parameters as supply and demand changes. Actions here ultimately determine the imbalance settlement price (ISP)...

  • Low carbon generation

    Under pressure: Price cannibalisation in the SEM

    After the publication of Project Ireland 2040 and Climate Action Plan 2019, it looks increasingly likely that renewables will be a significantly larger proportion of the generation mix. This development has and will increasingly see renewable projects look to the wholesale power market to underpin investment, a complicating factor of this...

  • Energy storage and flexibility

    Take on me… Proposed Balancing Mods

    Since the new SEM go-live on 1 Oct 2018, a topic of heated discussion has been the volatility and extreme prices seen so far in the Balancing Market (BM) including very high prices and a greater than expected incidence of negative balancing prices. The highest prices seen in the balancing...

  • Power and gas networks

    Parachute: gas proxy and SEM forward markets

    The ability for market participants to hedge their power price exposure remains limited in the SEM, with a lack of forward products available for trading. This means that market participants are often left fully exposed to the spot market – meaning power contracts for almost immediate delivery – but the...

  • Low carbon generation

    Jump: Pricing in SEM up year on year

    2018 has been an exciting year in SEM – certainly in the Cornwall Insight offices. The signature piece of work this year has been the introduction of I-SEM which, although a long time coming, was impactful. Getting I-SEM operational was one of the hallmark pieces of work for the sector....

  • Low carbon generation

    Don’t you (forget about me): a future without coal in SEM?

    Record-setting daily wind generation output, increasing installed wind capacity and new renewable electricity support schemes all make for great headlines. However, the reality that 42% of generation in SEM last month came from renewables doesn’t feel like the exception, but the rule.   This high, and importantly, consistent wind output...

  • Low carbon generation

    Carbon prices: a key driver of emissions reduction?

    Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton was reported in the Irish Times on 29 November 2018 as saying that Ireland is 95% off meeting its binding EU Greenhouse gas targets. Ireland’s draft National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (NECP) is due to be delivered to the European Commission by 31 December...

  • Low carbon generation

    Take the money and run: REFIT in I-SEM

    With significant media coverage regarding our EU renewables targets (and the fact that we are missing them by a country mile), attention is drawn to how we reduce our dependence on fossils fuels in Ireland. The advent of I-SEM caused a certain amount of consternation in Ireland, as the primary...

  • Energy storage and flexibility

    Local hero: constraints and security of supply

    Security of supply is back on the agenda. Last week saw the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) publish its Electricity Security of Supply Report 2018. Replicating the analysis from the long-awaited All-Island Generation Capacity Statement 2018-2027 (GCS), it showed Ireland facing potential deficits within the next 6-9 years. The very same...

  • Low carbon generation

    Thunderstruck: participant behaviour and auction outcome

    The move to I-SEM was ultimately intended to create a level playing field for all market participants to result in more competition. Nothing drives competition quite like a constrained auction and, for many developers, the Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS) Auction in 2019 (hopefully!) and thereafter will be their first...

  • Low carbon generation

    Owner of a lonely heart: Intraday continuous liquidity

    When the I-SEM detailed design was released, many participants were concerned about potential liquidity issues in the Intraday Continuous (IDC) market. It would seem that their concerns have merit. As the first few weeks of I-SEM have certainly displayed low volumes in comparison to the Day-Ahead Market (DAM) and three...

  • Low carbon generation

    Coming the long way: wind forecast and imbalance prices

    Last week wind generation accounted for 56% of the generation mix on an all-island basis. The market also saw significant volatility in the Balancing Market (BM), with the Single Electricity Market Operator (SEMO) receiving pricing disputes related to early trading in the BM. While there has been much discussion about...

  • Low carbon generation

    Pour some sugar on me: T-4 CRM auction

    With the introduction of I-SEM last week, other releases in the energy market may have gone unremarked, including the SEM Committee’s (SEMC) decision on the parameters for the first T-4 Capacity Remuneration Mechanism (CRM) auction. Making a robust investment case for new-build dispatchable assets has been a challenge in Ireland...

  • Low carbon generation

    Point Break: week 1 volatility in I-SEM

    Since I-SEM go-live on Monday 1 October, the industry has been watching and waiting to see how the design holds up in real life. Although it is too soon to be able to identify trends or draw many conclusions, much of the discussion in the industry has centred around liquidity...

  • Low carbon generation

    Swan Lake… or choppy waters ahead? Credit risk management in I-SEM

    As the SEM market moves towards its Swan Song we consider the implications of risk in the new markets we are joining. Although most of us are familiar with the concepts of credit risk and protecting oneself from the failure of others to pay us, I-SEM introduces a level of...

  • Energy storage and flexibility

    Roundabout: Reducing complexity in DS3 Procurement

    The DS3 Fixed Contracts Procurement Arrangements Decision Paper, otherwise known as the long-awaited DS3 paper, was released by the SEM Committee last week. The document outlines the framework for how the procurement of DS3 services will be carried out, and how the assessment of bids will be conducted. There are...

  • Low carbon generation

    House of the Rising Sun… solar’s time to shine?

    The eagerly awaited results of the first Enduring Connection Policy (ECP-1) batch application process have finally been released. This is a new system for granting connection offers for storage capacity and new generation that succeeds the previous non-Group Processing Approach (non-GPA) and “Gate” systems. The grid application process has been...

  • Low carbon generation

    Relight my fire: liquidity in the Irish PPA market

    Previously we explored how the Irish Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) market is evolving in response to the I-SEM. We have extensively researched this market to understand PPA pricing, competition and contract structuring. This culminated in the release of our inaugural Irish PPA market report in July. However, overall market share...

  • Energy storage and flexibility

    Just can’t get enough: Irish grid stability on a changing system

    Last week, EirGrid informed the market of another delay to the volume capped DS3 procurement. This mechanism is to allow the System Operator (SO) to obtain from the market system services necessary to balance the system. While the procurement delay may cause some disquiet in the market these commercial arrangements...

  • Low carbon generation

    Every rose has its thorn: the importance of public awareness to domestic solar PV take-up

    Minister Naughten announced that a new scheme for rooftop solar for residential customers, starting on the 31st of July. The new scheme sees a grant administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for domestic solar PV installation on houses built before 2011. The pilot grant will run until 2020...

  • Low carbon generation

    Sunny afternoon – Ireland’s wind drought

    As the sun continues to bathe Ireland and Northern Ireland, spare a thought for the System Operator (SO). This enduring, recent (and unlikely) spell of good weather has a noticeable impacted on renewable generation across the island. What Met Éireann termed “dry, settled weather” is due to a high-pressure system...