Shortfall in Ireland’s 70 per cent renewable target

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  Posted by: electime      24th April 2019

The Irish government recently announced that Ireland’s ambitions for tackling climate change would no longer lag behind the rest of Europe, with their commitment to having 70 per cent of all electricity generated coming from renewable sources by 2030.

Research from Cornwall Insight Ireland shows that as things currently stand there is likely to be a shortfall of renewable assets to be able to meet the new target of 70 per cent renewable generation. The below graph highlights that this shortfall is predicted to stand at more than 20TWh, only part of which will be met by the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

James Goldsmith, Senior Consultant at Cornwall Insight Ireland, said:

“This target is undoubtedly an honourable ambition that will be welcomed by many who previously thought Ireland’s climate change goals were lacklustre relative to international peers. However, Cornwall Insight Ireland’s predictions show that there is, without any further action, likely to be a shortfall against the new ambition.

“According to EirGrid’s latest Capacity Generation statement, Ireland currently has the capacity to produce between 8TWh and 9TWh from renewable sources annually – making up 30 per cent (29TWh) of Ireland’s demand. EirGrid has also anticipated growth in demand of up to 40TWh by the end of the next decade. This leaves Ireland with a deficit of more than 20TWh that will need to be found to meet the 70 per cent target.

“The high-level design for the 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. Even with these projections, there will still be a significant shortfall of 8TWh. This creates an opportunity in the burgeoning corporate Purchase Power Agreements (CPPAs) sector, but it may be hard for CPPAs to bridge the gap on their own.

“Regardless of how much will need to be bridged, one thing is for certain: Ireland will be building a lot of renewable energy in the next decade if it wants to achieve 70 per cent by 2030. A powerful signal for developers and investors alike.”