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Key take-aways from IWEA 2020 conference

James Temple Power & Renewables Analyst

James Temple

Power and Renewables Analyst
25/09/2020
Wind turbines

Congratulations to the Irish Wind Energy Association on hosting a hugely successful virtual conference this week which was attended by Naturgy’s Renewables team. There was certainly a buzz in the virtual atmosphere which one could sense through the content and quality of the presentations as well as the engaged and varied Q&A sessions.

Below are some of the key take-aways for us from the conference. We look forward to the next conference, things are moving quickly (as always) in the world of energy.

  • Local communities will play an important role in the delivery of our Renewable energy future. We must enable them to join the national effort to decarbonise our society. Naturgy commends the seven community projects successful in RESS-1 for their motivation and innovation.
  • The island of Ireland is world-leading in the integration of wind and other renewables to an electricity system. To achieve our 2030 electricity targets, our grid will need to facilitate 90% “non-synchronous” generation on the system at any given moment. Today that limit is 65%, which itself is still world leading. So much so that renewable technology manufacturers look to Ireland to see what requirements other electricity grids will have from their machines in 10-15 years’ time!
  • General consensus that some sort of policy interventions will be needed to encourage CPPAs to meet Ireland’s target of 15% of demand coming from CPPAs by 2030 and ideally like to see CPPAs and RESS coexist together.
  • Integrating high levels of renewables will also bring with it many challenges that haven’t yet been solved. There are many innovative solutions being developed to ensure we avoid having to curtail wind and other renewable energies in future – you can be sure that energy storage will play an important role here.
  • Further to this, innovation is required around design of future system service markets and indeed perhaps even the energy market.
  • Lastly, offshore wind will have a separate RESS auction to the onshore RESS-2,3 etc. This is to help stimulate the relatively young offshore industry in Ireland. Thankfully, we can draw on the experience and talent from quite a developed offshore industry in the neighbouring UK. Offshore wind is a massive and underutilised resource that Ireland needs to take advantage of to meet and surpass its targets.

Contact Naturgy at: renewables@naturgy.ie and see how we can help you with your energy options.