Government must choose zero-carbon storage over fossil fuels to back up power supplies

Energy Storage Ireland, which represents Ireland and Northern Ireland’s energy storage industry, has called on the Irish and Northern Irish Governments to use zero-carbon storage options over fossil fuels to ensure a secure back-up power supply.

The organisation was responding to this morning’s report from EirGrid and SONI which shows Ireland’s energy supplies are getting increasingly tight and suggests additional gas generation will be needed to support renewable energy.

The Store, Respond and Save report, published in 2019 by energy market experts Baringa, estimated that replacing Ireland’s fossil fuel back-up with low and zero-carbon storage options could cut Ireland’s carbon emissions by 2 million tonnes and save consumers €117 million per annum by 2030.

Bobby Smith, spokesperson for Energy Storage Ireland, said: “We absolutely need a back-up to renewable energy like wind and solar but it doesn’t have to be fossil fuels.

“There are more than 350 MW of operational battery storage projects on the island of Ireland and many more projects in construction with a growing pipeline of projects with planning permission.

“We could do a lot more but the capacity auction system, which is used to award contracts to provide back-up generation, is designed for fossil fuels and gives them an advantage over zero or low-carbon technologies like energy storage.”

Policymakers in Britain are actively investigating how they can reform their auction system to open up opportunities for new low-carbon investment and specifically incentivise new long-duration storage technologies.

Bobby Smith continued: “We need to do the same here in Ireland or we risk locking in fossil fuel generation – and the accompanying carbon emissions – for decades to come when there are zero and low-carbon alternatives.”

Note for Editors

Energy Storage Ireland is a representative association for those interested and active in the development of energy storage in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

We work together to promote the benefits of energy storage to decarbonising Ireland’s energy system and engage with policy makers to support and facilitate the development of energy storage on the island.