Government publishes Electricity Storage Policy Framework

The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications published the long-awaited Electricity Storage Policy Framework for Ireland on 4 July.

This is the first national policy for energy storage in Ireland and as called out by Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications – “it is vital that Ireland exploits the full potential of electricity storage, and the publication of this policy framework is an important step to achieving this goal.”

The policy makes a strong push for immediately investing in electricity storage to help meet 2030 targets while also starting to develop future 2030-2040 storage needs and achieving a zero-carbon power system.

Here are our main takeaways:

– The policy rightly takes a technology neutral approach to energy storage technologies. The Government supports the potential for a portfolio of electricity storage technologies to be incorporated into the grid system based on system needs and the capacity to meet established minimal grid requirements, technical standard thresholds, and lower emission targets.

– The policy actions the immediate incorporation, through an initial procurement round with a guide volume of 500MW, of long duration storage (4+ hours duration) onto the transmission system in order to address specific 2030 system needs identified by EirGrid. This is to be progressed in 2024/2025 with the potential for subsequent procurement rounds of up to 500 MW each, pending ongoing reviews by EirGrid and the CRU.

– This procurement is separate to the Demand Flexibility Product procurement process, which is expected to incorporate up to 500MW of demand flexibility products onto the distribution system, including energy storage. The Government fully supports this procurement process and further updates from ESB Networks and the CRU are due on the procurement in the coming months.

– The policy kicks off work on electricity storage requirements for 2030-2040 with a ‘quantity’ analysis to be undertaken which will establish Ireland’s optimal long-duration storage needs. Alongside this will be a ‘financial’ analysis to assess any revenue gaps and identify the necessary market mechanisms to support investment. A route to market for the identified optimum (long duration) electricity storage requirements for 2030-2040 is to be in place before the end of 2028.

– Introduces an emerging technology sandbox to support both System Operators to identify and pilot emerging electricity storage technology and / or processes potentially capable of incorporation onto the grid network.

You can find the full policy here.