Ireland’s renewable energy expansion attracting massive investments
Published: 14 August 2019 - Carly Wills
Ireland is expected to attract massive investment as the country is set to add 5.8GW of non-hydro renewable power capacity over the next decade. This means it will reach a total of 9.6GW by 2030 and account for 65 per cent of the country’s installed capacity, says GlobalData.
GlobalData's latest report, ‘Ireland Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 - Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape’, reveals that to achieve a 9.6GW non-hydro renewables capacity by 2030, Ireland will massively increase its investment in offshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity. During the forecast period, offshore wind capacity is set to increase from 25MW to 1.9GW at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.8 per cent, and solar PV will rise from 25MW to 1.3GW at a CAGR of 43 per cent. During the same period, power consumption in Ireland will see a minimal increase, reaching 31.4 terawatt hour (TWh) in 2030 from 27.9TWh in 2019 (a marginal 1.1 per cent CAGR).
Arkapal Sil, power industry analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Ireland’s offshore wind and solar PV capacity, has considerable potential, which will push the contribution of renewable power to installed capacity to 62 per cent by 2025 and 65 per cent by 2030. This will open up new markets for wind turbines and modules for solar plants, as well as associated equipment required for transmitting generated power to the grid. The market for laying cables under the sea will also be a key business opportunity in the country.”
This addition to Ireland’s renewable power capacity is being driven by various government incentives and policies intended to fill the void left by the phasing out of coal in 2025.
Renewable capacity expansion will necessitate grid modernisation in order to manage much higher volumes of renewable energy with inherent variability. This, in turn, will involve huge investment in grid infrastructure along with the introduction of energy storage systems to enable a steady supply of power when renewable energy is unavailable.