Cornwall Insight Ireland has released its fourth quarterly All-Island Power market Outlook to 2030 revealing that delays to onshore wind investment decisions have “dashed the hopes of prices dipping below historic levels” in Ireland as predicted in its previous report.
The report describes onshore wind as a “key technology” for reaching carbon targets as an economically efficient form of energy generation and warns that impeding wind generation capacity would be “detrimental to households and businesses” in Ireland.
Increasing capital costs have hindered the buildout of new wind capacity despite its comparatively low installation costs, and has also contributed to the delay in retiring certain gas plants. The effect of this can be seen in the increased floor price of wind generated power, causing winter power prices to remain higher than summer prices.
Figure 1: Power price forecasts – average price per fiscal year
The energy research firm’s previous report predicted that Ireland would see power prices reduce to “normal” levels as early as the mid-2020s, however the revised prediction placed a greater emphasis on offshore wind, solar capacity and increased battery storage capacity in helping Ireland reach it’s decarbonisation targets.
Figure 2: Future electricity generation capacity breakdown
Despite the increase in forecast power prices, the report showed a significant drop in the mid-2020s due to high-cost fossil fuel plants moving offline and consequently lowering the cost of offshore wind and solar.
The completion of the North-south interconnector, a 400kV overhead line connecting the electricity grids in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, will also help lower power prices, according to the report.
Cornwall Insight Ireland remains positive stating that by maintain low-carbon energy sources as its focus, Ireland will still be on track to meet its 80% renewable electricity by 2030 target.