Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Eirgrid Publish Winter Outlook

The report is available here:

In summary, they are saying that there is an all island excess capacity of 2,920MW. But it is interesting that they have taken no account of the situation in the UK where National Grid recently stated that Britain's spare capacity has fallen to a seven year low, prompting emergency contingency plans to be put in place such as shutting down large factories during peak periods.

Surely in this climate, where the UK National Grid are considering restricting demand in their own country, they will also be reviewing exported power to Ireland via the two interconnectors ? In this scenario, where the interconnectors are switched off, this would leave an all island excess capacity of 1,848MW, leaving things slightly tighter than expected.

Over 2,500MW of Wind energy shrinks to 415MW !

When it comes to keeping the lights on in the depths of winter, you can't rely on wind energy, and that is why Eirgrid have written off 85% of the installed wind capacity on the island. Known as the capacity credit of wind, this is a measure of its contribution to generation adequacy and is very important when assessing the chances of delivering a stable supply of electricity as the nights draw in.

Increased oil use

The other interesting thing to note is that DSUs (Demand Side Units) have now reached 161MW in the South. This is where customers reduce the load on the grid by using their own dispatchable forms of generation, i.e. diesel generators. Since when did increasing oil use in electricity generation become part of a strategy to "de-carbonize our grid" ?

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