Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Energy Regulator confirms that wind energy will result in additional costs

This blog has consistently made the point that wind has and will result in more costs in the generation of electricity, because when you mix large amounts of non-dispatch with dispatch generation, the dispatch no longer runs as smoothly as before, meaning that the costs of running your dispatch goes up.

The Energy Regulator confirmed this in an Oireachtas Committee a couple of weeks ago :

Wind has been least-cost in the past, but that does not necessarily mean it will be least-cost in the future. More and more wind on the system adds extra costs. It is a question of the law of diminishing returns. To bring in more and more wind, we have extra network costs. We need more flexibility from the generators. The wind does not always blow. When the wind is not blowing, we need to have extra capacity there to keep the lights on. The cost of that increases with the levels of wind. Some of the microgeneration technologies, such as solar technology, start to become more competitive in such circumstances. They also have falling capital costs. We constantly need to look at this in a cost framework. While we have security of supply requirements and we need to consider the environment, cost is a major feature of our overall duty.


It is good to see the Regulator now focusing on cost, because it certainly is going to become an issue into the future.


  1. Shame on the Regulator. How cruel to sacrifice ideology on the altar of reality. Government mistakes and posturing have excluded Ireland from a new regional electricity market and threaten our development as a centre for green activity.
    There was good news for Ireland last week when Apple announced that it would build its new data centre in Athenry, Co Galway. The news was a vote of confidence in a renewable and digital future for our country. An investment decision to spend €850m is not taken lightly.
    This was a real-life rebuttal to those doubters who argue that wind energy is not a competitive and secure power supply. It gave hope to those of us who think we can tackle climate change. Read where the Government has gone wrong in the Examiner at http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/analysis/pursuit-of-power-put-above-long-term-needs-315601.html
    The Greens are coming back; the elections are but a year away, and the Irish people are sure to restore the Greens to their rightful ministry in DCENR. Ideology will prevail!

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