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Environment, Climate and Communications | Expected energy supplies and shortages this year

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which energy storage is currently available to meet any perceived shortages over the next twelve months; the action that is proposed in the event of supply shortages; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Energy storage encompasses a broad range of technologies with distinct characteristics and capabilities, including speed of response and storage capacity, that provide a variety of critical services to the all-island power system. Maintaining security of supply while integrating greater levels of renewable generation will require a very high penetration of variable electricity on the Irish grid, with increased storage capacity providing a low-carbon substitute for high greenhouse gas emitting power generation fuels, such as peat and coal. EirGrid has reported that a number of battery projects have been contracted via two mechanisms: SEM Capacity Auctions and DS3 Systems Services. There is currently approximately 500MW of short-duration batteries on the all-island system providing system services, as well as 292MW of pumped hydro storage.

The Commission of Regulation of Utilities (CRU) which has statutory responsibility to ensure security of supply, has the duty to monitor electricity supplies and to take sure measures as it considers necessary to protect the security of supply. The CRU, assisted by Eirgrid and my Department has a programme of actions underway to ensure the security of our electricity supply over the coming winters. The Security of Supply Programme of actions contains a number of both demand and supply side mitigation measures to address the forecasted shortfall.

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