Head of Client Origination, ElectroRoute
Energy storage is a critical enabler of Ireland’s transition to renewable technology. It will be a necessary part of meeting extremely challenging decarbonisation targets.
Like many other countries, Ireland has set itself challenging renewable energy and decarbonisation targets. These include increasing the share of renewable electricity up to 80% by 2030 and aiming for net zero by 2050.
“It’s certainly ambitious,” agrees Brian Kennedy, Head of Client Origination at ElectroRoute, a Dublin-based energy trading and optimisation business, which operates in several markets, including Japan. “But we won’t get anywhere without ambition.”
Energy storage enables renewable technology
ElectroRoute’s vision is to make net zero a reality by solving the commercial mechanics of a decarbonised energy system. It provides trading services to renewable assets including wind farms, solar farms, and batteries. “We don’t develop assets ourselves,” says Kennedy. “Our purpose is to offer our clients a route to market, keep them ahead and deliver them the best outcomes.”
A key near-term focus for the company is energy storage, which it sees as critical to Ireland’s transition to renewable technology. Without it, those all-important targets could be missed.
“First, storage technology is vital because it’s a way of taking cheap, green electricity when demand for it isn’t there — and keeping it in reserve for when it is,” explains Kennedy. “Secondly, there are times when cables and wires simply can’t move power because of too much congestion at a local level. Energy storage is the perfect technology to mitigate congestion.”
We are going to need a range of sustainable
options — a portfolio of different
low-carbon generation assets.
A flexible portfolio — and a flexible attitude
Kennedy stresses that ‘flexibility’ must be everyone’s watchword if Ireland is to achieve its zero-energy goals. “There isn’t one technology that will get us to net zero,” he says. “We are going to need a range of sustainable options — a portfolio of different low-carbon generation assets that can react flexibly and in real time to manage Ireland’s changing energy needs.”
He also recognises that ElectroRoute must be flexible and nimble so that it can stay ahead of a technological trend or emerging market. “We see the acute requirement for demand flexibility, which will require our trading and operations teams across power and gas to combine for single solutions,” says Kennedy.
“For example, supporting a Large Energy User to optimise a site, which includes energy storage, gas generators fuelled by biomethane — and trading and hedging power on behalf of the core electrical demand. We’re positioned to provide those solutions.” He believes the pace of change towards renewables is accelerating. “I’m confident that we’ll see significant changes over the next three to seven years,” he says.