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Investment in electricity infrastructure in a small isolated market: the case of Ireland


  • Seán Diffney
  • John Fitz Gerald
  • Seán Lyons
  • Laura Malaguzzi Valeri


Climate policy is driving an extensive deployment of wind generation in the Irish electricity market. This study evaluates the cost of increasing wind generation both to the system as a whole and to consumers for 2020. We consider different scenarios on fuel and carbon-dioxide permit prices and the extent of electricity interconnection with Great Britain. For a small and isolated electricity system such as Ireland, a high penetration of wind is economically sound only with increased interconnection to Great Britain, since wind generation would otherwise be curtailed. Not surprisingly, for low fuel prices the least-cost scenario contains low levels of wind generation whereas the opposite is true for high fuel prices. The findings highlight the importance of interconnection and its operation and governance. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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  • Seán Diffney & John Fitz Gerald & Seán Lyons & Laura Malaguzzi Valeri, 2009. "Investment in electricity infrastructure in a small isolated market: the case of Ireland," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 469-487, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:25:y:2009:i:3:p:469-487

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    Cited by:

    1. Gorecki, Paul K., 2012. "Troubled Times: What Role for Competition and Regulatory Policy?," Papers EC10, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Gui, Emi Minghui & Diesendorf, Mark & MacGill, Iain, 2017. "Distributed energy infrastructure paradigm: Community microgrids in a new institutional economics context," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1355-1365.
    3. Lynch & John Curtis, 2016. "The effects of wind generation capacity on electricity prices and generation costs: a Monte Carlo analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 133-151, January.
    4. Di Cosmo, Valeria & Hyland, Marie, 2013. "Carbon tax scenarios and their effects on the Irish energy sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 404-414.
    5. Gorecki, Paul K. & Lyons, Sean & Tol, Richard S.J., 2011. "Public policy towards the sale of state assets in troubled times: Lessons from the Irish experience," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 193-201.
    6. Curtis, John & Devitt, Niamh & di Cosmo, Valeria & Farrell, Niall & FitzGerald, John & Hyland, Marie & Lynch, Muireann & Lyons, Sean & McCoy, Daire & Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura & Walsh, Darragh, 2014. "Irish Energy Policy: An Analysis of Current Issues," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number rs37 edited by FitzGerald, John & Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura.
    7. Valeria Di Cosmo & Sean Collins & Paul Deane, 2017. "The Effect of Increased Transmission and Storage in an Interconnected Europe: an Application to France and Ireland," Working Papers 2017.37, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Gorecki, Paul K., 2011. "The Internal EU Electricity Market: Implications for Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS23.
    9. Clancy, J.M. & Gaffney, F. & Deane, J.P. & Curtis, J. & Ó Gallachóir, B.P., 2015. "Fossil fuel and CO2 emissions savings on a high renewable electricity system – A single year case study for Ireland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 151-164.
    10. Deane, Paul & FitzGerald, John & Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura & Tuohy, Aidan & Walsh, Darragh, 2013. "Irish and British Historical Electricity Prices and Implications for the Future," Papers WP452, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    11. Gorecki, Paul K., 2013. "Ensuring compatibility of the all-island electricity system with the target model: Fitting a square peg into a round hole?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 677-688.

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