Four in five (80%) people believe that Ireland should be embracing more renewable energy to become a world leader in green energy, according to research on attitudes to energy, published by Energy Storage Ireland.

The survey results also show that people see cheaper electricity (64%), security of supply (59%), and supporting renewable energy sources (59%) as the top three benefits of battery energy storage.

The research was carried out by Interactions Research on behalf of Energy Storage Ireland. 

The research found that although just under one in three people (31%) are familiar with battery energy storage, and when provided with an explanation, 67% said that they were in favour of further government investment. A mere 6% of respondents said there were no benefits to battery energy storage.

Greater flexibility

Head of energy storage Ireland Bobby Smith said: “At present Ireland’s use of renewables is somewhat limited to times of sunshine or windy weather, due to a lack of storage capabilities. By investing in greater battery storage capacity, we’ll be able to have greater flexibility in the use of our renewable resources – meaning we can further reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels, meaning cleaner air, and cheaper electricity.”

“Energy storage plays a central role in decarbonising Ireland’s energy supply. Energy storage complements renewable energy sources like wind and solar by providing essential back up to the electricity system and by storing excess wind and solar electricity for use at times when we would otherwise have to rely on fossil fuels. More battery storage means that we can use our renewable resource more effectively and reduce the use of imported fossil fuels.”

Currently Ireland has more than 1GW of operational energy storage on our grid, the majority of which is battery energy storage. However, Ireland’s electricity grid operators, EirGrid and ESB Networks, estimate we will need at least 3 times more battery energy storage by 2030 to support the 80% renewable electricity target.

According to the SEAI, more than 81% of Ireland’s energy is imported, and most of that is fossil fuel. Today about 40% of Ireland’s annual electricity requirement comes from renewable sources, mainly wind generation. However, the government, has a target of 80% of renewable energy sources by 2023.