Energy is fundamental to modern society and its security of supply, economics and environmental consequences have critical impacts on the development of nations. With technological innovation and rapidly changing industry structures, energy markets are becoming more complex and challenging to forecast. This poses both risks and opportunities for the energy industry and consumers alike.
The European electricity system is undergoing major change. This includes a transition towards a low-carbon economy with the growing role of renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency and the electrification of transport and heating. It will provide consumers with a more meaningful role, allowing them to actively manage their demand, produce their own electricity and feed the excess onto the grid.
This requires the market, regulations and infrastructure to adapt to the changing environment. Furthermore, policy design needs to balance between encouraging investment in low-carbon technologies, safeguarding security of supply and maintaining cost competitiveness to consumers.
Some of the key industry changes, and the strategic issues they raise for Ireland, are discussed in this article.