Changes: how our Spectrum service is evolving

This article was originally published on 9 June 2020 in our ‘Energy Spectrum Ireland’ publication. 

Since Cornwall Insight launched the Energy Spectrum Ireland Service in 2015, it has been providing insight on key developments in the energy markets in Ireland. With the macro market trends of decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitilisation, on top of what was already a newly constructed market mechanism, namely I-SEM, the level of complexity in the energy market has risen to new heights. Due to these factors and strong feedback from you our client base, we have enhanced the offering around our market research subscription services.

With our Irish team growing and our presence in the market strengthening, it is appropriate to undertake a review of our product offering to ensure we are maximising the insight we can offer. This will be our last edition of Spectrum in its current format and we anticipate the changes we have made will result in our Spectrum service delivering greater insight and value than before.

Our Spectrum service contains two parts, The Ireland’s Energy Weekly Bulletin and Energy Spectrum Ireland.

Ireland Energy Weekly Bulletin

The Weekly Bulletin will continue in the same format as before. Our evaluation and feedback from you indicated that it provides a valuable weekly view of all developments in the energy market. However, the review also suggested that we should change the timing and therefore, we have taken the decision to move the Weekly Bulletin from a Friday to a Monday. With this move we hope that by delivering the Weekly Bulletin to you on a Monday morning it will inform and assist as you plan out the week ahead. The Weekly Bulletin includes all energy related news across the island of Ireland and will keep you up to date on developments as they happen in the Irish market. The format will remain the same with the stories being factual and providing you with the necessary links to original sources.

These changes will mean the Weekly Bulletin service will continue to inform you of all the developments in the Irish energy market as they happen.

Energy Spectrum Ireland

Our Energy Spectrum Ireland (ESI) publication has long been our flagship publication, produced monthly where we provide insight across the key developments in the single electricity market. With this in mind, we carried out our review with the aim of delivering a greater depth of insight in a more accessible way. Said another way, our insights will be presented in such a way as to be genuinely actionable.

The main article of each issue of ESI has been the Perspective piece. This is where we conduct an in-depth look at an aspect of the market. It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to discontinue the Perspective article of Spectrum to replace it with greater market insight across every other article in the publication. In this issue you will notice we have a usual number of long articles; 2 in Policy, 2 in Regulation and 2 in Industry structure.

Normally a comment is provided at the bottom of each article, to highlight the key points in the article and provide more specific context. This is provided in italics at the bottom. This method is our writers’ way of providing insight on emerging news stories every month and allows us to give you our insight on market developments. In addition, we include shorter stories taken from our Weekly Bulletin. In the new ESI, we will remove these shorter stories. These stories are already included in the Bulletin and we believe that they do not provide you with added value when they are presented in ESI. In future, we plan on just having one-page news articles with our insight provided after each article from several different viewpoints.

The new Spectrum

Next month’s issue will be our first issue in the new format, with commentary provided at the bottom of each article from 5 viewpoints as well as a general comment on the impact of a news story. We will keep the same format with Regulation, Policy and Industry Structure as three distinct sections, but we will have a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 stories spread across the issue. The new version will arrive at your inboxes on the second Tuesday of the month as before and will profile the previous month’s news.

Viewpoints

The insight we provide will be from the following viewpoints:

  • Assets
  • Wholesale
  • Retail
  • Large Energy Users
  • Regulation and Policy

Each viewpoint will be provided by one of our market experts who will give their insight to each news story after you have read the factual news as written by our writers.

After each article there will be a page with our insight on it, which will be filled with our market experts’ thoughts and commentary. A sample of what this will look like is in Figure 1.

They will also provide a simple impact rating based on this viewpoint of either positive, neutral or negative, as shown in Figure 2.

We have selected these five viewpoints as we feel they effectively cover the differing perspectives that can truly impact your business. We believe all those engaged in the provision of energy to consumers in Ireland will find our viewpoints to provide value in understanding the impact of all major market developments. Each viewpoint has a rather broad definition, which will allow us to cover a broad spectrum of interests. Let us go through the 5 viewpoints.

Assets: Owners, operators and developers of assets which supply electricity to the national grid.
This viewpoint covers all types of generation assets, developer sizes, owners, managers and operators of assets who produce electricity to be used on the national grid. Those in this part of the energy markets in Ireland are indirectly or directly involved in the next viewpoint, which is Wholesale.

Wholesale: Those involved in markets where energy is traded, hedged, bought and sold.
This viewpoint observes the market from the point of view of someone who is actively involved in the buying and selling of electricity on a regular basis. Those engaged in PPAs are also included in this viewpoint.

Retail: Retail suppliers who sell energy and related services to end users.
This viewpoint concerns those who sell electricity to final consumers, both domestic and non-domestic.

Large Energy Users: Large energy users who actively participate in energy markets.
This viewpoint will take the angle from those who generally consume energy but are now on the path to becoming prosumers. Anyone who operates demand-side units, flexible onsite generation and system services as part of the operation of a site whose primary use is not energy generation are likely to benefit from the views expressed here.

Policy and Regulation: Policy and regulatory commentary.
This viewpoint is slightly different from the others. Its intention is to give a view of what the potential regulatory pitfalls that may occur, or what may be coming from a regulatory point of view.

Complete new look

These changes are intended to deliver added value to your business. As part of our review we have also taken the opportunity to revamp the style of the publication, giving it a whole new look and feel. ESI has been published in a two-column format to date and we will be changing this to a single column of text format. This will make the articles more flexible and visually accessible for a range of electronic devices. It will also allow us to include more graphical representations within the content.

To conclude, these changes will allow us to give you more insight into market developments as they happen. We anticipate that there may be some questions regarding the changes we are making and if you have any, please contact me on c.ryan@cornwall-insight.ie or +353 (87) 6139804.

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