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 People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative

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PostSubject: People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative   Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:01 pm

http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/Press+Releases/People+power+-+Minister+Ryan+announces+incentives+for+micro-generation.htm


Eamon Ryan announced last night that home-generated electricity from solar, wind and other micro-generation will be bought by the ESB. As with all other Sustainable Energy Ireland initiatives, the numbers are limited, with only the first 4,000 getting the guaranteed 19 cent price per kilowatt.

Is this just a gimmick, or can it make a real difference environmentally and in terms of energy costs and self sufficiency?
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PostSubject: Re: People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative   Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:19 pm

It's definitely a great way forward in my book and would be ideal for farms and for people who live in big houses, very big houses in the country. Wind could be one of our main resources and you know I love it as a source of energy and I think that there is very little to lose by this.

I'd question the democratic potential of the whole thing though - or Anarchic potential moreso where it could have the potential for homes to tend towards self-suffiency. I don't know how realisable this is in reality but it's regularly a question on my mind. If not self-sufficiency on a micro scale then self-sufficiency on a national level or at the least very very inexpensive electricity as a potential consequence. I.e. how it improves our energy security.

I think a good assessment of it involves for a large part a good assessment of the structure of our Grid and the elements in the thing that we need for this to work. I'd love to know more about the details of the grid here and we have some people who have a fairly good level of knowledge about the grid structure but it seems to me that we could have a grid that's not set up for wide-scale micro generation hence the 4000 limitation.

I've an awful feeling we "dump" a lot of electricity when there's over demand because it's cheaper to do that than to store it at the moment. We don't have big enough batteries. They exist on a small scale in power plants and in Turlough Hill but I've a feeling we need Regional batteries that accumulate excess production. Or perhaps the interconnector could project out the overspill and we could end up exporting the excess rather than dumping it.

I haven't looked at the link but I heard the system could cost nearly 40k which might not be so much for a farm if it could supply all the electricity for it. They started doing this in Denmark I believe and it ended up that the producer was paying 65% less for electricity ... I'll find a link later.

So: it's an introductory scheme and should serve to promote the technology but ultimately I believe we need batteries if we are going to go for more and more renewables.
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PostSubject: Re: People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative   Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:10 pm

Just looking into this. Photovoltaic might make sense for us. It a pity it is another limited scheme, as a lot of people will spend time developing proposals that won't be funded.

It would be better use of money perhaps to have a roof insulation grant that everyone can take up.
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PostSubject: Re: People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative   Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:40 pm

cactus flower wrote:
It would be better use of money perhaps to have a roof insulation grant that everyone can take up.
What's wrong with this?
http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/Press+Releases/Government+announces+national+insulation+programme+for+economic+recovery.htm

Also, I can't see this microgeneration project costing much money.

Loads of people in Ireland are producing more electricity in their home/farm than they are using. Some through PV installations, most through wind turbines. It is a big step forward that these people can finally sell their excess power back to the grid.
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PostSubject: Re: People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative   Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:53 pm

eoinmn wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
It would be better use of money perhaps to have a roof insulation grant that everyone can take up.
What's wrong with this?
http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/Press+Releases/Government+announces+national+insulation+programme+for+economic+recovery.htm

Also, I can't see this microgeneration project costing much money.

Loads of people in Ireland are producing more electricity in their home/farm than they are using. Some through PV installations, most through wind turbines. It is a big step forward that these people can finally sell their excess power back to the grid.

Is the roof-insulation scheme being taken up ? I'd be agreeing it's where we could be starting - possibly developing insulation domestically too of different types - wool, recycled paper etc. and applying a particular tax to them. Could it be deductable from income tax or something ? Jaysus I think we need to get a hundred and one programmers together to make our tax system massively flexible if it isn't already to incorporate uptake of these things among other things. I think it's one way to get a carbon tax going which I think is the way forward. Offsetting imports is the ultimate idea though - home produced carbon is cheaper than foreign-origin carbon or something ... yeah right

Do you know technically what is happening eoin with us now being able to produce into the grid ? Is it an upgrade somewhere or an interconnector that got built that I missed or how is it done do you know ?

And what about the Smart meter ? I'm about to open a poll on when people will think the Smart meter will appear. I reckon it could be one of the bigger savers if not producers of electricity. If I could plug a solar panel into it then it would be even better - just plug into the grid. We need a plug-in grid.

When diesel was cheap then I'd buy a generator and plug that into the grid too and pump away. If I could make diesel somehow I'd be getting my electricity free or getting some dough from the ESB.
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PostSubject: Re: People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative   Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:05 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Do you know technically what is happening eoin with
us now being able to produce into the grid ? Is it an upgrade somewhere
or an interconnector that got built that I missed or how is it done do
you know ?
AFAIK, there was no technical barrier (except maybe some billing software), rather it was an attitude problem within the ESB/Eirgrid. They didn't see the value of microgen. I think Eamon Ryan deserves praise for changing the mindset.


Auditor #9 wrote:
Is the roof-insulation scheme being taken up ?
SEI are in charge of the admin, and they are still in the setting up phase. http://www.sei.ie/Grants/Home_Energy_Saving_Scheme/

Auditor #9 wrote:
I'd be agreeing it's where we could be starting - possibly developing insulation domestically too of different types - wool, recycled paper etc. and applying a particular tax to them.
Kingspan, based in Cavan, are one of the biggest insulation producers in world, I think.
But yes, it would be good to be focusing more on using recycled materials.


Auditor #9 wrote:
And what about the Smart meter ? I'm about to open a poll on when people will think the Smart meter will appear
I think it is due at the end of 09. We do seem to waiting a long time for it.
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PostSubject: Re: People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative   Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:53 pm

Thats interesting about the smart meter and the possibility of selling power back into the grid.

Myself and the auld lad have been looking at the possibilities of power generation on the home patch and its quite good - a combination of wind,hydro and solar could be the way to go for us - all depending on the startup costs - if you can resell the surplus that makes it a far more attractive proposition.

We have a strong flowing year round stream beside us - it drops about 150-200 feet from one end of the garden to the other - about 400 meters - we have a ready made resevoir to stabilise and regularise the flow after an abortive attempt to build a swimming pool in the 80's (one of my old mans crazier ideas - turns the bottom half of the garden into open mining pit like you see in some of those documentarys- uses child labour (me and my brothers) to haul barrowloads of earth out of it - we keep going down until we hit solid granite - dynamite is mentioned - mother calls a halt to the whole idea before it becomes a total parody of Jean de Florette) - in Winter we would definitely generate surplus power - going on recent summers the hydro method would work too.

the house is south facing and here in the Inland Sunny South East - about 12 miles from Kilkenny - we have the best sunny days average of the whole country - we even successfully grow grapes,peaches and nectarines outside on the South and South west facing walls - so I think the prospects for good solar power generation are quite high (in an Irish context of course)

And Wind - one of our neighbours has got one of them micro wind generators and he is lower down than us - we are in a south west facing valley of our own - carved by the stream as it descends down to a 100 ft waterfall that crashes onto the River Barrow Floodplain - so there is always the consistent breeze when the prevailing wind is blowing - at the higher end of the garden - this is a definite possibility.

About bloody time - I'll be keeping an eye on this - I've just finished replacing and repairing and relayering all the insulation in the loft and around the pipes and tanks - we could be super energy efficient ,if not exporters in a couple of years time.
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PostSubject: Re: People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative   Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:20 pm

I'm at a lot of that stuff as well here Edo - insulation etc. but I'm afraid we don't have any land like you sound like you do to either grow stuff or plant a wind turbine. I'd prefer to see how solar might work as well with panels and some "leisure" batteries. I'd have little doubt that it wouldn't cost the earth to get a system in your house where your lights, computer and tv and that kind of network might run off solar alone with a (small) turbine pumping in some electrons too for a kind of backup. Heavier equipment like a washing machine, cooker and fridge though might not be so easy to power from sun. These things could be limited though if you had the mind and lived in the country - replacing your cooker with a stove or backing up your cooker with a stove could help you cut down and into the bargain you might have to buy into a local economy of wood producers. I've been doing that for a little while here now because it supports local employment and contributes a tiny little bit to the offsetting of the import of fossils.

You could do similar low-tech stuff with a fridge and washing machine - my idea for the price of electricity is that it should increase with usage - the more you use the more you pay so it's worth implementing these simple ideas if you have the mind because I think this is the way it's going to go and should and similarly for water.

Generally on the question of micro-generation though, I'd really like to know how it butt-joints onto the Grid at large; are we pumping excess electrons into a battery somewhere - what happens indeed when there is very low demand - do we turn down some turbines in some power plants or what ? What happens when there's high demand do we turn the turbines up ? Are our power plants able to react that quickly does anyone know or do we deflect the excess overseas ?

Does anyone know these things ?
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PostSubject: Re: People Power - New Micro Generation Initiative   Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:16 pm

Quote :
The Warmer Homes Scheme (low income or for those on a social welfare allowance):

The Warmer Homes Scheme is part of the Low Income Housing Programme, administered by SEI. The Scheme was introduced in 2002 and provides funding, through community based organisations, to those on low income for the installation of energy efficiency measures in their homes. Already, up to 22,000 energy efficiency improvements have been made including upgrading the fabric of the building with attic insulation, cavity wall insulation, draught proofing the home and provision of lagging jackets. Homes that receive the full suite of available measures under the current scheme will have the potential to achieve energy savings of up to 50%.


All these things need to be done, and the sooner the better. It's clearly the best way of redirecting unemployed construction workers. An average of about 5,000 houses a year on the lower income group scheme (strange notion) seems very slow progress. Perhaps we need to set some well publicised targets, followed by happy announcements when we have met them?

Just changed the domestic supply over to eirtricity. 13% savings on direct debit. sunny
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