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 Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland

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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:45 pm

It amazes me how much oil was a substitute for thinking. I've seen an old print of medieveal Waterford with the River Suir with five or six tidal mills along the shore. There were over 200 mills in County Kilkenny. There was a report in the early 1980s ( since when turbines have much improved ) that said we could get 15% of our energy from river-based hydro.

I would like to see a ball park plan for Ireland for

20% conservation/reduction
and for the remainder
20% river and lake hydro
20% tidal
35% wind ( including wind for cars )
20% local solar
5% oil
just to see if it could stack up.

There is talk of importing solar generated energy
I would like to know what the possibility is for exporting wind and tidal ?
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:50 pm

You might be being a bit too conservative with the 35% wind power cactus given the below and given that Spain already can get up to 40% and is going for 50% (shouldn't they be going after solar big style?).

Hydro seems to have gone totally dead here - there's nothing since Ardnacrusha that I know of (according to wiki, the 85MW it produced then generated enough for the whole country) - it isn't out of the question that small generators could be stuck into towns around the country like you say the old mills were - why actual mills which used to use water power weren't kept with the idea intact is a shame and would be a great property seller I'd say - I can immediately think of mills at Croom and on the Dublin road in Limerick and one in Galway. Imagine having an apartment with reduced cost electricity coming from hydro. Hmm ... why wasn't it done I wonder? (I've seen scenic towns in Germany with a hydro station slapped under a bridge fairly out of view - you have to go and look for them as I did)

Anyway this is the next big thing with wind I hope - floating ocean wind farms. It is known that the constancy of wind around England's waters could be harvested giving them 3 times the electricity they need which sounds to me like Ireland has the capacity of being an exporter of electricity in the future given our oceans and small population.

(I would also be interested to know if enough wind farms out in the oceans wouldn't change the climate locally in a minor way by reducing on-shore winds ... might be insignificant but the vista I have of oceans and oceans full of enormous blades going around might be another thing .. )



http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jul/16/windpower.renewableenergy
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:03 am

Interesting article by Al Gore on the challenges facing the United States.

He is proposing that to survive, the US should attempt to be totally reliant on sustainable and indigenous energy production within the next decade.

Al Gores Energy Speech
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:09 pm

unaligned wrote:
Interesting article by Al Gore on the challenges facing the United States.

He is proposing that to survive, the US should attempt to be totally reliant on sustainable and indigenous energy production within the next decade.

Al Gores Energy Speech

Nice one. There was a poll in El Pais on this - link - and of the 1800 voters, 2/3 believe the world can substitute oil with renewables in 10 years.

Why so many skeptics?
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:37 pm

I've split this from the Strangford Lough tidal thread, so that anyone interested can contribute their ideas for how and when Ireland can become energy self sufficient and stop using carbon fuels.

I have been reading some statements from the ESB that seem very hostile to wind and other alternatives. They seem to think they can keep on rubbishing wind and putting the price up to cover the costs of carbons. Do we need some fresh legislation perhaps to make them get into line?
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:06 pm

I would like Ireland to use its wind, solar, tidal and hydro resources to the very maximum extent. We need to significantly enhance our ability to create renewable energies since it makes our economy independent of 140 dollar oil and it also reduces our imports and means we can export more of our oil and gas. That assists our Balance of Payments. The building of all this infrastructure would also give unemployed builders new jobs and reduce rural unemployment.
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:06 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
I would like Ireland to use its wind, solar, tidal and hydro resources to the very maximum extent. We need to significantly enhance our ability to create renewable energies since it makes our economy independent of 140 dollar oil and it also reduces our imports and means we can export more of our oil and gas. That assists our Balance of Payments. The building of all this infrastructure would also give unemployed builders new jobs and reduce rural unemployment.

I much agree, Ard Taoiseach. I also think that all oil and gas licences should be renogiated and windfall taxation applied. The money raised should be ploughed into developing self-sufficient Irish non-carbon energy sources and technologies.
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:27 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
I would like Ireland to use its wind, solar, tidal and hydro resources to the very maximum extent. We need to significantly enhance our ability to create renewable energies since it makes our economy independent of 140 dollar oil and it also reduces our imports and means we can export more of our oil and gas. That assists our Balance of Payments. The building of all this infrastructure would also give unemployed builders new jobs and reduce rural unemployment.

I much agree, Ard Taoiseach. I also think that all oil and gas licences should be renogiated and windfall taxation applied. The money raised should be ploughed into developing self-sufficient Irish non-carbon energy sources and technologies.
We are told there's a lack of human resources to do this drilling type work with the oil and gas - there is not enough skilled staff in the world to go it on our own or do the prospecting or whatever. Some excuses like that. I wonder will it make a difference to us in the medium term with revenue and income? I'd really like to see the bottom line once that pipeline starts bringing in the Rossport gas.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/work-to-begin-on-corrib-pipeline-1432463.html
http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2008/07/17/shell-to-sea-update-on-shell-corrib-gas-project/

Will we really benefit credibly from it and what indeed will be done with the revenue besides create a couple thousand FF-style jobs in the new regulatory bodies which will be set up to regulate everything and anything.

There's no chance we'd start doing early what Algeria has cottoned onto - try to build a renewable future out of whatever revenue we get from the fossils we have. Not the fossils in Leinster House

http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2007/08/11/after_oil_and_gas_sahara_sunshine/
(time to start learning Arabic?)
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:36 pm

http://www.erec.org/fileadmin/erec_docs/Projcet_Documents/RES2020/IRELAND_RES_Policy_Review_April__2008.pdf

I found this recent report on Renewable Energy in Ireland. 2.7% of our total primary energy requirement is from renewables, most of which is hydro and the rest wind power. There is an EU target of 15% by 2010 - I have been trying to find out how it will be met.

This is the present situation:
Quote :
The share of renewable energy sources (RES) in total primary energy requirement was 2.7% in 2006 compared to 1.8% in 1990. In Primary Energy Equivalent terms the share in 2006 was 5.0%. The share of RES in the gross final energy consumption was 3.09% in 2006(measured according to the methodology in the new Renewables Directive).
Quote :
Gas has become the most important fuel for electricity generation in Ireland (46% of the total in 2006), gradually replacing coal (24%) and oil (13%). “Ireland has one of the finest renewable energy resource potentials in the world. Today we are making important steps to ensure that it is tapped,” said Irish Energy Minister Eamon Ryan.

Ireland's energy dependency has rocketed since the economy expanded and also with the diminution of peat production and of the Kinsale gas field.
Quote :
Domestic production accounted for 32% of Ireland’s energy requirements in 1990. However, since the mid-1990s import dependency has grown significantly, due to the increase in energy use together with the decline in indigenous natural gas production at Kinsale since 1995 and decreasing peat production. Imported oil and gas accounted for 82% of TPER in 2006, compared with 54% in 1990.

Ireland’s dependence on external energy supplies was 91% in 2006 and this dependency is increasing. Most of the fuel comes via the UK, who are themselves dependent on external sources.


Last edited by cactus flower on Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correct figures in first line.)
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PostSubject: Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland - 2007 2020 Energy White Paper   Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:02 pm

http://www.change.ie/Global/PDF%20Files/EnergyWhitePaper12March2007.pdf

This White Paper seems to be the document that sets out Irish energy targets for security and sustainability - it is very much All Island and EU focused. I haven't read it yet but will be reading it over the weekend.
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:34 pm

Just saw this on The Pin - http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1203/1228234992689.html

A Professor in TCD believes we could be energy independent in a decade using wind and hydro.

Quote :
IRELAND COULD become energy independent in less than a decade using nothing more than wind and hydro power. The technology already exists, the only thing missing is a commitment from Government, according to a Trinity College Dublin scientist.

Prof Igor Shvets outlined how we could break our addiction to oil, end costly imports and become world leaders in renewable technologies in a public talk yesterday in Dublin entitled, Intelligent Energy Options for the Future.

He also believes that pursuing such a course could help reverse the recession by diverting idle building contractors into energy- related construction projects.

What we spend in imports is outlined here and I was thinking about it recently again ...

Quote :
Ireland faces a bleak energy future if it fails to act, according to Prof Shvets who is head of Trinity's applied physics research group. We already spend €6 billion a year on energy imports, but our energy worries would end if we moved decisively towards renewable energy options, he said.

That's 6 billion we spend each year. Are we supposed to or something under terms and conditions from the WTO ? Mother of God. 6 flaming billion a year Exclamation How does that translate into a domestic market ? If we were smart enough to consume our own energy only then what would that mean ? Would it have a doubling multiplier effect somehow ? Or would there simply be 6 billion more worth of business in the economy in tax ?

He gives some of the details, the problems and how to solve them:

Quote :
Our daily electricity demand can peak at 2.5 billion watts but typically runs at about 1.5 billion watts. We would need no more than four large wind farms, each about 10 kilometres square, to meet all our daily electricity demand, he told his audience in Trinity's McNeill Lecture Theatre.

Interesting ... powering the country only from wind and a hydro battery. Is he sure that a hydro battery like Turlough Hill would work ?

Quote :
A greater challenge was to adjust electricity production to meet fluctuations in daily demand, for example during the 4pm to 9pm peak when usage rises sharply. The system must also cope with periods when the wind was slack and electricity production declined, Prof Shvets said.

These peaks and troughs were easily met using pumped storage hydro-electricity production, such as already exists at the ESB's Turlough Hill hydro plant. Water is pumped from a lower reservoir to a higher one at night using off peak electricity. The water is then run back down a pipe through a turbine to produce extra electricity at times of peak demand.

Bath County, Virginia has the largest such plant in the world, capable of producing 2.1 billion watts of electricity, he said. Just one such plant, based on a single artificial lake 20km square and 20 metres deep and 250 metres above sea level, would be needed to produce two billion watts and supply our national electricity requirement, he said. "It is not easy to find a 20km by 20km site but we found plenty if the lake was 750 metres by 750 metres.".

Looks good but doesn't Virginia have massive mountains - the Blueridge ones, the Shenandoah River .. life is old there older than the trees but there are plenty of spots here too he says

Quote :
His research group found 30 possible sites for lakes of 500 metre square, dotted along our western seaboard. Developing just 10 of these would easily meet energy peaks and bridge across days with little wind, he said.

The Bath County plant cost €1.3 billion 20 years ago, but Prof Shvets believes costs here would be lower. Only one lake per plant was needed if located within a few kilometres of the sea. Even if costs were comparable this was still less than four months of oil imports.

Engineering and science are great in theory until they rams up against the foulness of monopolism, corruption and the hegemonic nouveau rich.

Evil or Very Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:39 am

cactus flower wrote:
2.7% of our total electricity generation is from renewables, most of which is hydro and the rest wind power...
Don't you mean 2.7% of total energy consumption? Surely wind power is giving us more electricity than that?

For a short period last week, 43% of Spain's electricity was coming from wind. The figure is usually a lot smaller of course, but you get the idea: wind can be very significant. Denmark and Germany also have impressive figures (don't have them to hand).

Good to hear what Prof Shvets of TCD is saying. When you consider that Ireland can realistically expect to generate electricity from biomass and wave power too, you can start believing in the self-sufficiency ideal. I'm not so sure about Shvets' vision of mega-scale Turlough Hills.

BTW, could biomass-generated electricity be carbon-neutral?

Of course all these alternatives involve big construction costs. And construction means burning a lot of oil. So we should be doing it right now, while oil is so cheap...
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:47 am

soubresauts wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
2.7% of our total electricity generation is from renewables, most of which is hydro and the rest wind power...
Don't you mean 2.7% of total energy consumption? Surely wind power is giving us more electricity than that?

For a short period last week, 43% of Spain's electricity was coming from wind. The figure is usually a lot smaller of course, but you get the idea: wind can be very significant. Denmark and Germany also have impressive figures (don't have them to hand).

Good to hear what Prof Shvets of TCD is saying. When you consider that Ireland can realistically expect to generate electricity from biomass and wave power too, you can start believing in the self-sufficiency ideal. I'm not so sure about Shvets' vision of mega-scale Turlough Hills.

BTW, could biomass-generated electricity be carbon-neutral?

Of course all these alternatives involve big construction costs. And construction means burning a lot of oil. So we should be doing it right now, while oil is so cheap...

You're dead right about the oil and the construction costs. What's the Energy Security thread on p.ie like - I see your name there some days. I'm always threatening to read it, all of it - I'd say there's good stuff in there.

I'm going to guess that Irish Windmills produce around 7% of our needs.
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:12 pm

Here are the figures as given in the report: (I've amended my first post so it is consistent)

KEY FIGURES:

The share of renewable energy sources (RES) in total primary energy requirement was 2.7% in 2006 compared to 1.8% in 1990.

In Primary Energy Equivalent terms the share in 2006 was 5.0%.

The share of RES in the gross final energy consumption was 3.09% in 2006(measured according to the methodology in the new Renewables Directive).

The share of RES in the gross electricity consumption was 8.6% in 2006 (compared with 4.9% in 1990)

The share of all biofuels in the transport sector in 2006 was 0.14%.

This 2.7% share RES in total primary energy requirement comprises

wind (0.9%)
hydro (0.4%)
and biomass heating, as well as smaller quantities of landfill gas, biogas and biomass Combined Heat & Power.


Whichever way you look at it, our wind generation levels are P A T H E T I C.
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:05 am

Shocking if it's only 2.7% wind - that was at the end of 2007 and about 800 MW but that's only grown to about 1200 MW, maybe a bit less, so 4% max is possible now.

Quote :
Ireland’s dependence on external energy supplies was 91% in 2006.

Is the other 9% coming from renewables and peat ? We're in a very precarious situation if something goes horribly wrong - maybe someone somewhere is very sure about our future supplies coming from godknowswhere.

Minister Ryan seriously needs to get the finger out.
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:43 pm

http://www.actforclimate.ie/emailgormley/

Friends of the Earth are calling on people to email John Gormley today and tomorrow to ask Government to support the European Commission and Parliament's proposals on climate change. There seems to be a real risk of them being watered down by the Irish Government and others.

Quote :
The European Parliament supported Commission proposals last week, which while far from perfect are a step in the right direction. Indeed, led by Fine Gael MEP, Avril Doyle, among others, MEPs strengthened the proposals in two key ways.

But now there is a real risk that enironment ministers meeting in Brussels next week will try to water down the proposals, undermining Europe's leadership position on climate change, and threatening the prospects of a new global deal next year just when the US is about to get serious and come back to the table.

There is a draft email ready to go on the link.
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:08 pm

Any idea why the Enivronment Ministers would water it down ? And what exactly is it that they might be watering down ?



http://www.actforclimate.ie/emailgormley/
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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:16 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Collaboration - A Carbon-Free Energy Plan for Ireland   Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:27 pm

Here's this link from that Poznan thread above. I'm borrowing Mr. Coughlan's content - I'm sure he won't mind Wink

http://www.foe.ie/news/2008/12/01/government-in-denial-as-climate-talks-reach-critical-stage/

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