It seems that the deeper a nation gets trapped in a bubble, the harder it is for politicians and those in power to turn back or at the very least put the brakes on. The Irish Academy of Engineering have issued a brief two page document that makes for sober reading for all those households and companies struggling to pay the bills. It can be read here:
At current price differentials it [extra windpower] would add €200 million to the annual cost of electricity.
It would involve additional capital expenditure of between €1 - €2 billion to integrate this
level of Windpower into the grid. (The entire Exchequer capital program for 2014 is €3.3 billion)
The EU Environment Commissioner has observed that for environmentally sustainable policies to be
effective they must also be economically sustainable. This is the kernel of the issue in relation to
agreeing policy initiatives. Making a fundamental change in Irish energy policy reflecting current
economic circumstances is a major issue.
However, it seems almost certain that politicians won't take heed of the ever increasing warnings coming from independent bodies and economists. As a Victorian gas network campaigner in England recently said:
It is a safe bet. Nobody will get fired for making this decision
It's a similar phrase to "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM" meaning that if you don't want to risk losing your job, don't evaluate alternatives, simply pick the safe option. We saw this during the housing boom. The Irish government are now making a bet on wind energy. They will say that nobody warned them at the time of the significant over capacity problems and costs with building a system around wind energy, that conventional wisdom (i.e. lobbying groups and the media) told them it was a safe bet at the time.
But since when did the Irish landscape, rural amenity and the right to affordable access to reliable electricity go up for grabs ?