In Eirgrid's recent capacity statement, given a recovery scenario, demand for electricity by 2019 is forecast to equal demand at the height of the boom and after this it is forecast to exceed these levels.
Ireland, like the UK, has a low energy to GDP ratio. We barely manufacture anything here, most of it is outsourced to China and India, so what exactly are Eirgrid expecting ? Perhaps there will be another industrial revolution, this time in Ireland.
It appears that Eirgrid are basing these high forecasts on data centres such as Apple moving to Ireland:
After some years of decline, demand in Ireland has shown some signs of increase. In the near future, more growth is expected to come from the expanding data centre sector which already accounts for over 200 MW of demand, and which is incorporated in our demand forecasts
This means that data centres are highly energy intensive, consuming power equivalent to half the output of a conventional gas power plant on full load (Gas plants are usually 400MW). If this is the case, then erratic wind energy can in no way ever provide sufficient reliable power to a data centre. Some form of conventional back up power supply will always be required.
So why are these data companies always held up as a shining example by the green movement ?
But in any event, I will put my blogger reputation on the line, and predict that these demand levels will not materialize. The rising cost of electricity for industry will surely drive any heavy industry out that might consider re-locating here.