I have been sent the following superbly written response which sets out the path that Ireland now needs to follow to put Ireland's energy policy on a proper sustainable footing. The defintion of sustainable is :
able to be maintained at a certain rate or levele.g. "sustainable economic growth"
As this blog and other commentators have shown, the current energy policy is anything but sustainable and will in fact, lead to another economic crash.
An open letter to SEAI
by David Whitehead. BA(Mod. Nat.Sc.)TCD, FIMMM, C.Eng.
Question One – What are the key issues facing SEAI in developing its strategy to 2020?
- Reorienting SEAI's focus from its politically correct and Green ideology motivated by Eamonn Ryan and re-focus it firmly on the needs and tolerances of Ireland’s population and its reasonable requirement of an efficient, reliable, affordable and fit for purpose energy sector.
- Defining what "sustainable energy " means in the framework Ireland's future energy needs and in the context of macro-scenarios bounding the limits of Ireland's social and economic futures,
- Defining the requirements and constraints and developing Ireland's energy sector in a socially cohesive and economically rational strategy in balance with the country's scale and population and in which environmental impact is managed in a socially cohesive manner respecting the fact that the environment is a social good and not the property of the State and its Agencies and is neither regarded as "untouchable" nor a parish pump political no -go area.
- Abandoning the pretence that Ireland can make anything other than a meaningless, but economically and socially damaging, symbolic gesture in the context of " decarbonisation" . If we ceased emitting all CO2 the effect on global CO2 emissions would be overcome by the growth of GHG in China and India in less than a few months.
- SEAI should acknowledge that the impact of any Irish energy strategy on global temperature will be below the detection limit.
- Developing a national energy management strategy that is based in the actual physical, technological, manufacturing, knowledge and economic realities of a small geographic entity with limited population and natural resource base rather than pandering to politically correct, but currently fashionable ideology.
- SEAI should recognise that as Ireland and the EU enacted the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP)in breach of the Aarhus Convention, REFIT and other subsidies to the Renewable energy industry may constitute illegal state aid are of questionable legality and enforceability.
- Recognising that so long as Irish electricity generation is largely based on fossil and biomass thermal technology Electric vehicles will exacerbate rather than mitigate CO2 emissions and are thus only justifiable on economic grounds if energy prices are supportive and if air quality is threatened by vehicle exhaust in large urban areas. Recognising that freight vehicles are large contributors and unlikely candidates for electrification.
- Limiting the addition of unnecessary, intermittent, non-despatchable generating capacity to the national generating fleet which already has significant overcapacity and which contributes to grid instability and escalates cost to consumers.
- Abandoning the irrational strategy of simultaneously planning to increase generating capacity and decrease demand especially as the wind sector's requirements for smart metering, grid extensions and inter-connectors is politically, economically, socially and environmentally unsustainable.
- Developing a vision and strategy in which meeting consumer needs at affordable prices, promoting social, cohesion and respecting environmental and economic constraints are the proper motives of SEAI rather than pursuing transient ideological, "green" and politically motivated objectives.
- Recognising that Ireland's construction industry, consumer demand and economic affordability are the prime drivers of building energy conservation initiatives and not SEAI.
- Developing internal and external SEAI and consumer awareness that many so-called renewable and energy saving devices require the supply and use of materials either themselves toxic ( mercury in low energy light bulbs) and/or create hazardous toxic waste problems in disposal and in supplying countries ( samarium, neodymium, lithium etc.). The increased use of technologies requiring these materials is not environmentally sustainable even if the impacts are outside Ireland.
Question two – Is SEAI’S current vision understandable and relevant?
- SEAI’s current vision is not relevant to today’s world and is not understandable other than in the context of the Green Party’s political agenda in the previous government. SEAI must articulate a vision which meets the values and the present and future needs of the taxpayers of this country and supports its industries and investors and recognises that affordability and reliability are more relevant to them than any hypothetical impact on global average temperature. To the extent that such a vision supports exploitation of genuine external opportunities to the benefit of SEAI's funders ( the taxpayers) it may do so. It should not be driven by low-carbon solutions as Ireland's GHG emissions are insignificant on any scale.
Question Three- have you had any recent interaction with SEAI?
- I once applied for a position on the SEAI board.
Question Four- Have you any suggestions for SEAI to consider in developing its strategy?
- Reposition SEAI in the realities of this country, its people, its energy needs, its constraints arising from the social and economic mileu and the environmental and social impact. Stop attempting to become a world leader in developing green and low carbon solutions for the Irish energy sector unless there are clear opportunities that better resourced entities can not reproduce.