|"Yeah, that's all very fine, but the Romans are making us use windmills, what are we going to do on a calm night ?"|
Let's take a cursory look :
Ireland has received € 4.6 billion in Farm subsidies
and € 4.4 billion in structural funds for roads :
That's a total of € 9 billion since 2000.
According to the IMF, we were forced by the ECB to pay € 8 billion to unsecured bondholders, which we shouldn't have paid. So that leaves us in net receipt of € 1 billion.
But we seem to be missing the elephant in the room. Much has been made of all the above in the Irish media.
Due to EU regulations, we have been forced to turn our electricity system upside down and make significant changes to accommodate large amounts of intermittent wind. Irish Energy Blog estimates this total cost at € 20 billion:
If we include REFIT over 15-20 years, this amounts to a minimum of € 2-3 billion. Then there are other support schemes for ocean and offshore energy which will be more expensive than onshore wind. This brings us up to circa € 25 billion. There will be no discernible benefit to the electricity consumer from these changes, in fact, its a net cost, particularly in these times of low fuel prices.
No mention hardly whatsoever has been made of this in the media, despite the fact that the sums for electricity dwarf the sums for bondholders, roads and farm subsidies.
This leaves Ireland at a net loss of € 24 billion as members of the EU.