Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Ireland's Defunct Energy Plans - Rising Greenhouse Emissions and Energy Prices

Government is organized opinion.
The politician's promises of yesterday are the taxes of today.
                                                           - William McKenzie King 

According to the European Commission, Ireland is one of just eight EU countries to have increased it's greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2012 :

This is despite the fact that we have replaced most of our oil power stations with gas and installed 1,4oo wind turbines.  There is a small reduction since 2009 but this is obviously more to do with the recession than renewable energy. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are now getting worried :

  • • Ireland is unlikely to meet 2020 EU greenhouse gas emission targets for sectors including  agriculture, transport, residential, commercial, non-energy intensive industry and waste;

  • • Ireland’s emission reduction target is 20% below 2005 levels by 2020: EPA projections indicate that emissions will be 6 - 11% below 2005 levels by 2020;

  • • Agriculture and transport are projected to account for over three-quarters of Ireland’s non-Emissions Trading Scheme emissions in 2020:  agriculture (47%), transport (29%);

  • • Current and planned policies and measures are not sufficient to meet the 2020 targets.

Of course, if you prepare to fail, you fail to prepare. There are proper assessments which need to be undertaken before one could even contemplate taking on such a challenge. For example, the progressively lower capacity credit of wind energy means it can only have negligible impact on GHG emissions. 

But it gets worse. The government are now introducing a Renewable Heat Incentive to try to meet its 12% target for Renewable Heating but have failed to include households. They have cited cost as the reason. This is one of the initiatives that might actually have worked. But what they have in fact done is pushed up the cost of electricity for very small reductions in GHG emissions. Ireland now has the highest base cost of electricity in Europe (Eurostat) :

But we were told that all this wind energy would reduce the wholesale price. This is not happening either. So we have locked ourselves into expensive and ineffective policies for decades preventing money being spent on policies that could have worked. 


  1. It does not seem to be possible to provide a link on this blog, however readers are invited to search under "Chinese Government Stops building wind farms because most of the energy is wasted". You will see that the Chinese are coming round to my way of thinking. Wind farms do not work and cannot be make to work for mains electricity. They are simply expensive passengers on the grid system

  2. Wind Turbines loose up to 50% of their capacity factor every 6 years. Wind turbines commissioned too close to one another loose 35% of their capacity due to wind wake. Too close being less than 1.5 kilometer apart for these larger wind turbines. So the capacity installed is irrelevant. It is the usable capacity that is relevant and it declines as wind turbines age. To maintain output near to that of installed capacity an extra half megawatt will have to be installed in years 6 for each megawatt installed in year 1.

  3. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-01/german-wind-power-surplus-spurs-cash-for-neighbor-to-switch-off

    If you cannot link that just Google Germany pays to halt Danish wind power to protect own output, It's a Bloomberg report. This whole business of paying to stop producing a produce should have set the alarm bells ringing, but it does not do so.

  4. To get a good understanding of just how serious the German situation and how it proves there is no industrial future for that country, Google "Global Edition Handelsblatt Companies & Markets 24th March 2018, How to kill an industry! https://global.handelsblatt.com/edition/396/ressort/companies-markets/article/how-to-kill-an-industry Germany as the engine room of Europe is finished. Nuclear power is finished there, prices are 2nd highest in the world and industry is fleeing slowly but surely. Meanwhile the rest of the world ignores them (except Ireland).

  5. I think is a world wide issue, most of all countries are struggling to achieve high production of renewable energy. Good luck to everyone of us. Thank you for sharing this information.

  6. The whole world not just Ireland, are trying to achieving something great and this problem is pandemic.