Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Oil and Coal Imports Rise Since Irish National Renewable Energy Action Plan

In 2010, Ireland introduced it's National Renewable Energy Action Plan. One might have expected a reduction in fossil fuel imports since that time but in fact both oil and coal imports have risen. Only gas imports have declined. 


Imports 2016
Imports 2010

Gasoline (petrol)
Jet Kerosene
Gasoil DERV
Total Oil 9,009

Coal bituminous
                     Source: SEAI Energy Data

In the case of oil, most of the increase is due to an increase in motor cars. The increased coal imports are been used in Moneypoint Power Station and are a consequence of the price of coal having dropped since 2010.

What this proves is the madness of Ireland's wind only policy which can only displace gas, the least emitting fossil fuel. If we really are in trouble with the climate, then converting Moneypoint to either gas or nuclear is the only solution in town.  Which of course nobody really wants to look at and that tells you something.

Natural Gas Imports

As for gas imports, these have declined. Some of that is due to the 3,000MW of wind energy. Other equally important factors are the Shell gas reserve off the sea at County Mayo which came into production in 2016 (which in fact accounts for about 80% of the reduction), the new interconnector to the UK which up to recently was providing a net import into Ireland and an increase in peat and coal production. Gas imports have in total declined by 60% or 11% if Shell gas reserve is excluded.

Although there was a reduction in gas used in the residential sector, there was an increase in gas used in the industrial sector. In particular, the metals industry and behind that the foods industry.


  1. The idea that wind generation reduces co2 is not borne out by the facts. Uncomfortable facts they are for the cult. Eirgrid in their all Island reports say that a given amount of capacity commissioned will meet our 20 20 targets. But what Eirgrid ignore is that output is not a related constant to capacity installed . Wind turbines loose significant amounts of capacity factor as they age. Up to 50%. Over stacking on wind turbines in a wind farm can cause up to 40% output loss due to wind wake. Over dense commissioning of wind farms in a specific area will reduce output further . By up to nearly 90%. Unless you replace these wind turbines output losses by newly installed wind turbines. The only way you can make up these losses is by fossil generation. That is one of the reasons coal and oil imports have increased. Running your economy using your religious beliefs and practices never worked. Many cults have tried it and have always failed

  2. The recent RESS consultation stated (under 4a) that the results of the economic assessment indicate that a number of renewable technologies have a broadly similar range of LCOE’s, and that under specific project circumstances, but ignored the crucial issue of whether each technology is dispatchable or not.

    Whilst the DCCAE analysis may indicate that technology-neutral schemes are the most cost appropriate for Ireland, given the stated policy objectives and converging viability gaps of most RES-E capacity within the least cost mix, it is not comparing like with like if the dispatchability of the technology is not considered.

    In view of this, it is of interest that Roger Andrews in his piece "Helm and the death of UK wind and solar" refers to the recent Helm Review as “sounding the death knell for new wind and solar projects in the UK”.

    Helm’s “firm capacity” recommendation can be interpreted to mean that intermittent producers would have to convert their output into 100% dispatchable form before it can be sent to the grid in order to participate on a level playing field. See the Cost of Energy Review, Dieter Helm, 25th October 2017.

    The terms of reference for the review included the ambition for the UK to have the lowest energy costs in Europe and that carbon targets need to be met, while concurrently ensuring security of supplies of energy, in the most cost-effective way. Roger Andrews concludes that the wind-plus-storage case is uneconomic at any reasonable carbon price and the wind-plus CCGT case is at best marginally competitive with alternative generation sources.

    It is regrettable that none of this appears to have reached the mindset of the energy experts in the DCCAE to date . . .