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Spirit of Ireland - A bright spark in today's economic gloom?

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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    From having an electronics background, I believe renewable energy is the way forward.

    It a well laid out website but some serious questions need to be asked:

    - Is there enough research for a potential investment

    - Wind turbines are great when wind is there but has any energy resevoir been properly functioning. I know that germany are creating one of these at the moment in order to supply energy when wind is not available.

    - We dont have the educated workforce in the sector at this moment in time. As far as Im aware only one institute of technology in Ireland has created a renewable energy course.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ adrem
    Registered User


    Good to see someone trying to move this concept forward - seems to have been a lot of talk but not much action to date in this area


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,902 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph
    Registered User


    We could achieve near energy independence (and possibly independence depending on whether or not we have uranium) with wind/wave/tidal/hydro/solar/gas and one single nuclear power station. Of course transport is the most difficult area to remove fossil fuels from the equation but it is possible. Best of luck to ANYONE who pushes this agenda-Ireland needs badly to be more energy independent. It stregthens our country and makes it a more desirable place to do business.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,909 ✭✭✭✭ Dan Jaman
    Registered User


    I hope it's got legs. It's not a new idea, I thought of it years ago and I'm sure I merely dredged up an old SF book's content from memory :) I do hope this Igor chap isn't claiming it's all his wheeze.
    The two essentials - cheap electric and cheap storage are available right now, and now is the time when we are all mindful of energy costs. Of course, there will be NIMBYs, but the only answer to them is to steamroller over them for the common good. Just like the Shell thing off the coast, eh?
    Вашему собственному бычьему дерьму нельзя верить - V Putin
    




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 259 ✭✭ con_leche


    It's not a new idea, and the advert is vague, but it's here and it's now and it's bold.

    This entity seem to have vision, drive, and energy.

    Ireland needs a project like this now.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 gilesy


    If the hydro-capacitor thing produces more electricity than is required to operate it why cant it power itself and we can sell the surplus?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick
    Registered User


    gilesy wrote: »
    If the hydro-capacitor thing produces more electricity than is required to operate it why cant it power itself and we can sell the surplus?

    The Hydro power station uses more energy than it generates, like Turlough Hill which uses ~310MW and generated 290MW. The ESB seem to have pulled the information web page on Turlough Hill, which explained pumped storage well. but see here -

    The reservoir is filled during the windy times when the wind power section has more than enough generation capacity. when a calm spell occurs, then the reservoir is emptied, generating power

    To paraphrase the Simpsons "in this country, we obey the laws of Thermodynamics"


    I heard the guy on the radio this evening, It'd be interesting to get some numbers to see how many valleys would be needed to be dammed (or damned) and how much power could be generated and for how long.

    of course seeing the nimby's complaining about powerlines in Meath and Connemara would raise some issues about the feasibility of it all...


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,909 ✭✭✭✭ Dan Jaman
    Registered User


    of course seeing the nimby's complaining about powerlines in Meath and Connemara would raise some issues about the feasibility of it all...
    I must admit, when I saw the state of those NIMBYs I honestly thought they'd already been exposed to some horrible experiment.
    Вашему собственному бычьему дерьму нельзя верить - V Putin
    




  • Registered Users Posts: 18,902 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph
    Registered User


    If we're not hell bent on total energy independence but rather on generating more electicity than we need, we could just build the turbines etc. and sell the excess to the european grid and buy nuclear energy from France (totally self sufficient in electricity due to nuclear energy) for the times the wind stops blowing. It should be the first step IMO, rather than going hell for leather into damming valleys. But if it proves unstable we should look at the mass pumped storage option coupled with a single nuclear plant of our own. It'd be nice to rely totally on wind and hydro but you need a backup, just in case.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 430 ✭✭ Steviemak


    Sounds like a great idea - and the fact that they are doing this out of their own pocket is commendable. I would be very interested in how many dams would be needed to make us self sufficient - 5, 20, 50??

    If we throw in wave, tidal and some bio-mass we could become self sufficient.

    I've heard some people argue that wind turbines scar the landscape etc but the way i look at it when man discovers a sustainable and cheap form of energy in the future the turbines will come down. Compare that to impact of strip mining or destroying our bogs etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭ Calina
    Registered User


    Okay.

    I am not an engineer but I have major issues with this.

    Steviemak as far as I can understand the scant available information, we are not per se talking about traditional dams but pumped storage stations, akin to Turlough Hill.

    The actual power will be generated by wind turbines - again based on the scant information I have to hand on this - and excess power will be used to pump water into the dams; when there is no power from wind, the pumped stations will be opened to generate hydroelectric power.

    I have heard mention of 2 pumped storage systems but I could be wrong because again the website = scant on the info. However the press release mentioned two reservoirs for this at a cost of 800million euro each. The bit I find hard to understand is they expect to have all this running in five years. This is because I expect these to be reasonably big pumped storage stations. Turlough Hill took 6 years to build. It is not big. The two biggest that I know about each took 10 years to build. One of them cost 450 million pounds sterling to build between 1964 and 1974. Turlough Hill cost 20million punts by comparison, and was about one sixth the size.

    If the pumped storage systems are to cater for wind free days they will have to be a lot, lot bigger than Turlough Hill in my view.

    I am not an engineer and spiritofireland.org has not provide many figures for me to look at. Until they do, I remain unconvinced.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick
    Registered User


    The main issue with a having a lot of wind power supplying your electricity is that you need a large backup for the calm days. the last few Christmas periods have seen almost a week of no wind - remember the chaos with the english airports closed due to fog in 2006.

    There are many shorter calm periods. The Hydro backup system smoothes these calm periods out.

    I'd imagine ( without any hard evidence but a hunch) that wave power would lag a lull in wind by an amount of time, a day or two, so wave power would seem to be a good idea - as it's offshore there's no one's backyard there - Otoh, there's no widely used, well proven, wave power systems out there.

    Looking at the map of the average wind speed, the west coast has the most wind. so offshore should have more wind. again avoiding the backyard of anyone.

    nuclear fission is the way to go for some amount of baseload power,
    and some interconnector to France or guarantees to transit rights through britain.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,431 ✭✭✭ Sizzler
    Registered User


    Just saw this thread, had posted about this in AH yesterday as I thought it would get some good feedback!

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055558335

    Posters on here a little more positive about it though :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 224 ✭✭ Cheeble


    One of the important tenets of sustainability is preserving the environment for future generations.

    How do we square this with bricking up the west coast?

    Cheeble-eers


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,909 ✭✭✭✭ Dan Jaman
    Registered User


    We bury the NIMBYs in the dam walls - sorted.
    Вашему собственному бычьему дерьму нельзя верить - V Putin
    




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 430 ✭✭ Steviemak


    Cheeble wrote: »
    One of the important tenets of sustainability is preserving the environment for future generations.

    How do we square this with bricking up the west coast?

    Cheeble-eers

    It would be ten lakes at the tops of mountains - their not exactly planning to turn the west coast into one massive suburb of Galway, for example, like we have done with the east coast and dublin.

    If this is viable and it may not be then the it would be more than worth it. It would stop billions of euro being transferred from Ireland to the Saudis and Russians every year and we would have stable and cheap electricity for ever. Not a bad trade off for ten lakes and a few windfarms.

    Thats if it works!

    A bit of vision is required here. Don't forget that during the 20's and 30's when we hadn't a button we had the forsight to invest in hydro - why not not now??


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,369 ✭✭✭ serfboard
    Registered User


    Steviemak wrote: »
    A bit of vision is required here. Don't forget that during the 20's and 30's when we hadn't a button we had the forsight to invest in hydro - why not not now??

    Indeed - at a time when the country really was a basket case, we built Ardnacrusha - one of the largest civil engineering projects of its type in the world.

    Of course, that was just after independence, when the politicians of that time had a vision for the country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ ardmacha
    Registered User


    nuclear fission is the way to go for some amount of baseload power,

    I disagree. Wind power fluctuates, it doesn't need a steady baseload source, it needs a source that can be powered up quickly. Gas power stations might fit the bill, just don't use them on windy days.

    The pumped storage needs big suitable sites and is hard to find these and there is inevitable opposition. NIE had a plan for a scheme in the 1970's and there is still a large hole in Camlough Mountain in South Armagh were some work was started on this. Perhaps somewhere like Killary harbour could be used for tidal energy or even for pumped storage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭ SparkyLarks
    Registered User


    tech2 wrote: »
    - We dont have the educated workforce in the sector at this moment in time. As far as Im aware only one institute of technology in Ireland has created a renewable energy course.

    We have a lot of talented Engineers in this country, with more than enough experience to carry out this project.

    there are technical issues on this project than need to be fleshed out and possibly a cost comparison to nuclear.

    /but the one thing we do have is the people capable of carrying it out.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 Nostradamus
    Banned


    MackQ wrote: »

    More information can be found at http://www.spiritofireland.org

    Like the idea, but at the same time this gave me the creeps.

    Kinda Scientology meets The Venus Project feeling about it. Just a little too New Age in ways I can't really put the finger on.

    Stunning website design BTW.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭ professore


    This is technically feasible as it is proven technology IMHO. The problem is the objections and political point-scoring. A pathetic gas pipeline can cause social chaos in Mayo, what do you think 10 hoover dams will cause? Without a military escort instructed to shoot protesters on sight this will never fly in this stupid country of ours. Ironically the same protesters will drive away in their polluting SUV's and land rovers.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,980 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    If you want to hear an interview with the men behind this then load the following

    http://dynamic.rte.ie/quickaxs/209-rte-todaywithpatkenny-Thursday.smil

    into realplayer/Media Classic Player etc. FF to 34 mins.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭ Irish and Proud


    serfboard wrote: »
    Indeed - at a time when the country really was a basket case, we built Ardnacrusha - one of the largest civil engineering projects of its type in the world.

    Of course, that was just after independence, when the politicians of that time had a vision for the country.

    Isn't it amazing! :)

    ...an example of why we need a new mainstream party with new ideas (and vision of course!)!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    It's been getting very warm cross-party political support:
    Broad Support For Dams Plan
    A proposal by a group of Irish entrepreneurs, engineers, academics, architects and legal and financial experts to achieve energy independence for Ireland within five years has attracted an extraordinary level of cross-party political support.
    The plan, unveiled last week, aims to turn Ireland into a net exporter of energy after a decade by building a series of water reservoirs powered by wind energy.
    The group called "Spirit of Ireland" are planning to invest €10bn in a project that may create tens of thousands of jobs, end our €3bn a year import bill for fossil fuels and radically reduce our carbon emissions. However, the objectives are not simply economic.
    Speaking to the Sunday Independent, chairman Graham O'Donnell said "we hope the project will help build a renewal of national confidence''.
    Initially the plan is to build two €800m dams on the west coast. The group are not looking for any government funding for the project. They plan to set up a national energy co-operative which will be open to public subscription and to investment by the National Treasury Management Agency and Irish pension-fund investors.
    Mr O'Donnell said "we want to use Irish pension funds because the logic of doing this is that this resource remains in the hands of Irish people for future generations''.
    At a recent weekend meeting with Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, it is believed a visibly enthusiastic Lenihan called the proposal "the Ardnacrusha of our time".
    One impressed source said of the meeting that "Lenihan was amazing. He immediately grasped the minutiae of the proposal and started asking us complex engineering questions''. It is believed that the Finance Minister immediately contacted the Taoiseach Brian Cowen about the plan.
    The Spirit of Ireland group have also held meetings with Eamon O'Cuiv and also the Enterprise Minister, Mary Coughlan. Mr O'Donnell also claimed that the Communications and Natural Resources Minister, Eamon Ryan, confirmed his support for the project at a recent conference.
    The group have secured cross-party support on the issue. O'Donnell told the Sunday Independent that Labour's Ruairi Quinn and former leader Dick Spring "were very anxious that the government would be informed as soon as possible. We felt there was a great deal of political generosity in that".
    O'Donnell also claimed that Fine Gael has "been particularly supportive. We met Richard Bruton and other members of the Fine Gael front bench and Simon Coveney offered us immediate cross party support''.
    The organisation has been pleased by the public response to advertisements for its spiritofireland.org website.
    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/broad-support-for-dams-plan-1734462.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭ Calina
    Registered User


    Lot of "it is believed" in that article.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,980 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    I just watched the vid on the website, the florrid script and voice are woeful for such a project. The spirits of Dev and Maureen O'Hara were almost being invoked when the emphisis should be much more hard nosed - euros and cents.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,448 ✭✭✭✭ Stark
    Registered User


    The first thing I thought when I saw the website and video was "Dublin coastal development".


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    This discussion of the concept and proposals on the Pat Kenny show is well worth listening to: http://www.rte.ie/podcasts/2009/pc/pod-v-070509-17m50s-twpk.mp3


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    We have a lot of talented Engineers in this country, with more than enough experience to carry out this project.

    there are technical issues on this project than need to be fleshed out and possibly a cost comparison to nuclear.

    /but the one thing we do have is the people capable of carrying it out.

    Engineers dont know anything about grids or connecting RE's to them. Electricians would be better suited to most of this. Engineers are more involved in electronic devices such as ADC and DAC and implementing new ideas for these and amplifiers. This is a totally new area.

    Its good to see some positive moves to create this but I can see other european countries well ahead of us when it come to actually producing an efficent renewable energy system.

    Btw your being very optimistic. Techical issues? Probably where to start is the problem at this stage.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 Nostradamus
    Banned


    Stark wrote: »
    The first thing I thought when I saw the website and video was "Dublin coastal development".

    or City of the Sacred Heart.


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