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

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  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    ei.sdraob wrote: »
    @patgill

    what do you have to say abotu Eirgrid's capital cost estimate of
    €1,200/kW

    or will you continue to not provide any figures and hope no one notices??

    We have provided generic figures for building a generic seawater pumped storage plant at €800/kw.


    I have seen the figures for two freshwater sites estimated at just under €1000/kw.

    Costs have dropped significantly in Ireland over the past two years.

    The actual cost will be dependent on the site chosen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    Heroditas wrote: »
    Not exactly a Viridian or an SSE though, are they?
    Two of the projects they are working on are 0.3GWhr and 0.9GWhr.
    Combine those two and they would meet 1/3 to 1/4 of the market's demand at peak ... for one hour.
    Now think how much is needed to meet demand for a day, a week etc.
    This is the scale of the work that is needed for pumped storage to meet what SoI constantly claim.
    Originally Posted by To_be_unconfirmed
    This is not me trying to be accusatory in the slightest. Could you explain in more detail why the two examples of pumped storage in other countries are not relevant to Ireland?
    Different countries
    Different topography
    Different subsidies
    Different capacity payments
    Different market forces
    Different population densities
    Different cost bases
    Different levels of interconnection

    Sorry, not being glib but up to my eyeballs today, hence the reason for the seemingly abrupt answer. :)

    The problem of renewable intermittancy is the same the world over.

    At a presentation in the the Academy of Engineers last night the point was made that as a % of our peak demand, we already have the highest penetration of renewables in the world and that Eirgrid as a matter of policy now curtails wind energy whenever it approaches 50% of demand, it was also pointed out that since Turlough Hill closed for renovations, the curtailment costs have climbed considerably.

    Dermot Byrne of Eirgrid also stated that Grid operators love storage. it makes operating the grid much easier.

    Ireland has 1% of the EU population yet it accounts for over 7% of EU gas imports.

    The other factor not being considered at present is that as our use of oil for transport and heating diminishes, electricity production must rise.

    How many OCGT plants must we build, and how much interconnection must be built in order to import electricity that may or may not be available.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,765 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    patgill wrote: »
    Ireland has 1% of the EU population yet it accounts for over 7% of EU gas imports.

    More to do with our lack of nuclear energy than anything else.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    It is intended that Car Batteries will perform much of the grid storage cycle in 20 years time when they work better and exist on a large scale. However they will never be despatchable..eg during rush hours. We do need an interim despatchable grid connected technology that is cheaper and more reliable than wind+gas at present.

    We simply cannot afford to match every watt of Wind ...about 1000mw realistically nowadays with an equal amount of Despatchable Gas Burning Plant .........and which which cannot easily be stored either so we need enough despatchable gas as well.

    That is the economy of the madhouse, aka "Smart and Green" in Eamon Ryans addled mind :(

    Nuclear has its own merit as a baseload technology and to spreak our mix risk. I have separately argued in this forum for taking over Wylfa for that purpose.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    More to do with our lack of nuclear energy than anything else.

    About 60% of our gas imports is used for electricity generation.

    As I have outlined earlier in the thread, building a nuclear industry in Ireland is a formidable task and is likely decades away.

    Meanwhile we must manage our current energy demand and make provision for the increased use of electricity as we transition from dependence on oil for transport and heating.

    At the same time we must overhaul and rebuild our economy and that means providing real jobs now.

    We have enormous renewable resources and the trick is to harvest them in the most effective manner possible in the context of the larger economy.

    Large scale pumped hydro will be an asset when and if the time comes to finance nuclear energy in Ireland.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    patgill wrote: »
    As I have outlined earlier in the thread, building a nuclear industry in Ireland is a formidable task and is likely decades away.
    Which is why I only ever advocated building it in Wales a mere 60 miles from Dublin...or is that 65 :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,284 ✭✭✭dubhthach


    From what I recall Corrib is suppose to be provide us with 40-50% of our natural gas needs for next 20-30years. If they ever get facilities up and running that is


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 430 ✭✭Steviemak


    dubhthach wrote: »
    From what I recall Corrib is suppose to be provide us with 40-50% of our natural gas needs for next 20-30years. If they ever get facilities up and running that is

    But isn't that at market rates? So if there is trouble in Russia and the Ukraine, for example, and world gas prices sky rocket we will pay through the nose for 'our' gas from the Corrib. Not ideal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Ugool


    Spirit of Ireland founder, Dermot McDonnell, is a non-party candidate in Mayo. He is the man who got Enda Kenny to adopt pumped storage prior to Prof Schvetts speech about energy independence which led to SoI being established.
    He has an excellent piece on the downloads section of his website www.mcdonnell.ie on what he describes as racketeering by the semi-state energy sector which should be read by anyone who pays an electricity bill in this country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,447 ✭✭✭Heroditas


    Ugool wrote: »
    He has an excellent piece on the downloads section of his website www.mcdonnell.ie on what he describes as racketeering by the semi-state energy sector which should be read by anyone who pays an electricity bill in this country.


    That's quite a whinge from him.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    Steviemak wrote: »
    Originally Posted by dubhthach viewpost.gif
    From what I recall Corrib is suppose to be provide us with 40-50% of our natural gas needs for next 20-30years. If they ever get facilities up and running that is

    But isn't that at market rates? So if there is trouble in Russia and the Ukraine, for example, and world gas prices sky rocket we will pay through the nose for 'our' gas from the Corrib. Not ideal.

    Based on the figures in the public domain Corrib will supply approx 40% of demand for 15 years, and you are correct that we will pay market prices for this, however that does not take into account any increase in demand.

    Dont forget DCENR are planning a lot more gas plants, particularly peaking plants, so our dependence on imports will get worse, rather than better.

    This farcical situation of depending on imported energy must stop, our economy is precarious enough as it is.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    Heroditas wrote: »
    That's quite a whinge from him.

    And not one untruth or distortion in sight.

    A contact of mine in ESB networks estimates another 40,000 disconnections in 2011.

    And thats at current gas prices.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,447 ✭✭✭Heroditas


    patgill wrote: »
    And not one untruth or distortion in sight.


    Pull the other one.
    I'm not fooled by his propaganda.


    patgill wrote: »
    A contact of mine in ESB networks estimates another 40,000 disconnections in 2011.

    And thats at current gas prices.


    And your plan to buy power through the interconnectors to fill a reservoir and sell that generated electricity when it's most in demand, i.e. when prices will be highest, will help these people how exactly? :rolleyes:


    Spirit of Ireland indeed. Same sort of spirit that has the country where it currently is.
    Different decade, different bubble.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    Heroditas wrote: »
    Pull the other one.
    I'm not fooled by his propaganda.

    Still no rebuttal of his critique
    And your plan to buy power through the interconnectors to fill a reservoir and sell that generated electricity when it's most in demand, i.e. when prices will be highest, will help these people how exactly? :rolleyes:


    Spirit of Ireland indeed. Same sort of spirit that has the country where it currently is.

    As you know well, the Spirit of Ireland plan is to mitigate the intermittancy of renewables. those renewables will be for the most part generated in Ireland, both Clare and Mayo have designated enough sites in their county development plans to generate 30GW of onshore wind.
    If even 20% of that were developed there would be very little imported electricity.

    In the academy of Engineers on wednesday night, Dermot Byrne of Eirgrid stated that wind depresses the market price of electricity because it has no incremental costs, he also stated that grid operators love storage and that since Turlough Hill closed for maintainance, the constraint costs have increased.

    We also plan to export a large proportion of output at the beginning of the project in order to pay down capital costs and also because CER believe that in the short term, the Spirit of Ireland concept would depress the SEM prices too much, however as gas increases in price we would plan to sell more output to the domestic market, keeping prices down.

    The plan is also based on a large amount of community energy co-op's, putting money back into peoples pockets.

    And building this project would put thousands of people back into employment for years, its a lot easier to pay your bills when you have a job.
    Different decade, different bubble.

    I think thats Dermots point, over 60% of the countries electricity provided by one imported fuel subject to price volativity and lots more of the same coming down the tracks would be considered a bubble


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,447 ✭✭✭Heroditas


    Ah yes, the old "exporting electricity" line - on the interconnectors that don't even exist and flog off power that's been subsidised by Irish people to another nation.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ei.sdraob


    patgill wrote: »
    And not one untruth or distortion in sight.

    A contact of mine in ESB networks estimates another 40,000 disconnections in 2011.

    And thats at current gas prices.

    I worked in ESB (Generation) mate

    most of those disconnections are ghost estates / empty apartments who have to pay connection fee only for the house to endup empty

    the devil is in the detail


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    ei.sdraob wrote: »
    I worked in ESB (Generation) mate

    most of those disconnections are ghost estates / empty apartments who have to pay connection fee only for the house to endup empty

    the devil is in the detail

    I gather from reading your posts that you are an advocate of nuclear energy, as such then you will be aware of the crucial role played by the ESB unions in defeating the Carnsore Point project and the resultant ban on nuclear in Ireland, of course the vested interest they were defending then was peat powered stations.

    Don't kid yourself about the disconnections, they are happening to real families and I deal with them every week. And they don't have people of the calibre of Brendan Ogle or Mr Mc Manus looking after their interests nor do they receive subsidised electricity.

    The divil is indeed in the detail.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Ugool


    patgill wrote: »
    I gather from reading your posts that you are an advocate of nuclear energy, as such then you will be aware of the crucial role played by the ESB unions in defeating the Carnsore Point project and the resultant ban on nuclear in Ireland, of course the vested interest they were defending then was peat powered stations.

    Don't kid yourself about the disconnections, they are happening to real families and I deal with them every week. And they don't have people of the calibre of Brendan Ogle or Mr Mc Manus looking after their interests nor do they receive subsidised electricity.

    The divil is indeed in the detail.[/
    Here is some detail on the costs that make our ESB bills the dearest in Europe

    Source: ESB
    ESB – Financial Summary
    Year Revenues. Dividend. No. Employed. Employee Costs. Ave Wage. CEO Salary
    2007 €3,514m €130m 7856 €562m €71,410 €534,998
    2008 €3,515m €82m 7870 €576m €73,189 €654,321
    2009 €3,114m €94m 7783 €858m €110,240 €752,568

    QUOTE]


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ei.sdraob


    patgill wrote: »
    I gather from reading your posts that you are an advocate of nuclear energy, as such then you will be aware of the crucial role played by the ESB unions in defeating the Carnsore Point project and the resultant ban on nuclear in Ireland, of course the vested interest they were defending then was peat powered stations.

    Don't kid yourself about the disconnections, they are happening to real families and I deal with them every week. And they don't have people of the calibre of Brendan Ogle or Mr Mc Manus looking after their interests nor do they receive subsidised electricity.

    The divil is indeed in the detail.

    I am well aware of the role ESB has played in mucking up the electricity sector in this country and how they are currently being used to hold prices artificially high to give an illusion of competition.

    All i am saying is that alot of the disconnections are ghost homes/appts
    its not particularly hard to pay electricity bills especially with the dole rates we get.

    If those people get their heads out of their arses they would realize they are being screwed by the government who is artificially holding up the prices and unions who carved out themselves a nice peace of the pie, with elections coming up they have a chance to vote.

    Anyways all of that is a separate issue to Spirit of Ireland, unless you are going around promising people free energy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,447 ✭✭✭Heroditas


    Ugool wrote: »
    Source: ESB
    ESB – Financial Summary
    Year Revenues. Dividend. No. Employed. Employee Costs. Ave Wage. CEO Salary
    2007 €3,514m €130m 7856 €562m €71,410 €534,998
    2008 €3,515m €82m 7870 €576m €73,189 €654,321
    2009 €3,114m €94m 7783 €858m €110,240 €752,568


    Utterly simplistic.
    A reduction in wages will not drop the price of electricity.
    The main reason is the method by which the generation units bid in and the fact that all successful units are paid the clearing price.
    Throw in about €450m in capacity payments that every generator (including wind farms and other forms of "green" generator) benefits from when it is able to generate and then throw in another €200m approx. of PSO levies and you have the reason for the high costs.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 401 ✭✭sharkDawg


    patgill wrote: »

    The divil is indeed in the detail.

    Pat, maybe I've missed something but have SoI provided anything in detail? I haven't seen any calculations apart from the mickey mouse ones that were thrown around almost two years ago.

    Ugool wrote: »
    Source: ESB
    ESB – Financial Summary
    Year Revenues. Dividend. No. Employed. Employee Costs. Ave Wage. CEO Salary
    2007 €3,514m €130m 7856 €562m €71,410 €534,998
    2008 €3,515m €82m 7870 €576m €73,189 €654,321
    2009 €3,114m €94m 7783 €858m €110,240 €752,568

    Ugool, you really should have some knowledge of electricity pricing and markets before you make crazy statements!


  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Ugool


    sharkDawg wrote: »
    Pat, maybe I've missed something but have SoI provided anything in detail? I haven't seen any calculations apart from the mickey mouse ones that were thrown around almost two years ago.




    Ugool, you really should have some knowledge of electricity pricing and markets before you make crazy statements!
    All I need to know is the cost to me and I do know our domestic electricity prices are double the EU average, over 5 times higher than the lowest priced country whereas 10 years ago we were among the cheapest. Overheads like wages don't effect prices & markets - who's crazy


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    Heroditas wrote: »
    Utterly simplistic.
    A reduction in wages will not drop the price of electricity.
    The main reason is the method by which the generation units bid in and the fact that all successful units are paid the clearing price.
    Throw in about €450m in capacity payments that every generator (including wind farms and other forms of "green" generator) benefits from when it is able to generate and then throw in another €200m approx. of PSO levies and you have the reason for the high costs.
    sharkDawg wrote: »
    Pat, maybe I've missed something but have SoI provided anything in detail? I haven't seen any calculations apart from the mickey mouse ones that were thrown around almost two years ago.




    Ugool, you really should have some knowledge of electricity pricing and markets before you make crazy statements!

    sharkDawg

    Please be a little more specific, what calc's are you interested in, S of I have presented in almost every technical and economic forum in the country at this stage and been questioned in detail.

    We have exchanged non disclosure agreements with both semi state and private companies, where even finer detail has been disclosed.

    Please ask your questions and if at all possible, I will answer them. We chose at the beginning to approach this differently than the Corrib way and that has slowed progress, however we believe that this will pay dividends later.

    As regards the price of electricity, the current SEM market rules allow all costs to be passed through to the consumer and so there is no imperative to reduce those costs.

    I think we have also forgotten to mention the hundreds of millions earned because thermal generators received free carbon certificates, yet are obliged by law to charge for those carbon costs to their customers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,235 ✭✭✭lucernarian


    Heroditas wrote: »
    And your plan to buy power through the interconnectors to fill a reservoir and sell that generated electricity when it's most in demand, i.e. when prices will be highest, will help these people how exactly? :rolleyes:
    That point really doesn't make any sense to me. Ignoring the way in which you seem to misrepresent a plan or idea or whatever (I didn't see anyone here calling for imported electricity to be fed to pumped storage per se), claiming that increased supply in order to meet demand will not help consumers in any given market is straightforward economic nonsense. The expectation would be that increased supply and increased competition of supply more importantly will lead to reduced costs for the market. My apologies if I've misunderstood your point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,447 ✭✭✭Heroditas


    Ignoring the way in which you seem to misrepresent a plan or idea or whatever

    I can assure you I am not.

    (I didn't see anyone here calling for imported electricity to be fed to pumped storage per se),

    SoI have admitted that they would use imported electricity to fill their reservoirs on their own website:

    LINK]
    In the earlier questions we explained how Ireland can export considerable amounts of electricity using international interconnectors. This type of electricity trading model is already well used and practiced in Ireland and throughout the World. Good international trading can work in two ways. In the very rare occasions when our reservoirs are under pressure from sustained very low wind, we can then buy in electricity. Of course through proper application we can buy in the electricity nationally or internationally cheaply at night time rates to top up our reservoirs!

    claiming that increased supply in order to meet demand will not help consumers in any given market is straightforward economic nonsense.

    I'll give you an example.
    Turlough Hill uses cheap night electricity to pump water into its reservoir.
    The peak time for electricity generation is between, typically, 5pm and 8pm in the evening. During this period, a lot of generators feed into the grid.
    All the generators get paid the same price per MWh, namely the price that the dearest generator successfully bids in at.
    E.G. one bids in at €20 per MWh, another at €30, another at €35, another at €40.
    Demand is met by the first three so they all get paid €35.

    Now look at it from an SoI point of view.
    They keep their reservoirs nice and full and then when the wind totally dies, they bid in at a low price but reap the benefits of the other generators' higher costs.
    Therefore, the end consumer does not get the benefit of this allegedly "cheaper" source of power generation but is still paying the same price as the dearest bidder into the electricity pool.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    That point really doesn't make any sense to me. Ignoring the way in which you seem to misrepresent a plan or idea or whatever (I didn't see anyone here calling for imported electricity to be fed to pumped storage per se), claiming that increased supply in order to meet demand will not help consumers in any given market is straightforward economic nonsense. The expectation would be that increased supply and increased competition of supply more importantly will lead to reduced costs for the market. My apologies if I've misunderstood your point.

    At this stage it might be instructive to explain the way the Irish electricity market operates.

    A simplified description of the Irish electricity market.

    At the beginning of the decade Ireland faced some problems in our electricity market, we did not have enough efficient electricity plants to enable the growth of our economy, there was a need to integrate the markets and infrastructure of the Republic and Northern Ireland, EU required competition in the electricity market and wind energy was beginning to come on stream in quantity and needed to be integrated into the grid and market.

    The adopted solution to the above problems was the Single Electricity Market, in the SEM, generators on both sides of the border feed their electricity into a central pool, from which the retail companies could purchase electricity to be sold to their customers. To address the generation capacity problem and to encourage new entrants to the SEM, a market mechanism was devised to enable easier financing of new power stations.

    A power station is paid for its electricity in two streams, the marginal cost of production (to cover the cost of fuel, labour and maintenance) and a capacity payment (to cover the cost of building of the power station) for providing generation capacity to the grid. Each day the grid operator issues a forecast of the amount of electricity needed at particular times, for the following day. The power stations submit a bid price (marginal cost) to supply a certain amount of electricity at a particular time of day, and everyone is paid the highest marginal cost. This ensures that if demand is high then older higher cost stations can afford to supply. In addition the power stations are paid annual capacity payments to enable them to cover their capital costs.

    To encourage renewable energy onto the grid, certain tariffs were introduced for different forms of renewable energy, for wind energy the tariff is called REFIT, under REFIT the minister annually decides on an amount of money to put into a fund to pay REFIT, under the REFIT tariff a floor price is decided for wind energy, currently 6.7c a unit, however as there is also a ceiling on the amount of money in the pot, if the total wind energy produced, exceeds a certain limit, then the REFIT tariff ceases to be paid and instead the wind farm is paid the spot price on the day. A different tariff applies to wave, tidal and hydro although the same mechanism applies.

    Renewable energy qualifies for a small amount of capacity payments under the market rules.

    All of the above, plus the costs of operating the grid, is financed from electricity bills and the market is operated by an organisation called SEMO and regulated by CER.

    The other revenue stream for a generator is through what is called ancillary services, technical services which maintain voltage and frequency control.

    I think we can all agree that in order to reduce electricity prices, we may need to revisit the market rules


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭patgill


    Heroditas wrote: »
    I can assure you I am not.




    SoI have admitted that they would use imported electricity to fill their reservoirs on their own website:

    LINK]






    I'll give you an example.
    Turlough Hill uses cheap night electricity to pump water into its reservoir.
    The peak time for electricity generation is between, typically, 5pm and 8pm in the evening. During this period, a lot of generators feed into the grid.
    All the generators get paid the same price per MWh, namely the price that the dearest generator successfully bids in at.
    E.G. one bids in at €20 per MWh, another at €30, another at €35, another at €40.
    Demand is met by the first three so they all get paid €35.

    Now look at it from an SoI point of view.
    They keep their reservoirs nice and full and then when the wind totally dies, they bid in at a low price but reap the benefits of the other generators' higher costs.
    Therefore, the end consumer does not get the benefit of this allegedly "cheaper" source of power generation but is still paying the same price as the dearest bidder into the electricity pool.

    However as S of I intend to be owned eventually by as many of the consumers as possible, even if the market rules are never changed, the consumer benefits.

    Spirit of Ireland did not design the market.

    Turlough Hill is closed for the next year or so for refurbishment, and it has a small capacity in any case, there is a lot of speculation that the planned refurbishment of Turlough Hill was the driver of the inctrease in PSO levies.

    The scale of what we propose though is designed to participate in the UK market where they have a looming gap in their generation capacity of approx 20GW or roughly a third of their demand.

    The UK regulator, OFGEM, are planning to meet a high percentage of this gap by importing electricity, they are building and paying for a large increase in interconnection with Europe and especially Norway in order to make use of their pumped hydro facilities and the UK government are very interested in importing from Ireland if we build the required storage.

    Most European countries look at pumped hydro to integrate renewables in the same way as an oil refinary is used to make crude oil into a useful and and easily used product.

    Ireland benefits from the thousands of jobs created by building the project, the R&D attracted by the new infrastructure, the jobs created by the renewable energy manufacturers who have already agreed to build factories in Ireland if we can give then the scale required, which in conjunction with the planning designations in the Clare and Mayo development plans, we can do easily and finally the export earnings from the energy exports.

    The EU have already ruled that renewable energy generated in one country can benefit from renewable tariff's in the country of consumption, so the argument that wind/hydro would be subsidised in Ireland and sold to the UK does not hold water, pardon the pun.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 ✭✭✭Aidan1


    E.G. one bids in at €20 per MWh, another at €30, another at €35, another at €40.
    Demand is met by the first three so they all get paid €35.

    For future reference, this is known as the System Marginal Price, or SMP.

    More detail here;

    http://www.cer.ie/en/electricity-wholesale-market-overview.aspx

    To expand slightly on Heroditas' point, the SMP is critical in understanding the importance of the gas plants in the Irish system, and thus the role played by gas prices (wholesale UK gas prices) in determining electricity prices here. More often than not, CCGT plants are the 'price setting' plant, because of the amount of capacity they represent (over 60%), and their place in the dispatch and scheduling system (Peat, renewables and CHP have priority dispatch). So if gas prices go up sharply, as they do on a fairly regular basis, then the SMP and our electricity prices do too. Right now our electricity prices are very roughly on a par with other EU countries for business users, but this can't last, given that gas prices have climbed sharply since the last price review. When ESB Power Gen comes out of their present regulated state it should help (later this year I think), but the structural problem remains.


  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭ciaran75


    Hi Pat,

    Could you let us know what the current situation is with Spirit of Ireland

    Has a location been picked / got approval ?

    Initially there was a 5 year timeframe, that was never realistic what is the current timeframe to have the first one open?

    When should we expect to hear some concrete news?

    Cheers,
    Ciaran


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  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Ugool


    patgill wrote: »
    However as S of I intend to be owned eventually by as many of the consumers as possible, even if the market rules are never changed, the consumer benefits.

    Spirit of Ireland did not design the market.

    Turlough Hill is closed for the next year or so for refurbishment, and it has a small capacity in any case, there is a lot of speculation that the planned refurbishment of Turlough Hill was the driver of the inctrease in PSO levies.

    The scale of what we propose though is designed to participate in the UK market where they have a looming gap in their generation capacity of approx 20GW or roughly a third of their demand.

    The UK regulator, OFGEM, are planning to meet a high percentage of this gap by importing electricity, they are building and paying for a large increase in interconnection with Europe and especially Norway in order to make use of their pumped hydro facilities and the UK government are very interested in importing from Ireland if we build the required storage.

    Most European countries look at pumped hydro to integrate renewables in the same way as an oil refinary is used to make crude oil into a useful and and easily used product.

    Ireland benefits from the thousands of jobs created by building the project, the R&D attracted by the new infrastructure, the jobs created by the renewable energy manufacturers who have already agreed to build factories in Ireland if we can give then the scale required, which in conjunction with the planning designations in the Clare and Mayo development plans, we can do easily and finally the export earnings from the energy exports.

    The EU have already ruled that renewable energy generated in one country can benefit from renewable tariff's in the country of consumption, so the argument that wind/hydro would be subsidised in Ireland and sold to the UK does not hold water, pardon the pun.

    Given that the SEM has all the elements of the Celtic Tiger property market, it was inevitable that a “property bubble” would emerge and indeed one has. The CER licensing program for new power stations contains a billion euro worth of what is called “peaking plant”. ESB has peaking plant but is forbidden by the EU to build more due to its dominance of our electricity market. The biggest new investors by far in this technology are the semi-state companies, BnM and BGE.

    The nature of the bubble becomes clear when you examine the results of the computer simulations of our electricity system conducted by the electricity regulators on both sides of the border. Their analysis shows that the €1 billion worth of new peaking plant, together with existing peaking plant, will generate electricity worth €1.3 million per annum. They will produce electricity for less than 10 hours per year and contribute 0.026% of total electricity generation despite amounting to well over a quarter of total fossil fuel capacity.

    These Ghost Generators will produce enough electricity to light a 10watt bulb year round in each of the empty flats and homes across the nation.


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