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Where would you like to see Ireland's Energy come from?

  • 27-02-2010 11:14pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ Energy2010


    Like the title asks where would you like to see the majority of Ireland's energy needs to come form in the short to medium term future (15-50 years)?

    Nuclear Power?
    Arguably the cheapest per Kw when considered over a 60 year lifetime, however extreme initial costs upwards of €30 Billion and the misunderstanding many people have of this technology are obvious problems.


    Wind Power?
    One of the fastest growing sectors in Ireland it has many advantages such as passive turbines with zero CO2 output when fully operational, Ireland is also one of the most ideal countries in the world to take advantage of this technology having one of the highest average wind speeds due to frequent low pressure systems from the Atlantic.


    Solar Power?
    I'm sure some will laugh at this but if a large percentage of homes are equipped with low cost PV cells and solar thermal panels it could become a significant factor. However future advancements in cost and efficiency are essential before it becomes common place in countries such as Ireland.


    Coal Powered Plants?
    Some will be surprised to see this as an option but low initial costs as well as centuries of coal reserves and modern carbon capture techniques could see this make a return if there is a sudden increase in energy demand (which could be triggered by electric cars) as is the case in China due to their economic growth.


    Oil and Gas Power Plants?
    Largely the norm with current power plants however fears on oil and gas reserves as well as turbulent prices and carbon taxes are spelling the end for this technology, so I doubt we will be using electricity from these in 20-30 years time.


    Wave Power/Tidal Power?
    I'm sure it will account for a small percentage of future energy production however due to slow uptake and a limited number of ideal sites I doubt it will play a major role. However many other countries have developed huge tidal power sites which is something which may be viable in Ireland. If you disagree please vote and explain your view.


    No Energy Production??
    Rather than come up with large amounts of capital to build the required infrastructure for energy production we could instead depend on Europe to supply our electricity needs which for a small island nation like ourselves is not a bad idea. However energy shortages across Europe are expected therefore iron clad contracts would need to be signed and payed for to ensure the lines running here weren't cut-off in such a case.


    So please vote and comment, may the best solution to Ireland's energy needs win!

    Let me know if you think I've missed an important alternative. (Note I did consider a choice of waiting for fusion energy but I believe thats further away then medium term, its probably 50 - 70 years away from a usable technology).
    Also there is probably loads of errors in this post so please just let me know about them and I'll fix them asap.


    Finally if the mods believe this thread is similar to another (however I did check) please point me to it before closing this, thank you.

    What do you want to see as Ireland's main energy source in the future? 90 votes

    Nuclear Power
    0% 0 votes
    Wind Power
    42% 38 votes
    Solar Power
    35% 32 votes
    Coal Power
    1% 1 vote
    Oil and Gas Power
    1% 1 vote
    Wave/Tidal Power
    0% 0 votes
    Buy From Abroad
    20% 18 votes


«1

Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 75 ✭✭✭ legatti


    wind and solar, ireland is shocking the amount of fossil fuel it uses when you consider the population ratio!!!

    but what could really really make a difference and the goverment/councils would have a few more €€€ in the kitty..
    TURN OFF the bloody street lamps on estates and non main roads after midnight!!! where i live its like its still broad daylight the amount of street lamps at night, we dont need them and its shinning through my windows so much i have had to put up 3 sets of black out curtains to combat it (still not completly).:(


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ Energy2010


    legatti wrote: »
    wind and solar, ireland is shocking the amount of fossil fuel it uses when you consider the population ratio!!!

    but what could really really make a difference and the goverment/councils would have a few more €€€ in the kitty..
    TURN OFF the bloody street lamps on estates and non main roads after midnight!!! where i live its like its still broad daylight the amount of street lamps at night, we dont need them and its shinning through my windows so much i have had to put up 3 sets of black out curtains to combat it (still not completly).:(

    Good point, although I doubt the majority of people would agree because of issues with night crime in unlit urban areas.

    In my opinion I believe Ireland will probably have between 40 to 70% of total energy demand provided by wind energy in about 30 to 40 years.

    However I would rather see Ireland develop wind farms to provide for 40% of demand and also build a nuclear power plant to provide 50% of demand leaving 10% to others such as the limited amount of hydro and wave energy.

    The large amount of excess power the nuclear power plant would produce at below peak times could then be sold to Europe, I doubt it would be profitable but it would at least cover maintenance, fuel and reprocessing costs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,957 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    You've no option for tidal, which is reliable and predictable. All the other renewable's need some type of base load back up so until we get decent inter connectors to main land Europe and start using French nuclear power for our back up aren't very green. And we can then start selling our spare power when the wind does blow.

    @ legatti, maybe the reason why we have street lights on all the time is to use the spare capacity from our power stations that can't be wound down over night when demand drops.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ Energy2010


    Del2005 wrote: »
    You've no option for tidal, which is reliable and predictable. All the other renewable's need some type of base load back up so until we get decent inter connectors to main land Europe and start using French nuclear power for our back up aren't very green. And we can then start selling our spare power when the wind does blow.

    Your right I overlooked that, thanks for mentioning it. I'll incorporate it into the 'wave' option because I cant edited the poll now.

    Although I doubt it will take off due to difficulties finding ideal sites, normally deep wide harbors are used which we have only a few, but it is something which I'm not too familiar with yet.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Energy2010 wrote: »
    No Energy Production??
    Rather than come up with large amounts of capital to build the required infrastructure for energy production we could instead depend on Europe to supply our electricity needs which for a small island nation like ourselves is not a bad idea. However energy shortages across Europe are expected therefore iron clad contracts would need to be signed and payed for to ensure the lines running here weren't cut-off in such a case.

    This is the least preferable option mainly because our governments are about as good at identifiying and sealing lucrative, useful deals as a dead cat is at chasing mice.

    After all, they did support that horrible Lisbon Treaty we were forced into signing.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ Energy2010


    I've noticed in the poll Nuclear Energy seems to be the choice most people would like to see. However if it came down to a nuclear plant being built in their own county would they be so supportive?


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


    There is a whole thread in this particular forum on the issue or had you not noticed, building one in Wylfa near Holyhead is discussed in there. It is a lot closer to the main demand centre ( Dublin ) than Moneypoint or the West Coast would be .

    Wind intermittence is a killer. Look at last Thursday for example (shown below where only 20mw was being generated in the whole country at one point).

    Our key single priority is to replace Moneypoint in the next 10 years for baseload and Nuclear makes perfect sense.

    wind_gen_25_Feb_2010.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 241 ✭✭ Orchard Rebel


    I'd like to see a combination of several of the above. Why simply buy into one technology?

    I'm an agnostic myself but I think if nuclear is to succeed then the people of Dublin have to realise that their reactor is not going to be in Cork harbour or on the Shannon estuary but in Ringsend or somewhere similar. That way, if they are concerned about the risks, the reactor won't be built. Simply building it 250km away isn't the answer.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Looking at it from a cold, pure capitalist perspective; it makes the most economic sense from a safety perspective to build it away from our largest city so that in the unlikely (but possible) event of a serious accident less industries would be harmed, less economic damage is done etc.

    I would rather see Moneypoint replaced with a coal station.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ Energy2010


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    There is a whole thread in this particular forum on the issue or had you not noticed...

    Sorry, yes I see many types of energy are discussed in detail.
    I'll try and keep myself and others on topic here ie which type of energy you would like to see as the main supply in future and your reasons for your choice.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    How about Waste Incineration for energy? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste-to-energy or how about the proposal that was bandied about a few months ago, about turning our u or v shaped valleys, primarily in the west of ireland into resevoirs, and constructing a dam i.e hyrdoelectricity? When it comes to wind and wave energy ireland will have to be one of the biggest if not the biggest benefactors in any developments in this technology.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭ bazza1


    Harness the hot air from the Oireachtas!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,136 ✭✭✭ del88


    I though this was a great idea
    http://www.spiritofireland.org/


    create jobs for the out of work.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    the above idea seems fantastic, can I ask what the problem with it is?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,136 ✭✭✭ del88


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    the above idea seems fantastic, can I ask what the problem with it is?
    I'm not sure...I first heared about the idea last may and was really impressed.
    I think it would take a big investment to get it up and running...and at this moment in time there's not a lot of cash around...i'd love to see the country get behind a big idea..


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    del88 wrote: »
    I though this was a great idea
    http://www.spiritofireland.org/


    create jobs for the out of work.....

    It's a good idea in principal, but the problem is not only the initial capital investment, (the actual long term returns could be quite good), it's the effect on the landscape. Finding suitable areas for the massive reservoirs required, and then getting them through the planning process, then the CPOing, convincing people this is the correct option etc.

    There are other problems with it that I'm sure are gone into detail with on the Spirit of Ireland thread.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ Energy2010


    Please keep this thread on topic. If you wish to discuss the Spirit Of Ireland proposal in detail please do so in its dedicated thread:

    http://boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055558301&highlight=spirit+ireland


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


    Energy2010 wrote: »
    Please keep this thread on topic.

    Actually the topic FWIW is inherently distorted by the poll you yourself set in the first post.

    Go back to the first post, edit the poll , allow up to 4 answers. No one of those is correct on its own.

    Also explain WHO you are and WHY you bothered registering and starting this thread.

    Ta!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Can you edit a poll you made yourself? I mean, I can edit it (I already edited it to say "Wave/Tidal" instead of "Wave"), but not sure if you can edit a poll without the mod controls.


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


    I dunno, I very rarely do polls.

    I thought you could edit any of your posts for up to 48 hours and thereafter you had to beg a mod to do it for you :D


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ Energy2010


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Actually the topic FWIW is inherently distorted by the poll you yourself set in the first post.

    Go back to the first post, edit the poll , allow up to 4 answers. No one of those is correct on its own.

    The poll is designed to allow someone to pick just one option which they would like to see as the largest contributor to electricity production in Ireland. The method behind allowing just one answer was so one form would become what people most approve of then a second third etc. Allowing for multiple choices would probably lead to a scenario whereby everyone would pick the same most likely choices therefore becoming just a count of people who voted rather than an interesting insight into how people want their electricity to be produced in the future.
    So I may reword some parts of the original post however I do not wish to change the voting method, even if I had control over that at this stage, which as BluntGuy pointed out I dont.

    As for:
    Also explain WHO you are and WHY you bothered registering and starting this thread.

    Ta!

    I dont believe you have the right to demand such information in such a provocative and insinuating manor. Perhaps you didnt mean for me to take offence to it but block capitals and sarcastic remarks such as 'Ta!' definitely hint towards that. Please point out what I've done to deserve such a post?

    As for your question, I'm a physics student at a university in Dublin and I've a huge interest in energy production and I wanted to see how other Irish people would like to see the countries energy production methods develop. Also I joined boards to discuss several other Irish orientated topics which already have threads.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Energy2010 wrote: »
    As for your question, I'm a physics student at a university in Dublin and I've a huge interest in energy production and I wanted to see how other Irish people would like to see the countries energy production methods develop. Also I joined boards to discuss several other Irish orientated topics which already have threads.

    That's fine, sometimes we just get posters who come onto the site, start a poll to collect data to do their homework for them and then contribute nothing. But as long as you're here to discuss and contribute it's all good. :cool:

    Out of interest what area of physics are you studying?


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


    Grand, student research it is then.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ Energy2010


    BluntGuy wrote: »
    That's fine, sometimes we just get posters who come onto the site, start a poll to collect data to do their homework for them and then contribute nothing. But as long as you're here to discuss and contribute it's all good. :cool:

    Out of interest what area of physics are you studying?

    Its just a general physics degree, for now, everything from relativity :) to advanced calculus :(.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Energy2010 wrote: »
    ...to advanced calculus :(.

    Ah, calculus is simple. :D

    Physics (and applied mathematics) is my background too.

    Anyway, I shan't de-rail your thread any longer.


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


    We won't have tidal in Ireland .....because we have feck all tides in Ireland. Wave maybe but not for 10 years. Actually seeing as I vaguely remember the fun with Salters Duck ....make that 20 years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,957 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    Energy2010 wrote: »
    The poll is designed to allow someone to pick just one option which they would like to see as the largest contributor to electricity production in Ireland. The method behind allowing just one answer was so one form would become what people most approve of then a second third etc. Allowing for multiple choices would probably lead to a scenario whereby everyone would pick the same most likely choices therefore becoming just a count of people who voted rather than an interesting insight into how people want their electricity to be produced in the future.
    So I may reword some parts of the original post however I do not wish to change the voting method, even if I had control over that at this stage, which as BluntGuy pointed out I dont.

    Isn't the whole point of renewable energy that we develop several different types so that we have a more stable supply. No point in only going for one of the options on their own as we need to diversify to be ensure continuation of supply.

    That's why I haven't voted as I want a mix of them all. With the majority from renewable with proper inter connectors to mainland Europe so we can sell our excess power when the wind is blowing and buy in their base load for when the wind isn't blowing, wave power still needs the wind. I can't see us selling too much solar power though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,071 ✭✭✭ Heroditas


    Energy2010 wrote: »
    The large amount of excess power the nuclear power plant would produce at below peak times could then be sold to Europe, I doubt it would be profitable but it would at least cover maintenance, fuel and reprocessing costs.


    Who is going to buy that energy at off-peak times though?
    All the other countries who already use nuclear power and have an excess of generated power at night?


  • Registered Users Posts: 260 ✭✭ Poster King


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    We won't have tidal in Ireland .....because we have feck all tides in Ireland. Wave maybe but not for 10 years. Actually seeing as I vaguely remember the fun with Salters Duck ....make that 20 years.

    I'm not sure I agree with you on this. Yes, there are other countries with stronger/bigger tides (New Zealand, Bristol Channel and parts of Canada to name a few) but I think Ireland has relatively big tides. Tidal ranges of up to 5 meters at times occur, but on average it is about 2.5 meters. Having said that, the potential for tidal energy is pretty small. There are very few sites where it would be worthwhile.
    There is a 'lake' called Salt Lake near Clifden on the coast road, that has an almost constant flow of sea water either in or out of it under a bridge. It is a popular spot for kayakers who play in the standing wave. There are several houses right beside it and I've always wondered why someone doesn't put a small turbine under one of the arches of the bridge to harness the power. I'd say there is enough flow there to power several houses. In the satellite image you can actually see the water streaming out of the lake.

    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.473862,-10.019038&spn=0.001648,0.004823&t=h&z=18


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭ donvito99


    Wind.


    What happened to the Arklow bank and it generating 10% of the countries energy needs?

    i think it would be great if we could pioneer in some form of renewable energy, like Scotland.


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