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Energy infrastructure

  • 08-05-2019 7:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,595 ✭✭✭ Apogee


    Haven't seen a specific thread on this...
    Echo wrote:
    Underwater power cable from Ireland to France closer to go-ahead

    AS an underwater power cable to connect the electricity supplies of Ireland and France moves a step closer to construction, Irish power operator, Eirgrid, said that the link “will be beneficial for both countries and Europe as a whole”. The energy regulators of both countries have jointly decided to support a bid for the Celtic Interconnector project to receive significant EU grant support. “EirGrid welcomes the decision by the national regulatory authorities of Ireland and France, regarding the Celtic Interconnector,” the company said.“We particularly welcome their acknowledgement that linking the electricity markets of Ireland and France will be beneficial for both countries, and Europe as a whole.” The cable would allow for the import and export of about 700 megawatts of electricity, enough to power around 450,000 homes.The regulators said that they had agreed that 65% of the project’s costs would be allocated to Ireland and 35% to France.The project is due to be completed in 2026 and will cost €930m.
    https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/Underwater-power-cable-from-Ireland-to-France-closer-to-go-ahead-df33b61f-86b9-459f-addc-65c7ede969f0-ds


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Comments

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Brilliant to see movement on this. We will be able to use that lovely French Nuclear power.

    It will basically mean we can completely shutdown the use of peat and coal and maybe even reduce gas use a bit. We will likely be able to hit more then 100% wind power with this *

    * Not that we have 100% wind year round obviously, but that we have the capacity to generate more then 100% on windy days. The French Nukes will basically act as a backup when the wind isn't blowing and when it is, we can export our excess to them.

    Interestingly, just like at the dashboard, coal is running at 0% today. Moneypoint has basically been offline the past few months. We should already be shutting it down and the peat stations too. Gas can already handle it. But this interconnector would reduce even the gas and all for more wind.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Obviously with this kind of question it's hard to be precise...but

    Does anyone know roughly what kind of a boost our sustainables sector could have gotten had that 5bn for the national broadband scheme been put in energy generation instead?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Obviously with this kind of question it's hard to be precise...but

    Does anyone know roughly what kind of a boost our sustainables sector could have gotten had that 5bn for the national broadband scheme been put in energy generation instead?

    Well based on the above numbers, for 5 billion, you could build enough interconnectors to France and Britain that 100% of our electricity would come from their nukes and we could close all our power plants and thus be 100% zero CO2!

    Not that you'd want to do that for a variety of reasons. But just to give the scale of what a waste that 5bn is.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    bk wrote: »
    Well based on the above numbers, for 5 billion, you could build enough interconnectors to France and Britain that 100% of our electricity would come from their nukes and we could close all our power plants and thus be 100% zero CO2!

    Not that you'd want to do that for a variety of reasons. But just to give the scale of what a waste that 5bn is.

    Intersting!

    And as opposed to interconnectors relying on other countries, what kind of our own infrastructure could we have gotten for that?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Intersting!

    And as opposed to interconnectors relying on other countries, what kind of our own infrastructure could we have gotten for that?

    Maybe a Nuclear power plant of our own, but NIMBY politics wouldn't allow for that and also has some issues around scale versus Ireland.

    Thing is we have always relied on other countries for our power needs. For mostly of our history we mostly relied on foreign coal. Now we mostly rely on foreign gas. We have some gas ourselves, but I believe most comes from Norway and Scotland and European pricing of gas is highly reliant on Russia.

    We have wind, which is great, but that has a different sort of reliability issue, the one of wind not always blowing.

    Really in order to make wind work, it will need high degree of networking with the rest of Europe to share resources.

    5bn might be enough to do the following:
    - Built more wind farms, enough to hit 100% when wind blowing.
    - Convert moneypoint to biomass/waste burning power generation.
    - Maybe some battery backup to the wind, so we could utilise it more. Though battery tech is still relatively new and developing.

    Of course aside of this we should also be:
    - Building an extensive EV charging network
    - Subsidising and promoting EV's heavily
    - Spending more on insulating homes and improving heating efficiency, etc.
    - Money towards better public transport, people out of their cars.

    etc. etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    bk wrote: »
    Brilliant to see movement on this. We will be able to use that lovely French Nuclear power.



    * Not that we have 100% wind year round obviously, but that we have the capacity to generate more then 100% on windy days. The French Nukes will basically act as a backup when the wind isn't blowing and when it is, we can export our excess to them.

    I know this is a bit simplistic, but if they have enough nuclear to supply us why would they want to buy potentially spare wind energy (or any other) from us...?

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,595 ✭✭✭ Apogee


    Markcheese wrote: »
    I know this is a bit simplistic, but if they have enough nuclear to supply us why would they want to buy potentially spare wind energy (or any other) from us...?

    Electricity demand in France is highest in winter, which coincides with highest wind generation in Ireland.
    Since the commissioning of the 2,000 MW DC link in the 1980s, the bulk of power flow through the link has been from France to Britain. However, France imports energy as needed during the winter to meet demand, or when there is low availability of nuclear or hydroelectric power.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HVDC_Cross-Channel


  • Registered Users Posts: 93 ✭✭✭ irishfire


    bk wrote:
    Interestingly, just like at the dashboard, coal is running at 0% today. Moneypoint has basically been offline the past few months. We should already be shutting it down and the peat stations too. Gas can already handle it. But this interconnector would reduce even the gas and all for more wind.

    Moneypoint offline due to a fault currently, but like you say it's end of life and probably suited to a repurposing for researching biofuels etc. Still a year and a half worth of coal in the yard though.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Markcheese wrote: »
    I know this is a bit simplistic, but if they have enough nuclear to supply us why would they want to buy potentially spare wind energy (or any other) from us...?

    In addition to what Apogee said, there is quiet a bit of politics involved.

    Some people in the French population want to see a reduction in Nuclear and increase in wind. As a result the government have agreed to increasingly use wind. But they are being clever and using a slight of hand. They aren't going to close Nuclear plants, instead, just export Nuke power to their neighbours who need it and buy excess wind from them.

    They can then say they ran on 20% wind last year and that Nuke is decreasing, while reality is quiet different.

    France, along with Norway is basically becoming the battery of Europe and they will be well paid for that backup capacity.
    irishfire wrote: »
    Moneypoint offline due to a fault currently, but like you say it's end of life and probably suited to a repurposing for researching biofuels etc. Still a year and a half worth of coal in the yard though.

    Yep, but it does show that we really don't need it. That we already have plenty of capacity between Wind and Gas. Gas is not only less polluting then coal, but it is also a better partner to wind as it can be spun up and down quickly as wind demand changes, unlike coal.

    I get the feeling that they aren't actually putting much effort into quickly fixing Moneypoint, they know it is already pretty much end of life and on the way out. They are currently keeping it around and that coal supply, in case their is a shock to the gas market, totally understandable, but I won't be surprised if we see it been used much at all even once fixed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Intersting!

    And as opposed to interconnectors relying on other countries, what kind of our own infrastructure could we have gotten for that?

    About 2000 MW according to this.
    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/energy-and-resources/energy-firms-plan-to-invest-billions-in-irish-sea-wind-projects-1.3871443


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,344 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    re: battery backup. Is there a case for more pumped-storage? Turlough Hill was a great engineering achievement, why not build a few more?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    loyatemu wrote: »
    re: battery backup. Is there a case for more pumped-storage? Turlough Hill was a great engineering achievement, why not build a few more?

    There are lots of storage options being explored such as http://gravityelectric.com/


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,344 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    There are lots of storage options being explored such as http://gravityelectric.com/

    there's virtually no information on anything on that website, just lots of mentions of gravity. Reminded me of Steorn.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,163 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    bk wrote: »
    Brilliant to see movement on this. We will be able to use that lovely French Nuclear power.

    It will basically mean we can completely shutdown the use of peat and coal and maybe even reduce gas use a bit. We will likely be able to hit more then 100% wind power with this *

    * Not that we have 100% wind year round obviously, but that we have the capacity to generate more then 100% on windy days. The French Nukes will basically act as a backup when the wind isn't blowing and when it is, we can export our excess to them.

    Interestingly, just like at the dashboard, coal is running at 0% today. Moneypoint has basically been offline the past few months. We should already be shutting it down and the peat stations too. Gas can already handle it. But this interconnector would reduce even the gas and all for more wind.

    Basically handing over our energy independence to France and hoping they'll give us a good price and wont go on strike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,344 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Basically handing over our energy independence to France and hoping they'll give us a good price and wont go on strike.

    do we currently have energy independence?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,163 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    A series of pumped storage facilities, a proper off-shore incentivisation scheme. Ban on new deisel and petrol, district heating, an EV charging network, better PT in the cities (granted this is already being invested in), an electric medium-high speed intercity railway network, investment in rail freight, invest in domestic wood chip for heating in rural areas, more biogas, divest from oil completely, all these policies should be chased relentlessly before just saying, we'll buy French nuclear and throw ourselves at the mercy of French politics.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,163 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    loyatemu wrote: »
    do we currently have energy independence?

    Good question, not really, we'll have even less so after handing the keys to the French.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    loyatemu wrote: »
    re: battery backup. Is there a case for more pumped-storage? Turlough Hill was a great engineering achievement, why not build a few more?

    Isn't there a plan for another pumped electric station at the silver mines, (I don't now how far along it is, but its going to be expensive either way...

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    Wether we import oil from Saudi Arabia or the North Sea, gas from Norway, get gas from Shell in Mayo, or wind turbines built in Germany and Spain and paid for with by international investments, energy security is a kind of fickle.

    Its not just where the assets are, it's also how they're controlled... (and who controls them)

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,163 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Markcheese wrote: »
    Wether we import oil from Saudi Arabia or the North Sea, gas from Norway, get gas from Shell in Mayo, or wind turbines built in Germany and Spain and paid for with by international investments, energy security is a kind of fickle.

    Its not just where the assets are, it's also how they're controlled... (and who controls them)

    well if you count where the components or systems are manufactured, then no country is energy independent, maybe Iran or North Korea?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    loyatemu wrote: »
    there's virtually no information on anything on that website, just lots of mentions of gravity. Reminded me of Steorn.

    haha indeed your right . I meant this site https://www.gravitricity.com/


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,344 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Good question, not really, we'll have even less so after handing the keys to the French.

    we have an interconnector to the UK as well, so at least we have redundancy in our reliance on politically unstable jurisdictions :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,163 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    loyatemu wrote: »
    we have an interconnector to the UK as well, so at least we have redundancy in our reliance on politically unstable jurisdictions :)

    We're mostly exporting to the UK, which is power hungry and a bit of a mess in terms of policy. The proposed connection to France is being sold as a solution for our dirty electricity producers i.e. Moneypoint and the peat stations, and even as a replacement for our gas based leccy. Closing down our gas in favour of french nuclear would be a big folly. Nuclear isn't as versatile as gas in terms of verying the output. Ultimately we're still going to need massive investment producing and storing power here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,658 ✭✭✭ Markcheese


    cgcsb wrote: »
    We're mostly exporting to the UK, which is power hungry and a bit of a mess in terms of policy. The proposed connection to France is being sold as a solution for our dirty electricity producers i.e. Moneypoint and the peat stations, and even as a replacement for our gas based leccy. Closing down our gas in favour of french nuclear would be a big folly. Nuclear isn't as versatile as gas in terms of verying the output. Ultimately we're still going to need massive investment producing and storing power here.

    Aren't the french stepping back (slowly) from nuclear..

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,344 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Nuclear isn't as versatile as gas in terms of varying the output.

    that's probably not going to matter much to the French, we'll be using a tiny fraction of their output.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/energy-and-resources/german-energy-group-to-spend-100m-on-battery-plants-to-store-electricity-1.3860299

    The same crowd have about 800MW of wind in the development pipeline:
    https://news.innogy.com/innogy-se-officially-opens-its-first-wind-farm-in-ireland/

    Of course battery storage like the 100MW that those Germans are promising is critical to balance out Wind and Solar outputs. We have hardly any solar in this country compared to the UK (4-5MW vs. 12GW)

    https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/eirgrids-1000mw-goahead-for-solar-energy-projects-37271954.html


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Good question, not really, we'll have even less so after handing the keys to the French.

    I honestly believe that if we move to lots more wind, even if partly backed up with interconnectors to UK and France, will give us far more energy independence then we have ever had before!

    As for your comment about French strikes. First of all they never impact energy, people working in the Nuclear plants are very well paid and looked after, so unlikely to go on strike. And it isn't like the ESB have never gone on strike.

    And so what if they go on strike?

    Irelands peak demand is 6,400MW, this interconnector is just 700MW or roughly 1/9th of our energy needs.

    By comparison, Moneypoint is 900MW and it is been shutdown for the last 6 months or so due to mechanical failure. But I haven't noticed the lights going out, have you?

    No, of course not, they just increased the output of the Gas power stations and wind. A strike in France would likely last days, not months.

    And if there is a failure (more likely an issue then a strike) with this interconnector, they would do the same.

    That is why having multiple different backups and independent connections is a good thing. It gives you greater independence and fall back options.

    We already have an interconnector to the UK and now we will also have one to France, giving more options and reliability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,163 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    bk wrote: »
    I honestly believe that if we move to lots more wind, even if partly backed up with interconnectors to UK and France, will give us far more energy independence then we have ever had before!

    As for your comment about French strikes. First of all they never impact energy, people working in the Nuclear plants are very well paid and looked after, so unlikely to go on strike. And it isn't like the ESB have never gone on strike.

    And so what if they go on strike?

    Irelands peak demand is 6,400MW, this interconnector is just 700MW or roughly 1/9th of our energy needs.

    By comparison, Moneypoint is 900MW and it is been shutdown for the last 6 months or so due to mechanical failure. But I haven't noticed the lights going out, have you?

    No, of course not, they just increased the output of the Gas power stations and wind. A strike in France would likely last days, not months.

    And if there is a failure (more likely an issue then a strike) with this interconnector, they would do the same.

    That is why having multiple different backups and independent connections is a good thing. It gives you greater independence and fall back options.

    We already have an interconnector to the UK and now we will also have one to France, giving more options and reliability.

    You actually have me convinced of the benefits, I do worry about becoming over reliant on it though, it shouldn't be used as a reason to close down our gas capabilities. The cost is something I find questionable also. Domestic production and better storage is still needed.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    cgcsb wrote: »
    You actually have me convinced of the benefits, I do worry about becoming over reliant on it though, it shouldn't be used as a reason to close down our gas capabilities. The cost is something I find questionable also. Domestic production and better storage is still needed.

    I agree 100%, I'd see the interconnectors as a step in the right direction, but certainly not the final goal.

    I hope that battery tech (and the other ideas people mentioned above) can develop further that they become reality and help increase our use of wind and solar.

    I'd also like to see Moneypoint converted to Waste To Energy plant (I'm not convinced Biomass is a good idea).

    I'd agree that we will likely need to keep the Gas stations around for the forseeable future. But hopefully use them less and less.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,163 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    bk wrote: »
    I agree 100%, I'd see the interconnectors as a step in the right direction, but certainly not the final goal.

    I hope that battery tech (and the other ideas people mentioned above) can develop further that they become reality and help increase our use of wind and solar.

    I'd also like to see Moneypoint converted to Waste To Energy plant (I'm not convinced Biomass is a good idea).

    I'd agree that we will likely need to keep the Gas stations around for the forseeable future. But hopefully use them less and less.

    Locally produced biomass makes sense for domestic heating and even district heating. Electricity production....I can't see it working


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