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Energy infrastructure



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,439 ✭✭✭✭ josip

    Speaking of interconnectors, how/why does this situation arise?

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,859 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell

    How does the grid dashboard display the solar farm generation? Is it in renewables or 'other'.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,557 ✭✭✭ Apogee

    ESB sign deal with Argan to construct 3x 63.5MW gas-fired plants by end of 2024

    Cabinet to consider plans for 450MW of temporary generation capacity

    A proposal to significantly increase Ireland's electricity supply next year, at a cost of possibly hundreds of millions of euro, will be brought to Cabinet tomorrow by the Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan.

    Under the plan, Eirgrid would purchase an additional 450 megawatts of electricity - equivalent to the annual output of a large generation station.

    It is understood the plan envisages Eirgrid buying temporary electricity generators, with the cost being recouped from customers over a three-year period.

    Post edited by Apogee on

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,959 ✭✭✭ tom1ie

    Depending 100% on Moffat for our gas needs is fairly risky imho and the CRU agrees with me.

    We can’t be depending on a non EU country (with a history vs us) for our gas needs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,228 ✭✭✭ DaCor

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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,965 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk

    We depended 100% on Moffat prior to Kinsale opening and at the time there was only one pipe, so no backup if it failed like there is with the two pipeline now (+ one to Northern Ireland).

    Fundamentally UK and Ireland are considered a single market for gas. Gas Networks Ireland operates an all island gas network. That means they operate the network in Northern Ireland too. Northern Ireland is reliant on gas from Corrib and from the North South interconnector and gas coming in from Moffat.

    Sure, that has become a little more awkward politically since Brexit, but in reality on the ground, it hasn't changed anything and it won't change unless their is a United Ireland!

    Sure I don't think we should depend on Moffat 100% long term, but an LNG terminal isn't the answer. Instead we should be investing in:

    • Biogas, turn farm waste into Natural Gas
    • Hydrogen, use excess wind to generate Hydrogen
    • Power to Gas, where Hydrogen doesn't work, use excess wind to generate synthetic natural gas.

    That is how we get to true security of supply, if we really need to continue to fossil gas, then we should continue to explore our own gas and oil fields. LNG isn't really improving security of supply, importing gas from abroad, have we not learned our lesson from Ukraine yet!

    True security of supply, is being truly independent of all foreign supply.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,593 ✭✭✭ Markcheese

    I'd argue it's more about diversification, don't put all your eggs in one basket ,

    Gas is really the only show in town at the moment to back up renewables , but having some gas of our own , pipelines and having a degree of storage would all help with security of supply,

    I'd love to see the full figures for bio-gas - the plants usually work best with a combination of crops and farmwastes

    But there can be a lot of energy used in the growing , harvesting and transport of crops and transport of farm wastes- plus returning the digestate to the farm

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,707 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so

    Investment requires a coherent plan. Do we actually have one of those as it's not obvious? Regardless of what route we go we are talking about options that are the best part of a decade away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 901 ✭✭✭ gjim

    Biogas is a bit of a curate's egg - where it comes purely from agricultural waste, which would naturally leak methane into the atmosphere if disposed of in the normal way, it's an easy win. The issue in that case is whether it can be done at a scale which would make it economic.

    Biofuels, where crops are grown specifically to provide the feedstock for producing methane or ethanol, are generally a terrible idea. In the US - the Renewable Fuel Standard which requires the addition of bio-ethanol to all petrol sold - actually increases CO2 emissions over extracting, processing and consuming petrol/gasoline. And that's before you count the cost of government subsidies used by farmers to grow the corn - money which could be used for actually useful emissions reduction initiatives. Same with burning wood pellets for electricity - a tech supported in Germany for example - is awful from an environmental point of view.

    In terms of synthetic methane from hydrolysis - it seems to me to make more sense than hydrogen as you can use all the existing infrastructure without modification to distribute and consume it. And it's equally CO2 neutral as hydrogen. NG leakage from infrastructure is a thing but even accounting for that (and hydrogen isn't harmless in that regard either) if all NG was produced in this way, the emissions reductions would be huge.

    But (like with hydrogen), I can't see it working in terms of current finances. The auction prices achieved for wind and solar mean that consuming carbon-free electricity to store energy in the form of methane (or hydrogen) is phenomenally expensive when you take into account the round-trip energy losses involved.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,922 ✭✭✭✭ Buttonftw

    Petrol is now 10% ethanol in Ireland. Bad for a lot of older engines and if it's still coming from displacing food supplies then an even worse idea with the looming world food shortages.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,959 ✭✭✭ tom1ie

    Oh well if you say it’s not an issue dacor then it’s not an issue 🙄

    The naivety is strong with this one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,959 ✭✭✭ tom1ie

    Im not advocating LNG at all by the way.

    Im merely pointing out that depending on the UK for 100% gas supply is a bad idea despite what dacor says.

    We should be exploring our own waters for alternative fossil fuel supplies while we need them.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 88,798 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,859 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell

    E10 also gives increased fuel consumption - between 5% and 10% so not a useful way of combating carbon emissions.

    It increases the cost of the fuel with no benefit, while use of sugar to produce it is not a good thing for the environment or food supply.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,593 ✭✭✭ Markcheese

    Yup ... And one advantage of not having any gas export facilities is that whatever has is produced off our coast is staying here - oil can be tankered to wherever - gas not so much -

    But because of that big oil companies will also be slow to invest in gas production .. mayo only really came on stream as kinsale/ ballycotton went off , I've no idea is there a replacement gas field/ well for mayo as it starts to run down ..

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,557 ✭✭✭ Apogee

    Apparently the Dept are due to start a consultation on a hydrogen strategy which may also address export. How long before anything concrete comes from this is an another question.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,557 ✭✭✭ Apogee

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,593 ✭✭✭ Markcheese

    Rather than trying to export the hydrogen, would we better off installing AC wind turbines and exporting the electricity direct to Europe via interconnectors ? ..let the end user produce and store the hydrogen at source ..

    Obviously this would be for huge multi gigawat floating schemes ..

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,439 ✭✭✭✭ josip

    The problem with that is that it's not ideal for our security of supply. There are no guarantees that if things got tight at a European-level that we'd get what we needed back over the interconnector. Having our own hydrogen means we can sleep easy

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,593 ✭✭✭ Markcheese

    Honestly ,at the scale of production we could be at , I could see a largely domestic wind industry ,with some export , And a high voltage DC export energy sector ... Straight to Europe , and with the gov taking a royalty /fee - think Norway and gas platforms -

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,090 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    Gas can only be turned down so much production wise, when it's flowing it must stay flowing or damage the whole thing.

    Trying to save a bit might finish a gas Field.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,439 ✭✭✭✭ josip

    Norway can do that because 92% of their electricity comes from hydro and they have pipes to their own gas fields for further security of supply.

    I agree that we should be looking to export the wind generated power if there was a business case for it. But we also need to secure our own energy independence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,090 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    Energy independence will only come about by having an array of energy sources.

    Many of those will be fossil fuels and in a wider Western European context, include Nuclear.

    Nuclear is woefully expensive but if the French want it, we should avail of it.

    No one thing provides the answer

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,859 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell

    Report today that 29% of the population are 'in energy poverty' in a very arbitrary definition of energy poverty.

    People use energy in a very wanton fashion.

    Clothes dryers are used instead of a clothes horse or washing line. An extra woolly jumper might save turning on the heating when it is a little chilly. Walking the kids to school rather than take the 4 by 4 armoured child carrier. Cycling to work rather than sitting in the everyday traffic grid-lock. Working from home or in the local web-hub to save the commute at least a few days a week. Not making unnecessary journeys was a cry to stop people going out is a storm, but it applies to those short of diesel or petrol for the family banger.

    The word THRIFT has fallen out of use in living memory. Living within one's means is a concept that is also falling out of use. Repair rather than replace is also a strategy that has fallen away as repair costs frequently exceed replacement cost.

    We need to reassess our way of life to reduce our consumption as a way to reduce global warming. Moving from a diesel car to an EV does not do much to save the planet.

    There is no planet 'B'

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,859 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell

    There appears from looking at the Eirgrid dashpot that coal is kept at about 5% of power generation.

    Is there a reason why this is not stopped altogether because gas can cope with all we need when the wind refuses to blow, and can shut down when the wind does blow strongly? Why does coal resolutely continue to supply our base need?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,228 ✭✭✭ DaCor

    Open to correction but I don't think they'll be shutting down Moneypoint until additional capacity comes online for redundancy sake. It is next for the chop but not just yet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,091 ✭✭✭ roadmaster

    David McWilliams had a very good podcast about our energy needs during the week. The engineer who he interviewed came across brilliantly i thought

    Post edited by spacetweek on

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,369 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek

    It was announced some time ago that the closure date is 2025.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,090 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    That's surely being extended now, though it might not be as politically expedient as power cuts.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,228 ✭✭✭ DaCor

    Yeah, that changed

    TÁNAISTE Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that the State needs Tarbert Island power plant and its sister station of Moneypoint across the Shannon Estuary to keep operating indefinitely amid growing concerns over energy security.

    His comments sound a stay of execution for the oil-burning electricity plant at Tarbert and the coal-burning generator plant in Moneypoint which were slated for closure in 2023 and 2025, respectively, in line with CO2 emission-reduction targets.

    It’s an about-face on the fossil-fuel burning energy sector at a time of heightened fears over everything from rising energy prices to the security of the State’s energy supply.