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Random Renewables Thread

  • 06-09-2022 8:50am
    Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,886 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    Works well in other fora, a general thread for random thoughts...

    Climate council says Ireland facing challenging winter (

    For once a quite sensible list....putting them into play is a different matter

    home energy upgrades such as attic insulation and draught proofing to be accelerated; for regular servicing of boilers; the installation of heating controls; and the simplification of the paperwork required to access SEAI energy upgrade grants.

    Government-supported, low-cost-finance initiatives to be made available for the purchase of electric cars

    congestion charges to discourage car use in urban areas

    targets Vehicle Registration Tax on petrol and diesel cars, which it says should be increased to discourage their sale

    mandatory for solar panels to be installed on all new residential, commercial and public buildings with further planning exemptions to allow bigger solar installations.

    targets for onshore wind and solar electricity should be significantly increased.

    Nothing on the list is new, all been done elsewhere so no reinventing of the wheel required, just do it!



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    The one thing I'd add to the list would be an increasing stamp duty for property sales below a certain BER rating. So the old and poorly insulated housing stock is less appealing to buyers

    Grant an exemption or rebate to the stamp duty increase if the homeowner or buyer has been granted the deep retrofit application, so there's an incentive to start fixing up those old homes ASAP

    I'd like to see the same done for rentals but tbh the cost would just be passed on to the tenants. Maybe combined with a rent freeze it would work

    Congestion charges are good but need to be matched by public transport investment, particularly to satellite towns

    Dublin council seems to have a crazed obsession with low building heights so people are going to be spread further and further out.

    Park and ride is an option but if someone has to drive from Naas to Tallaght to get a bus then they're still gonna be creating a bit chunk of pollution, and just shifting the traffic jam onto the M7

    There needs to be proper rail services into the commuter belts, with feeder buses to the stations, so those car journeys can be eliminated if possible

    As for those wind energy targets, they need to be increased but there also needs to be an overhaul of the planning process. I'm not saying cut down on the checks, but why does any wind turbine company have to make multiple seperate applications to various state bodies, some of which take years to complete and block other applications being made

    There should be a single "application board" with representation from An Bord Pleanala, ESB, EPA and Deperment of Marine/Environment/whoever else is needed. A wind energy company should make a single application to that board, its reviewed by the various bodies and a single decision is made

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Btw, love the idea for a chitchat thread 😁

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,439 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    What are theses things called... trains? (Can you tell I'm from Donegal? :P)

    We barely have buses!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 twitcherdub

    Advice on solar install on roof with asbestos tiles needed. Live in Ramleh Milltown Dublin and have been advised that renewable energy companies won't go near the install.

    Is replacing the roof the only possibility?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Buses? You mean you've got roads up there? 😜

    Sorry, couldn't resist myself

    Many years ago I used to get the Sligo train every week. There's only a single track there and one time the morning train **** the bed somewhere in Longford

    So the breakdown train had to come along and drag the broken train off the tracks before another train could get through, throwing the entire timetable to bits that day

    Needless to say I was not thrilled with Irish Rail's infrastructure

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Basically the issue with asbestos is that when it breaks down it emits carcinogenic particles

    So you can imagine any kind of drilling or cutting is going to be hazardous and installers probably won't go near it

    It needs to be handled and disposed of properly, I'm not sure a regular roofer is going to be equipped for that job, you'll probably need a specialist

    That's going to add some serious cost I'm afraid, but personally I'd consider it a worthwhile investment for not getting lung cancer

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,439 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,886 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    Yep, complete (not partial) removal by expert firm and regulated by HSA and others. After complete removal another firm will then have to put a new roof on. Big bucks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Does anyone know what the required gap between solar panels and the party line on a shared roof?

    By shared roof I mean a semi detached house, how close can I go to the neighbours roof?

    It isn't an edge so doesn't seem to have the 50cm requirement, but there must be some requirement for a gap. I couldn't find it set down anywhere in the planning rules

    EDIT: I should add that this is assuming the neighbours don't have concerns with me going as close as I can to their roof. They haven't said anything but if they were worried I'd probably sacrifice a few panels rather than piss anyone off

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,215 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    That's an interesting and apt question. I'm planning on going "right to the limit" there with some panel reconfigurations that I had in mind. Hadn't considered that there might be some regs prohibiting that.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I took a look at the proposed planning exemption and it only 50cm from an edge, nothing about party lines

    I mean, there must be some requirement

    Personally I wouldn't go right to the edge, just so if something fell off the rails it wouldn't land on the neighbours side

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,215 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    It was more that I'm on a semi-detached and I'm going right to the limit of "my half" of the roof

    i.e. the middle of the overall roof , as it turns into their house if you follow. Their fairly decent to be fair, but I wouldn't take the mick either.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,886 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    I would not encroach, I'd work to SEAI guidelines, even if your neighbour is sound and is okay with it there is nothing to stop a subsequent owner of the house telling you to move them..

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,215 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    hmm, not sure a subsequent owner would have any right to ask me to move anything even 1cm on my side of the middle line. SEAI guidelines of course only really come into play if you are looking to get the grant and have no real bearings (i think) on things here as this is non-grant work.

    there may however be some planning regs but I haven't seen any which outline things like this, but of course the fact I haven't seen any doesn't mean they dont exist.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I wouldn't encroach either, but IS there a guideline. I can't find anything in the planning docs online, only the 50cm from edge rule. I hope they aren't counting a party line as an edge

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,439 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    To pivot towards heating a bit

    As I've been watching a lot of heat geek videos lately this one has popped up

    It's not overly flashy but full of information and explains why usually you need to oversize radiators for heatpumps.

    Also to note about flow/return temperatures to allow condensing boilers

    Anyone got a heat loss spreadsheet handy?

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,562 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tree

    I think it's 20cm from a party line? Do I have my reference to hand? Of course not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,895 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    Great idea for thread ! Next there will have to be a beers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,750 ✭✭✭paulbok

    The restrictions on panel array sizes on a roof without needing planning need to be lifted asap.

    Seemed to be progress earlier in the year on this, but someone advised here lately that it's stuck in the senate at the moment.

    Once that's gone, more encouragement (low rate loans / grants/ joint ventures) for those with suitable large roof spaces such as farm sheds, warehouses, community centre, schools etc, to install large pv arrays, before committing arable land to ground mounted arrays.

    Looking out my window here at a neighbours large slatted shed with the long side facing south, approx 30 deg pitch. rough calcs I'd estimate it'd easily fit 30kWh, 99.5% which would be exported. probably 3/4 times that shed roof space available on the boreen I live on alone.

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,886 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    The loans are a great idea, they did this in Scotland, no loan needed for PV though as SAAS basically provide this as cash neutral.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,215 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Don't think it really matters much to be honest. The current regulations of 12m^2 have been in place for years (15 years, more?) and nobody has ever come afoul of it. I've 24m^2 on my own roof - am I worried. Nope. SEAI signed off and everything. :-)

    That said, if a Karen of this world was to complain about someone breaking the sq meterage, then yeah, in theory if the council did come out you might have to comply - which would be a shame. But is that likely to happen?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    RTE news : Energia to hike gas prices by 39%, electricity by 29%


    One the good side, they aren't increasing the standing charge. It was already one of the highest so not sure they could justify it

    Also they aren't increasing night rates for anyone on a smart meter. That's a bit of clever marketing for people who have batteries and EVs

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,895 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    Has anyone been told to remove panels due to the planning restrictions or heard of it happening to anyone?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,922 ✭✭✭jkforde

    i doubt it unless you are unfortunate enough to live beside a ####! and planning officers are busy enough with more serious (lack of ) enforcement issues!

    🌦️ 6.7kwp, 45°, SSW, mid-Galway 🌦️

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,104 ✭✭✭con747

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,370 ✭✭✭Gerry

    Its disappointing with the talk of generators on the news to not see anyone putting in a small wind turbine and a battery. 1 or 2kw could charge a large battery for emergency use.. if emergency use is the concern.

    on a larger scale since this is an emergency, why is there no talk of getting extra wind generation on line? again all about generators which need diesel from.. Russia

    as well as this, no talk about expediting planning for any wind or solar farms.. it can be done for houses..

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,750 ✭✭✭paulbok


    I recently applied for retention on a recent refurb of an outbuilding that the panels are on, so had to add them as a part of the application, a separate item to the refurb (still on one application). Have 18 panels.

    ~3 months till decision, but my engineer nor anyone I spoke to in planning, doesn't expect any issue with the application.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,934 ✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    It is annoying, but unfortunately those mini turbines aren't much use. You might get enough to charge a phone and a torch on a windy day but you won't be powering appliances from them

    Regarding installing wind farms instead of fossil generators, I agree that it's backwards thinking but there's also a question of short term needs versus long term solutions

    There's a lot of local obstacles to installing wind farms, not least the fact that mentioning a new turbine seems to trigger every Karen, tinfoil hat brigade and random local heritage group for hundreds of kilometres in every direction

    Even if all those get removed, there's the question of production capacity. There's only a few companies that make the big turbines and they can only produce them at a certain rate

    Now I'm sure if one or all of those companies decided to scale up production by a factor of 10 they could do it. With the right amount of investment they could probably do it pretty quickly

    But, they aren't going to make that investment unless they know there's a pipeline of orders for the next 10-20 years to pay back that initial cost

    If they only have orders for 2 years say, then the only economic solution is to charge an insane amount of money per turbine

    The same kind of goes for wind turbine sites. All the good onshore sites already have turbines, so it's the more marginal sites that are next, or offshore turbines which are more expensive upfront. For those sites to be economical electricity prices need to stay high. But as more turbines come online, then supply increases and the price goes down (theoretically)

    So it's a gamble as to whether any of your wind farms will pay off in the long run

    This is where our government and the EU at large should be helping

    For example, the EU could just roll out the money printer and pay the cost of increasing turbine production for the manufactures. I'm sure there'd be plenty of conditions attached, like they have to be built in Europe and the price per turbine cannot exceed a certain amount, etc.

    Similarly in Ireland the government could get more aggressive in terms of providing loans and investment to wind farms. In this case the government absorbs the risk. It could be a raw deal for the taxpayer because if those turbines don't pay off then they'll be footing the bill. But then it's a political decision as to whether the government is willing to take that risk with taxpayers money for increasing renewable generation

    And even best case there won't be enough renewables installed to get us through winter

    So we're left in the bad situation that extra capacity needs to be found and the only available technology that can scale quickly is fossil fuels. It's a short term solution hopefully

    Of course the fact that this was an entirely predictable situation and experts have been warning every government in Europe for years that they're too dependent on Russian gas and should be investing in renewables seems to be getting glossed over a lot