Energy Policy Issues for Ireland

The ESRI held a conference on this topic this week: you can download the presentations here.

4 replies on “Energy Policy Issues for Ireland”

Thanks for the link Philip.

As I write this post now, I am sitting beside a radiator that is overheating. I am too lazy to walk four steps over to the on/off switch of the gas boiler which I only turned on half and hour ago. As soon as I turn off the gas boiler again, the heat in the house with disappear in roughly another half hour and will be freezing again. The hot water in the tank upstairs is constantly overheating, and never being used much, when it is hot. So people turn on the electricity immersion to heat up water the few times they need hot water. I could go on and on and on.

Anyone more interested in this problem, and how to recognise it better, which is a skill I have only recently come to acquire should look at Amory Lovins Natural Capital book available online. You can download individual chapters as PDFs. It is worth printing out a couple to read on the bus or whatever. It certainly opened my eyes.

By the way, I forgot to mention. You mention any of the above to a person of age 50-ish and they think you are clearly bonkers. Growing up in a time of abundance of cheap energy I guess.

Energy, (electrical), generation, transmission and distribution is an energy consuming process. Stop and think about the ENERGY COST of gen., trans., dist., (and repairs and maintenance!). If you generate 100 units of electrical energy, how many units of all types of energy sources did you consume? This is your real cost!

Perhaps, from an economic perspective, generating, transmitting and distributing 100 units of energy might be marginally less ‘costly’ than 10 units. Transmission lines and distribution networks are fearsomely costly to install and maintain. Would a population of 6m as opposed to 60m make any difference? – especially if the pop density for the latter was x6 times the former?

If those 60m have a problem with their hot dinners, don’t expect them to have a jot of sympathy for the 6m! Independence not interconnectedness!

NB: Since Sept: Oil + 12% v $US + 2% !!! Keep a close watch on fuel and food prices. Oil price of >$85 (inf. adjusted) will snuff out any positive economic rebound.

B Peter

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