Offshore wind

Irish 10-year bonds are at 7.6%

The Minister for Energy has just launched a plan for a drastic expansion of offshore wind, wave, and tidal power.

Power generation is a capital intensive industry, renewables are particularly capital intensive, and offshore wind comes top.

There are not enough jobs in Ireland and capital is exceedingly expensive. We need projects that create jobs but don’t take a lot of capital.

Minister Ryan said “Every megawatt of renewable energy that goes onto the Irish national grid reduces our €6 billion annual fossil fuel bill [..].” Government subsidies for import substitution do not stimulate economic growth.

The plan that was put up for public consultation mostly concerns things that will be decided by the Dail after next. It does propose a REFIT for offshore wind: 14 cent per kilowatthour. That’s above the retail price of electricity.

McDonald and Cuffe on Metro North

On PrimeTime last week, Sean Barrett and Edgar Morgenroth cast severe doubt on the wisdom of Metro North. They are now joined by Frank McDonald.

Cairan Cuffe’s response starts with “[n]ow is the time to invest”. That says it all really. You can read the rest for yourself.

The Green Party is apparently still oblivious to the situation with the economy and the public finances. Cuffe wants to invest billions of euros in a project with a doubtful return. Gormley wants to spend unnecessary hundreds of millions of euros on waste disposal, despite warnings of his own EPA.  Ryan invests ESB’s money in electric cars and continues a subsidy scheme that does not deliver according to his own SEAI.

It is never wise to waste money, but now is a particularly bad time.

Dublin is badly served by public transport at present. Liberation of the bus market is the way forward.

UPDATE: Metro North got planning.

Electric vehicles

CT&T, a specialist manufacture of all-electric vehicles with big ambitions, has decided to put its European headquarters in … Amsterdam.

Apparently, they plan to build 20,000 vehicles next year and 60,000 in 2013. Wikipedia has nice pictures. Would you pay €15,000 for that?