For Lefties too Stubborn to Quit
Complacency abounds? 12:24 Fri May 24, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
They say the situation is? 09:27 Fri May 24, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
The CLR Political Quiz ???. Number 32 06:18 Fri May 24, 2013 | irishelectionliterature
This Week At Irish Election Literature 05:29 Fri May 24, 2013 | irishelectionliterature
Do as I say, not as I? 19:23 Thu May 23, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
HIPSTER IFSC 00:18 Thu May 23, 2013
In God?s Country 00:39 Mon May 13, 2013
Fishy Talks Galway, 13 May 2013 13:36 Sun May 12, 2013
The Indo: Think I Know The Choice I?d Make.. 17:22 Thu May 09, 2013
Alan Ahearne, Johnny Boy 13:24 Mon May 06, 2013
Dublin Opinion >>
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
?Self-Hating Jews?, ?Ideological Criminals of the Worst Kind? Fri May 24, 2013 13:01 | Seán Sheehan
Book Review: Social Work and Social Theory- Making Connections by Paul Michael G... Thu May 23, 2013 13:48 | Darren Broomfield
Ode To The Minister For State Security Thu May 23, 2013 10:09 | Kevin Higgins
Yes, Say it Again: Ireland IS a Tax Haven and it?s Worked Hard to Be That Way Wed May 22, 2013 18:13 | Donagh Brennan
Understanding European Movements: New Social Movements, Global Justice Struggles... Wed May 22, 2013 13:32 | Irish Left Review
Irish Left Review >>
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
A shot at bias in the media
Separating the News from the Noise Thu Apr 04, 2013 21:14
Blessed with nothing but good intentions Fri Feb 22, 2013 18:04
The Household Charge - How They Failed to Shape Our Perspectives Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:48
The web's political rainbow Wed Dec 07, 2011 09:47
The Forgotten Constituency: The Majority and The Irish Economic Crisis Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:49
Signing of Energy Memorandum with UK paves way for up to 2,300 Wind Turbines in Midlands
Tuesday January 29, 2013 23:10 by T
Is this the solution to the energy crisis?
Last Thurs 24th Jan 2013, the Irish and British governments agreed on a memorandum of understanding for energy trading between Ireland and the UK. This will pave the way for the export of Wind Energy to the UK. This would likely make use of the electric interconnector completed last year between the UK and Ireland although it may need additional cables.
The wind resource in Ireland is probably greater than what the Irish electrical grid can cope with and hence the idea is that the surplus wind energy can be exported to the UK which has a far larger electrical demand than here and could probably take every watt exported.
Unfortunately it seems that there is a bit more to this though the official green good news because apparently there are plans by a number of companies to erect up to 2,300 wind turbines in the Midlands of Ireland. Is blighting our landscape for the UK the way to solve the energy problem?
There was a followup article in the Irish Times on Mon 28th Jan titled: "Wind farms 'an Irish solution to British problem' by Frank McDonald and they quoted Andrew Duncan, spokesman for the Lakelands Wind Information Group in Co Westmeath who said: “It seems to be an Irish solution to a British problem - politically, they don’t want turbines in the British countryside.”
It seems that opposition has been growing in the UK over the erection of large wind turbines and the UK was finding it hard to meet its own targets. This is reasonably understandable given that they population density is about 8 times higher in the UK whilst in Ireland there have been few objections and so far there are approximately 1,000 wind turbines for a total capacity of approximately 2000 MW. However last summer (2012) a new group urging responsible engagement with Wind Energy was formed representing community groups in 13 counties from Donegal to Wexford. Their website is: http://www.crewe-ireland.org/
From the British perspective having a link to Ireland is ideal because the wind is a bit stronger and more frequent here and the landscape is less populated and the level of objections is really quite low. Hence the interest in pouring money into huge projects here and exporting the power. Over the past 10 to 20 years, the average physical size and generating capacity of wind turbines has been increasing and a typical turbine is rated at about 2.5 MW at full capacity for a structure that is 185 metres (or ~600 ft) high. However it is not exactly clear why the Midlands were picked over the coastal areas as wind speeds would be a bit less although it is likely this may relate to land prices or rental.
One of the companies involved in the midlands scheme is Element Power.
So on face value this all seems like a great thing. More green energy is going to be generated as a number of coal plants in the UK reach the end of their lives and Ireland gets to export power and potentially earns some money and creates some jobs. So what's the problem?
The problem needs to be put in context. One of the major global problems relates to energy use and generating power from non-polluting and sustainable resources is the goal. But if we have to completely plaster the landscape in renewable "devices" then surely we have just created another problem. And if we expect energy consumption to continue to grow -which is expected -then can there ever be enough renewable energy?
Indeed do the Irish people want to surrender their landscape to solve a British problem? The obvious answer would be the central and highest priority goal of every country would be to reduce energy consumption. So far example instead of say everyone having an electric car which would use a lot of energy, if instead public transport was greatly increased -say tripled or quadrupled and made electric, it would still require vastly less electric power than so many personnel transport devices -i.e cars. But the problem with this is that car manufacturers don't get to continue business as usual -which is building (slightly different) cars. It challenges the system.
The second obvious thing is that we would have proper planning guidelines and procedures and right to appeal by local citizens where these wind turbines will be sited. Given the recent madness and reckless building that occurred during the property boom, it is a certainty that the smell of money changing hands will run roughshod over peoples rights and concerns. Besides we can expect the usual gushing PR campaigns about how good all of this is and there will be no real effort to examine this properly.
There was also an earlier article back on Oct 8th 2012 by Frank McDonald in the Irish Times titled: Wind energy industry set for massive expansion
There was even earlier coverage of this proposal more than 18 months ago back in 18th June 2011 in the Guardian in an article titled: UK urges Ireland to build windfarms on west coast
It can be found at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/18/ireland-wind-power-grid
For those interested the official press release on this can be found at:
And in summary form:
For information on the existing UK-Eire Electrical Interconnector see: