NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, March 17: THE EMERALD ISLE’S NEW ENERGY FUTURE; NAT GAS PRICES WOUND IRELAND; COMMUNITY SOLAR FOR NORTH ERIN

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    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, March 17: THE EMERALD ISLE’S NEW ENERGY FUTURE; NAT GAS PRICES WOUND IRELAND; COMMUNITY SOLAR FOR NORTH ERIN

    THE EMERALD ISLE’S NEW ENERGY FUTURE Where will Ireland get its energy in 35 years’ time? The mix in 2050 will include gas-powered turbines and offshore wind-and-wave farms

    Dick Ahlstrom, February 24, 2015 (The Irish Times)

    “…[Ireland’s energy mix in 2050 will we deal] with the three issues that dominate energy supply today: cost; security of supply; and environmental impact...In some ways it will look very much the same, but in others it will be very different…We will have retired the Moneypoint coal-fired power station…but will likely have transferred our preferred fossil fuel to gas…[M]any of the technology and engineering challenges of wave, tidal and offshore wind are likely to have been overcome, and we will have offshore ‘farms’ where energy is harvested…We will certainly not be involved in nuclear power directly, although by 2050 we will likely have multiple undersea electricity interconnectors…[that] will deliver power arising from [British and French] nuclear facilities…We will also see major changes in the home consumption of energy, with consumers becoming electricity traders and selling it into the national grid. We will have access to new technology that will lower the cost of heating and transport…One issue that is clear is the requirement for Ireland to move its energy system towards a reduced environmental impact…At the moment we are highly dependent on importation of our energy needs via fossil fuels…” click here for more

    NAT GAS PRICES WOUND IRELAND Critics of Irish wind energy have got their sums wrong; ‘Why exactly have electricity prices increased? The reason is not wind but rather the cost of importing gas’

    Joseph Curtin, March 16, 2015 (The Irish Times)

    “…[Ireland’s] share of electricity generated from wind has increased dramatically, reaching 19 per cent of the total in 2014. Electricity prices for householders and business have also risen significantly…but correlation does not imply causation…A recent National Competitiveness Council (NCC) report found that Irish electricity prices are among the highest in the EU. Some of the differential can be explained by Ireland’s above average standard of living…Another factor is Ireland’s lower population density…[A greater worry] is that prices have increased more rapidly compared to our EU partners…The reason is not wind but rather the cost of importing gas. Between the summers of 2009 and 2013 wholesale gas prices almost doubled across the EU…In 2014 this trend was reversed [by 14 per cent]… In 2015 electricity prices will decline further, driven again by lower forward gas prices. The correlation is as clear as day…The problem is that more than half of Ireland’s electricity is generated from gas – the fourth highest share in the EU – leaving us more exposed than other countries to gas price increases…” click here for more

    COMMUNITY SOLAR FOR NORTH ERIN First community-owned solar energy project launches in Northern Ireland

    Gary Grattan, 4 March 2015 (Belfast Telegraph)

    “Northern Ireland's first community-owned solar energy enterprise has been launched…NICE (Northern Ireland Community Energy) hopes to raise £150,000 to start installing PV solar panels on buildings owned by community groups and charities…The new enterprise is the brainchild of a group of volunteers with a track record in renewable energy and co-operative models…[It] is offering free installation of solar panels to a number of organisations…The groups will benefit from electricity at a greatly discounted price for 20 years – while also supporting a more environmentally sustainable method of producing energy…Any surplus energy will be sold to the electricity grid - and NICE plans to deliver a return of approximately 4% to investors, as well as investing in a community fund providing for energy saving improvements to tackle fuel poverty here…” click here for more

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