Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I've read through the the inaugural EirGrid Annual Renewable Report (PDF) and am reasonably reassured that they are serious about achieving Ireland's 40% renewable sourced electricity by 2020 target.

Having been involved in corporate communications, I am aware these documents can contain a lot of waffle and spin and I am also not technically qualified to judge how much real progress they are making in addressing the technical challenges involved.

Some of the key enablers - to 2020 and beyond - appear to be:

  1. The development of a European supergrid, of which the North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Initiative, and in particular the Irish sea, module is a key early component.

  2. Improved demand/supply planning and grid management software development including a Wind Security Assessment Tool (WSAT)

  3. Development of smarter grids and metering systems

  4. Development of less intermittent renewable sources such as water pump storage, hydro, wave, tidal, waste and biomass sources to provide load balancing assistance (solar really isn't an economic option in Ireland for the foreseeable future)

  5. Development of multi-grid spot and forward electricity trading markets - of which the Ireland/N. Ireland SEMO initiative appears to be an early precursor

  6. Greater development/deployment of electrical cars, goods and public transport systems - trains, trams, electric vans and buses etc. and battery/fuel cell operated systems generally which can be charged at off peak times.

Anybody else got any ideas which need to be added to the mix?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 24th, 2011 at 05:18:47 PM EST
On the battery / fuel cell line, note that hydrogen in the form of ammonia is a much easier to work with energy store than hydrogen as H2. Critical to this are new direct from electricity ammonia generation technologies that are sufficiently capital efficient so that Ireland could generate off-peak and shut down during external peak demands to take advantage of higher spot electricity prices.

As ammonia is also a fertilizer feedstock and with a small share of biodiesel can operate modified diesel agricultural equipment, it could be a triple-play for Ireland's economy (or hat-trick, even if Ireland does not focus heavily on cricket or baseball).

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Jun 25th, 2011 at 03:39:39 PM EST
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