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New electricity microgeneration programme announced


thebrom

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Minister Eamon Ryan has announced a plan that will allow businesses/ home users to generate electricity for their own use and sell the excess back to a supplier:

Energy Minister Eamon Ryan today announced a pilot grant scheme which will allow users to generate electricity for their own use.
Electricity will be generated via small-scale technologies such as wind turbines and solar power, with the potential to sell excess power back to suppliers. Grant support to meet 50% of the initial start up costs will be made available for the installation of microgeneration systems in approximately 50 trials to be conducted nationwide.
With €2 million being provided in 2008 by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, the programme will be administered by Sustainable Energy Ireland in conjunction with key stakeholders, including the Commission for Energy Regulation, ESB Networks and electricity suppliers. The scheme follows a change in regulations last year allowing people to sell electricity back to the grid. It will provide the groundwork for consideration of a set feed in tariff for electricity produced through microgeneration.
Is microgeneration a solution to our future energy needs?
 
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In a word NO.

Damming the Shannon would be an answer or using turbines that can use the current in the numerous estuaries that exist.

Installing photovalactic cells on all new builds as a planning condition would also be a help.

Development of a couple more Turlough hills would also help.
 

expat girl

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thebrom said:
Minister Eamon Ryan has announced a plan that will allow businesses/ home users to generate electricity for their own use and sell the excess back to a supplier:

Is microgeneration a solution to our future energy needs?
It is a partial solution; the more we make ourselves, the less we need fossil fuels, I would think. The rapid promotion of this and other renewable schemes may be more urgent than we think, according to RTE and Finfacts, the prez of Lukoil in Russia has just come out and said Russian oil production peaked in 2007.

The Californians have apparently come out and asked for thousands of vehicles to be made that will operate like a Prius, but can also be recharged from the mains. Can we do this too??

The oil price can only go up... I would predict that it will be at least $140 per barrel by the end of the year, more if the Saudis run into problems. We need everything, microgeneration, dam the Shannon, offshore wind, tidal, the works. We're at the wrong end of a Europe wide fossil fuels distribution network, we don't have the firepower to bomb ourselves into controlling other people's fossil fuel reserves (not that Operation Enduring Cheap Petrol, aka the 3 trn $$ war, is working the way its planners intended anyway), nor do we have the financial muscle to buy ourselves controlling shares of other people's reserves. We have few reserves of our own. Our entire economy (and food distribution network) is currently entirely dependent on fossil fuels; I would also predict that the global economy will only stabilize once the energy price levels, at the very least. Given the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, this means alternatives.

In my humble opinion, this is a good initiative, but we need far more of the same, and faster in order to avoid economic, and possibly societal meltdown :shock:
 

michael1965

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odie1kanobe said:
In a word NO.

Damming the Shannon would be an answer or using turbines that can use the current in the numerous estuaries that exist.

Installing photovalactic cells on all new builds as a planning condition would also be a help.

Development of a couple more Turlough hills would also help.
You'd need dozens of Turlough Hills to store a significant amount of energy. I think this microgeneration pilot is a good idea though. It's wise to try it on a small scale to see how economical it really is.
 

HanleyS

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michael1965 said:
odie1kanobe said:
In a word NO.

Damming the Shannon would be an answer or using turbines that can use the current in the numerous estuaries that exist.

Installing photovalactic cells on all new builds as a planning condition would also be a help.

Development of a couple more Turlough hills would also help.
You'd need dozens of Turlough Hills to store a significant amount of energy. I think this microgeneration pilot is a good idea though. It's wise to try it on a small scale to see how economical it really is.
How much energy does Turlough Hill store and what's the net energy loss?

i.e. kw/h consumption Vs. kw/h generation
 

Simon.D

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Anyone know how to get involved in this pilot?
 

QuizMaster

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This is typical of the Green philosophy: Think Globally, Act Locally.

I love it. I have one of the windiest gardens in Malin, Co. Donegal, and therefore one of the windiest in Donegal, and by extension in Ireland and maybe even Europe. A good turbine will set me back a few K. Now I can offset it instead of feeling compelled to turn on every light in the house in stormy weather.

Must look into this.
 

michael1965

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HanleyS said:
michael1965 said:
odie1kanobe said:
In a word NO.

Damming the Shannon would be an answer or using turbines that can use the current in the numerous estuaries that exist.

Installing photovalactic cells on all new builds as a planning condition would also be a help.

Development of a couple more Turlough hills would also help.
You'd need dozens of Turlough Hills to store a significant amount of energy. I think this microgeneration pilot is a good idea though. It's wise to try it on a small scale to see how economical it really is.
How much energy does Turlough Hill store and what's the net energy loss?

i.e. kw/h consumption Vs. kw/h generation
I worked it out before, just in terms of the theoretical maximum energy it could store based on the volume of water in the upper lake and its height above the generators. The plant can deliver 292MW, and I reckoned it could only sustain that for a few hours. I'm afraid I can't locate the source information I used for this. But it's not that surprising really since its original purpose was to provide an instantaneous source of peak-time power in the 70's and 80's. It was never conceived as a way of storing volatile sources of energy like wind-power.
 

HanleyS

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michael1965 said:
I worked it out before, just in terms of the theoretical maximum energy it could store based on the volume of water in the upper lake and its height above the generators. The plant can deliver 292MW, and I reckoned it could only sustain that for a few hours. I'm afraid I can't locate the source information I used for this. But it's not that surprising really since its original purpose was to provide an instantaneous source of peak-time power in the 70's and 80's. It was never conceived as a way of storing volatile sources of energy like wind-power.
Wikipedia lists it at 292MW alright. I'm wondering how much energy is lost though.
 

michael1965

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HanleyS said:
michael1965 said:
I worked it out before, just in terms of the theoretical maximum energy it could store based on the volume of water in the upper lake and its height above the generators. The plant can deliver 292MW, and I reckoned it could only sustain that for a few hours. I'm afraid I can't locate the source information I used for this. But it's not that surprising really since its original purpose was to provide an instantaneous source of peak-time power in the 70's and 80's. It was never conceived as a way of storing volatile sources of energy like wind-power.
Wikipedia lists it at 292MW alright. I'm wondering how much energy is lost though.
Actually, I found the source for the calculation which was here. 2.3 million cubic metres of water at a height of 286 metres. That actually gives a theoretical running time of around 6 hours. But 292MW is not a huge amount of power. I think the amount of energy loss is not that important if you are talking about it being generated by "free" sources like wind.
 

HanleyS

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michael1965 said:
Actually, I found the source for the calculation which was here. 2.3 million cubic metres of water at a height of 286 metres. That actually gives a theoretical running time of around 6 hours. But 292MW is not a huge amount of power. I think the amount of energy loss is not that important if you are talking about it being generated by "free" sources like wind.
It would be interesting too to know how much wind power it would take to fill the the resevoir though. That resevoir is currently filled every day as far as I know. Could wind power even fill it in a day?

EDIT: Actually got my own answer. We have over 1100MW of wind capacity. Arklow Bank Phase II is over 500MW alone.
 

QuizMaster

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HanleyS said:
michael1965 said:
Actually, I found the source for the calculation which was here. 2.3 million cubic metres of water at a height of 286 metres. That actually gives a theoretical running time of around 6 hours. But 292MW is not a huge amount of power. I think the amount of energy loss is not that important if you are talking about it being generated by "free" sources like wind.
It would be interesting too to know how much wind power it would take to fill the the resevoir though. That resevoir is currently filled every day as far as I know. Could wind power even fill it in a day?

EDIT: Actually got my own answer. We have over 1100MW of wind capacity. Arklow Bank is over 500MW alone.
It might be more efficient if you connect windmills directly to mechanical pumps, no power generation step. Like they've been doing in Holland for centuries.
 

QuizMaster

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HanleyS said:
...EDIT: Actually got my own answer. We have over 1100MW of wind capacity. Arklow Bank Phase II is over 500MW alone.
Is that capacity as in what we've built for?
What about potential? It must be many many times that amount.
 

ballot stuffer

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I'm totally opposed to this.
Its one of the greens pet projects and looks really nice on paper but its a waste of government money.
We are giving grants for inefficient generation of power. The money would be better spent creating larger wind power schemes.

Needless duplication of smaller less efficient turbines is not the way to go.
 

ectoraige

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Hopefully this won't be another one of those pilot schemes that nothing further is ever heard of.

Micro-generation should have the added benefit of being great incentive for the home/business owner to reduce their own consumption, to maximise their return. We're planning to build next year, I'm wondering how well home turbines will be received will be received by the planners, 410s notwithstanding.
 

thebrom

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Simon.D said:
Anyone know how to get involved in this pilot?
You should email the Dept of energy. They probably also have something on their website about it. Personally, I think it's a fantastic idea. I have often heard people complain that it's not possible to sell electricity you produce back onto the grid without having millions to invest in wind turbines. Many factories etc. waste energy which could be used to power turbines and hence produce electricity.
 

Taibh

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Excellent idea, I hope the department has a good look at the options available and new solutions coming on stream - link
 
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