Spirit of Ireland propose Irish Energy Independence

Business Leadership report that a team of Irish engineers, academics, architects, geologists, hydro-geologists, environmental engineers, construction experts, consultants, and legal and finance professionals working on ideas proposed by Professor Igor Shvets of Trinity College have put together a plan for Irish energy independence. Ireland currently imports energy for 90% of her needs. The group hope to make Ireland energy independent within 5 years, after which they intend to export Irish energy to the rest of Europe. They plan to do this by harnessing Ireland’s natural wind power to drive large volumes of water uphill (wind power is notoriously volatile). The water can then be released at a steady rate to facilitate a constant rate of energy release. The project, while expensive, represents a €10bn stimulus for the national economy.

The Spirit of Ireland group
Eddie Hobbs on Spirit of IrelandOnce Ireland is self-reliant in energy terms after five years, the group then plans to create a massive export market for surplus Irish wind energy, which, it said, will result in energy exports from Ireland of up to €50bn over the following 10 years.

To do all this, the challenges presented in harvesting wind energy – its volatile nature as a fuel source, the costs involved capturing and delivering it a power network, the lack of storage capabilities to hold it – must be met through the creation of hydro storage reservoirs, the group said.

Such reservoirs operate on the principle of storing excess wind energy and providing more generation capacity when required. The Turlough Hill facility in the Wicklow Mountains offers a working example of this principle.

  • its volatile nature

    Maybe you should edit this in line with your ‘preferences’.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    It sounds like a madcap idea to force water uphill using wind energy, only an Irishman would think it up.

  • Mack

    Give it a rest Chekov – that’s a quote. If someone using it’s instead of its annoys you, your blood pressure must be sky high.

  • It sounds like a madcap idea to force water uphill using wind energy …

    It’s already done elsewhere in the world, , including (IIRC) in Wales.

    … only an Irishman would think it up.

    Leave out the petty bigotry.

  • To quote myself: It’s already done elsewhere in the world,, have a look here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydro_storage

  • The Reincarnation of Paul Revere’s Horse

    They didnt say who the team of experts are exactly. Smells a bit like a Steorn to me. Hope not though. We really should be making the most of out renewable energy resources.

  • kensei

    While energy idependence is a laudable goal, and would probably have some neat economic side effects, is attaining it within 5 years remotely viable? Is there not a smaller scale project that could be done with private finance?

    The other concerns are 1. money 2. what is the environmental impact of creating giant reservoirs and where would they be sited?

  • Ulster is actually my homeland in that I am not th

    UMH: do remind us, where did you obtain your Physics doctorate from?

    What a racist little man. He sounds like a colonial era Afrikaaner attempting to belittle those mad Africans. Copernicus was a fool, ain’t that right UMG?

    Brilliant idea if it can be implemented correctly.

  • Ulster is actually my homeland

    *Ulster is actually my homeland in that I am not the descendant of an English/Scottish Planter

    (Just to finish off my name there)

  • Mack

    Let’s stick to the topic, please. (Chekov I apoligise for my part too).

    Paul Revere’s horse – don’t think it’s related to Steorn (who wouldn’t have expertise in this area).

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1203/1228234992689.html

    Kensei – Re. Private Finance – if it’s profitable you’d imagine so. Maybe the economics don’t make it highly profitable, Venture Capitalists tend not to like ‘living dead’ projects. Projects that trundle along at or just above break even point, they need a return. So, possibly this is one area where public spending bests private spending.

  • Niall Gormley

    Technically hydro pumped storage is a simple, proven technology. It can be around 80 per cent efficient, meaning that around 80 per cent of the power generated by wind power can be delivered to the grid.

    There are no technical barriers whatever to Ireland’s energy independence based on this technology. The big problem is that it is still cheaper to pollute. The initial costs of the pumped storage is high, so that it is cheaper to build coal or gas plants. Hopefully, a carbon tax will make up the difference.

    There is also the environmental cost of turning valleys into big reservoirs. A much more clever idea in the longer term would be to use empty oil and gas fields as pumped storage. You let the sea into the underground caverns to generate electricity and then pump it out for storage. A much better idea than storing carbon there.

    Another working idea is compressed air storage and I believe that there is a plan to build the first one in Ireland in Co Antrim.

  • The Reincarnation of Paul Revere’s Horse

    Where can we see figures for what the energy consumption is for Ireland in Wattage and what sort of engergy output a plant like this would yield.

    I would also have concerns about the environmental impact this would have. However this would have some positives in terms of renewable energy campared to the current situation.

    Siting is obviously going to be a massive hurdle. In fact I cant even see it being given planning permission unless there is some elaborate visual mitigation at the very least.

  • The Reincarnation of Paul Revere’s Horse

    RE: Mack,

    Sorry I didnt mean these guys are Steorn, just like them. Did Steorn ever have expertise in anything?

    But this seems more legit now.

  • kensei

    Mack

    Kensei – Re. Private Finance – if it’s profitable you’d imagine so. Maybe the economics don’t make it highly profitable, Venture Capitalists tend not to like ‘living dead’ projects. Projects that trundle along at or just above break even point, they need a return. So, possibly this is one area where public spending bests private spending.

    Problem is that 10bn is an awful lot when you have a budget hole the size of Ireland’s and if it came to infrastructure, I’d guess widespread high speed internet should be a higher priority. The government would need involved due to the end to flood large areas, but perhaps some public money could unlock mroe private finance.

    The other issue is where all the wind turbines go — and are we stickign all the eggs in one basket? Surely tidal offers potential too.

  • percy

    I like the name “Spirit of Ireland”

  • Empire Home

    Wonder could Ben Crom and Silent valley be used for this?
    Have had a few bright ideas on similar subjects, but have never voiced them as you could get some strange looks, maybe i should check them out, anyone got the address of the patent office? lol

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Brilliant idea if it can be implemented correctly.”[/i]

    I think its a crap idea. The Governments benefit, not the people. It’s simply another method to keep people dependant on the grid.

    If Governments didn’t stick their noses into the implementation of renewable energy, we could well be on our way to providing sustainable energy for homes, without the need of a grid.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Ireland currently imports energy for 90% of her needs. The group hope to make Ireland energy independent within 5 years, after which they intend to export Irish energy to the rest of Europe.”

    This is not a crap idea!

  • kensei

    UMH even local generation would likely require a grid. How though, do you expect the average urban home to generate its only energy needs?

  • Ulster is actually my homeland

    UMH, I repeat: where did you obtain your physics doctorate which qualifies you to come out with such nonsense? You are a bigotted racist. You have a track record of playing the idiot colonial master.

    It’s really remarkable how you manage to show off your prejudices when commenting on any topic.

    Ignore him/her/its insecurities.

  • Mack

    Ulster is actually my homeland – Play the ball, not the man please.

  • Ulster is actually my homeland

    Mack, please explain how “only an Irishman would think [this madcap idea] up” is not a prime example of playing the man? Is it rationalised because it targets millions of people rather than one man? Some consistency wouldn’t go astray.

  • Mack

    On the propertypin back in January a poster called Bungaloid provided a costing for pump storage that suggested it was uneconomical –


    Turlough Hill cost $50m to build at 1970 prices. This site was chosen because it was cheap to build it there.

    Equivalent today? Lets be optimistic and say $1Bn (about 7% inflation)

    Turlough hill provides 272MW short-term backup (a few hours). Let be very optimistic and say 6 hours. That 1632MWh of energy stored. In reality, it is less.

    Suppose that Ireland needs to back up 6000MW of wind power. For how long? When you get an anti-cyclone over NW Europe like recently, there is not much wind for weeks. So we need to back up 6000MW for two weeks, say.

    The interconnector is going to be provide 500MW of reliable nuclear, so we really only need to back up 5500MW of wind power for two weeks. That 1848GWh of energy.

    If 1632MWh of storage costs $1Bn, then scaling up 1848GWh costs $1.1 Trillion.

    Yes YM that’s 1.1 Trillion – and I made optimistic assumptions – insanity. My quoted figure of 500Bn euros is a conservative estimate.

    It is not an accident that it is so expensive. Gravity is the weakest force in physics. Building a large-scale energy storage system based on it going to be expensive. Also the environmental cost is unthinkable. The co2 emission from concrete alone would be staggering.

    The irish have done Voodoo Finance for the last decade. Sadly, my compatriots are now intent on doing Voodoo Physics.

    http://www.thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=17711&p=194109&hilit=turlough#p194109

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]19.UMH even local generation would likely require a grid. How though, do you expect the average urban home to generate its only energy needs?”[/i]

    There are different ways to have the average home generate its own energy kensei. To many to get into on this thread.

  • Mack

    UAMH –

    His statement was borderline, it could be interpreted either positively or negatively – I’d guess that he meant it in a negative manner, but there’s a fine line between madness and genius – the ability to innovate and dream up madcap ideas is an advantage in my opinion (though probably not UMH’s, but I’m speculating) .

    I did show consistency – I asked everyone to stick to the topic previously, there were a range of comments that weren’t particular helpful in advancing the discussion – including by me, and I apoligised for that too.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi All,

    Germany invested massively in wind energy. They have about 30% of the total investment worldwide in it (from memory). It has been less than successful. So, I’d be amazed if this happens. Within 5 years?

    Hi Whoever,

    “*Ulster is actually my homeland in that I am not the descendant of an English/Scottish Planter”

    If he’s from Scotland chances are his forebears have been in these islands a lot longer than your own. Ireland was settled from Scotland and was settled long before Ireland.

  • Ulster is actually my homeland

    Mack

    No, you did not show consistency – my comments were reprimanded, UMH’s were not. The reason which you gave for reprimanding my comments, ball/man, could have also been applied to those made by UMH with the same conclusion i.e. that the man (in this case millions of Irish people) had been played and not the ball.

    There is indeed a fine line between madness and genius. However, UMH’s comments were deliberately provocative. It would be naive in the extreme to argue, as you have done, that they could be correctly interpreted to the contrary.

  • Ulster is actually my homeland

    [i]If he’s from Scotland chances are his forebears have been in these islands a lot longer than your own. Ireland was settled from Scotland and was settled long before Ireland. [/i]

    Indeed. However, I refer specifically to Ulster and not to the British Isles. In that respect, my forebears have been here for many more centuries than UMH.

  • Mack

    Congal Claen –

    Ireland was settled from Scotland and was settled long before Ireland

    I think that is correct, there was a program “Blood of the Irish” on RTE which suggested Ireland was settled from Spain, which I don’t think squares with the archeological evidence (the earliest settlements are in the north). However..

    If he’s from Scotland chances are his forebears have been in these islands a lot longer than your own.

    Doesn’t make sense. If Ireland was settled from Scotland, one has an Irish an lineage the other a Scottish lineage presumably their forebears would have arrived about the same time? In fact many of their forebears would be the same person.

  • Congal Claen

    “Indeed. However, I refer specifically to Ulster and not to the British Isles. In that respect, my forebears have been here for many more centuries than UMH.”

    That would be ok if there wasn’t toing and froing across the sea. But there was. For example, the Scottii who gave their name to Scotland. How do you know his forebears weren’t one of them?

    As you refer specifically to Ulster, during the famine lots of people moved to Ulster from the other provinces – West Belfast largely as an example. You could well be one of them.

  • Mack

    UAMH –

    Fair point you were specifically targeted, but only because your comment came after I’d issued the general appeal to stick to the topic. I didn’t want the thread degenerating into a sectarian bun fight – it’s not personal.

  • fin

    Mack
    “Gravity is the weakest force in physics” which is the good point of pushing water uphill against it, the water turning the turbine is released from low down in the reservior and so is under a great deal of pressure. Also I question the cost, existing hydroelectric powerstations could cheaply implement the wind power to drive large volumes of water uphill and install additional generators to take advantage. I know the power station in Ballyshannon has capacity for additional turbines built in, they where just never added, it has the additional benefit of been on the border (apart from the odd bomb attack) hence well located to sell power to NI

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Mack,

    I think both are correct. The earliest Archaeology is in the North and the distribution of megalithic structures suggest it was settled from Scotland.

    However there were other later waves of settlement from Spain. DNA suggests that. Ring forts are linked with similar structures in Iberia. There was also that Barbary Ape skull found in Navan.

    I wouldn’t want to be using the “I was here first argument” too much, as some here are doing, as it could end up biting yer hole aff. For want of a better phrase.

  • Greenflag

    As Eddie Hobbs puts it Ireland is in a race against the clock as far as relying on imported fossil fuels and natural gas to meet our energy needs .

    We might not want to turn our backs on a nuclear powered plant or two either just in case the ‘wind’ speed drops in a warming world ?

    And on the subject of ‘wind’ . What is the evidence from records that wind speed off the coasts has been relatively static ? increasing ? or declining over recent decades ? Right now we have all the eggs in the one basket . It might be a good idea not to repeat the experience a second time .

    I have to admit I’m not well up on the ‘physics ‘ and practical application side of the idea but I do understand that whoever supplies the technology and infrastructure to build either the windmills (probably the Germans ) or the storage reservoirs ( Irish companies and contractors ) will want to be paid in hard cash in the here and now and not with ‘wind ‘ ;?

    As a political and economic goal for the country it’s a first rate idea and it deserves all the support it can get . Five years sounds impossible to me given the length of time it took to build Turlough Hill ? But if we were even 50% less energy dependent in five years that would be a huge benefit to the country and jst as important to it’s morale ?.

  • Niall Gormley

    Mack,

    There are some serious leaps of negativity in that reasoning. I would like to see the evidence that northern Europe has ever been wind free for two weeks. The idea of a supergrid is that with wind energy spread over Europe there will always be a base load.

    Secondly, the biggest pumped storage plant in these islands is in Dinorwig in Wales. It can run at 1800mw for five hours which is 9,000 mwh. If we take yesterday on the Irish grid, we used around 3000Mw over 24 hours or 70,000Mwh in total. That means that Dinorwig could have stored one eighth of all the energy we used yesterday.

    Dinorwig was a hugely expensive pumped storage facility which was basically mined out of the inside of a mountain. It cost £450m in 1974. It paid for itself in 10 years.

    As for the estimates of one trillion euro. The Dublin Port Tunnel cost around 750 million in its entirety, and has around the same underground storage capacity of Dinorwig. We are not talking about underground storage – we’re talking about open reservoirs near the sea.

  • Greenflag

    mack ,

    ‘In fact many of their forebears would be the same person. ‘

    Indeed if you go back to the time of Christ i.e a mere 2,000 years ago each of has several billion ancestors in the direct line . Add another 5,000 years onto that and you can make a multiple of the several billions to possibly a trillion more than several times the entire number of people (homo sapiens ) who have ever lived on the planet . (estimated to be circa 90 billion ).

    As it’s Friday and Pete Baker has not put up any potentially planet destroying cosmological revelations , super novae or gamma bursts to scare the living s**t out of us – I’ll make use of this yarn (translated from the German (yes they have a sense of humour ) which has some connection with this eco energy friendly thread .

    ‘ Two planets meet at the edge of a solar system on the outskirts of a spiral galaxy .

    Planet A to Planet B ( in Gaianese)

    ‘Haven’t seen you for a couple of hundred million years . You don’t look too well . Anythng the matter ? ‘

    Planet B ,

    ‘Actually there is ‘.

    Planet A ,

    ‘What then ‘?

    Planet B,

    Well for the past couple of million years I’ve had a bad case of hominoids and for the last 150,000 years it’s developed into a serious dose of homo sapiens .

    Planet A ,

    Not to worry . It’ll soon pass 😉

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “However there were other later waves of settlement from Spain. DNA suggests that. Ring forts are linked with similar structures in Iberia. There was also that Barbary Ape skull found in Navan.”

    I have mentioned this time and time again. According to latest modern archaeological and genetic findings, nearly all the folk of the British Isles have descended from folk in Spain or the Iberian peinnsula. Successive waves of immigrants probably came to these shore by sea and not across land bridges. Ireland was already an island by the time folk arrived too. The Anglo-Saxons and Normans made a dint in this genetic make up of folk mainly in England. The ‘Celtic’ countries are somewhat similar and contain some of the earliest threads that link to the blood in Spain. The barbery ape skull was found at the Navan Fort aka Emain Mhaca in Ulster.

    Read…

    ‘Blood of the Isles’ by Brian Sykes.

    ‘The Atlantean Irish’ by Bob Quinn.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Greagoir O Frainclin, why show off your Irish history skills on a thread which is largely about the Irish government spending more than they can afford on a project which will place the Irish people in servitude to energy for their natural lifetime?

  • Uladh

    [i]Greagoir O Frainclin, why show off your Irish history skills on a thread which is largely about the Irish government spending more than they can afford on a project which will place the Irish people in servitude to energy for their natural lifetime?[/i]

    So says the individual who made outrageously false accusations about those murdered on Bloody Sunday on a thread regarding Bobby Sands. [Keep it civil].

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Uladh, yip there’s a Unionist perspective, we don’t all serve the sinn fein banner of ‘Ourselves alone’

  • Ulsters my homeland

    How the friggin hek can sinn fein reach out the unioninist community by saying they’re, “Ourselves alone”

    Either they add something Gaelic or they just die off.

  • Uladh

    Why the hell are you now obsessing over Sinn Féin? I despise SF. The depths of your bigottry is truly astounding. You attempt to evade a charge of hypocracy by having a go at SF – that really is bizarre. Your particular unionist perspective on Bloody Sunday (which, incidentally, is held only by a minority within said community) is completely false and will be disproved by Lord Saville, once and for all, within the very nature future.

    Fuck the ball, this scumbag deserves to be man-tackled. [Against the rules].

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “”Greagoir O Frainclin, why show off your Irish history skills on a thread which is largely about the Irish government spending more than they can afford on a project which will place the Irish people in servitude to energy for their natural lifetime? ”

    Hello, Hello…. ‘Ulster is my Homeland’ aka ‘UMH’
    Look it’s not that hard to understand, but I’ll expalin to you as best I can.

    The topic of this thread was diverted to ancient history with timeworn cliches of how ‘some’ folk in ULSTER are led to believe that there was once a landbridge from IRELAND to SCOTLAND and the first folk came to these shores over this land bridge from SCOTLAND aka BRITAIN. They were very nice hardworking and god fearing PROTESTANT people too, called CRUITHIN and cousins of the PICTS of SCOTLAND. They were peace loving and very proud of their BRITISH heritage of fry-ups and marching.
    Hence the first settlers here were BRITISH. Now along came the evil people from CATHOLIC heathen SPAIN called the ‘CELTS’ and they warmongers and killers. They very ugly and looked very different to the very beautiful looking BRITISH people. (That’s how there is such a physical distiction to this day between the CATHOLICS and PROTESTANTS of NORTHERN IRELAND). The CELTS swept into IRELAND and drove the good BRITISH people out of their homes and back to BRITAIN and SCOTLAND and ENGLAND (where Jesus once walked according to William Blake) too. Then with their heathen IRISH traditional music and incomprehensible language they spread their pagan and base culture throughout the land of IRELAND. Drinking and fighting were their pastimes. It was only millenia later that the good BRITISH and PROTESTANT and GOD FEARING people returned again to IRELAND with the PLANTATIONS and to claim the lands for themselves and beat down the pagan CATHOLIC IRISH heathens. And so ULSTER was saved for GOD and the good PROTESTANT GOD FEARING people, once again. And thus, you have one of the greatest myths, one of the greatest fairytales that some naïve folk of Ulster are led to believe today, giving them a sense of importance and all courtesy of the likes of the UNIONIST historian A T Q Stewart etc…Are you one of the naïve too UMH?

    Now, can I repeat that it is all just a myth that some folk of Ulster are led to believe UMH. It was a contrivance of IRISH history, with strong political connotations to somehow justify that part of our history where Ulster was planted, and Ireland was subjugated for the King and Queen of England….(BTW the earlier failed plantations of Leinster is overlooked and no such diatribe concocted)

  • Greenbag

    Mack,

    Returning to the thread subject heres some positive news which indicates that there are other approaches also to the energy problem.

    ‘German Chancellor Angela Merkel inaugurated what will become the world’s first hybrid power plant which will generate electricity, heat and hydrogen from renewable energy sources, when she laid the foundation stone at a ceremony near the German city of Prenzlau.

    The $27 million hybrid power plant, scheduled to be up and running by the spring of 2010, will use three wind generators to provide power to 2,000 homes and heating for 300.

    The new plant will overcome one of the biggest issues seen with conventional wind plants.

    Since wind is a highly intermittent source of power, it usually produces either too much, or not enough power.

    According to Enertrag, the firm in charge of the plant’s construction, when there is too much wind for the grid to handle, the excess energy will be converted via electrolysis – the separation of chemical compounds by electric current – into hydrogen for storage. When the plant isn’t producing enough wind energy, the hydrogen can then be mixed with biogas and converted back into energy that can be used to power homes.

    “The combination of renewable energy and energy storage will be a determining factor in a steady and climate-acceptable energy supply,” said Merkel, who happens to be a trained physicist.

    Critics of the technology say that hydrogen may not be the best medium for storing energy, but Lutz Metz of the Environmental Policy Research Unit at the Free University in Berlin said hydrogen is as good an option as any.

    “The conversion of wind power to hydrogen is not so bad,” Meyz told Germany’s Deutsche Welle. “It’s via electrolysis and the efficiency is in the range of 70 to 85 percent, so that’s not bad. If you look at a car engine the efficiency is 15 percent, so there’s a much more efficient conversion of wind power to hydrogen.”

    The stored fuel can also be used to run hydrogen-powered vehicles, according to Enertrag.

    Claudia Kemfert, head of the Department of Energy, Transportation and Environment at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, said the Enertrag plant is a breakthrough for the renewables sector.

    “I think it’s a technological innovation. On the one hand it uses a renewable energy, which is biogas in this case, and also it produces hydrogen at the same stage.

    “The innovation here is that you can also store the electricity which is produced by this plant and new energy is also being produced. I think it’s a real breakthrough and will be … used on a global scale in the future.”

    Kemfert said that although the energy produced at the Prenzlau plant will be significantly less than that produced at a coal power plant – which can cost billions of euros to build – it is still a valuable asset for Germany in its efforts to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.

    European Union leaders have agreed to cut greenhouse emissions by 20 percent and ensure that 20 percent of energy comes from renewable sources by 2020.

    The process involved in the operating of the hybrid power plant will not produce any carbon dioxide emissions.

    German leaders are expecting the first plant to spur on the construction of additional such power stations across the country, and set an example for the world to follow.

  • empire-home

    “There was once a landbridge from IRELAND to SCOTLAND and the first folk came to these shores over this land bridge from SCOTLAND aka BRITAIN. They were very nice hardworking and god fearing PROTESTANT people too, called CRUITHIN and cousins of the PICTS of SCOTLAND. They were peace loving and very proud of their BRITISH heritage of fry-ups and marching.
    Hence the first settlers here were BRITISH. Now along came the evil people from CATHOLIC heathen SPAIN called the ‘CELTS’ and they warmongers and killers. They very ugly and looked very different to the very beautiful looking BRITISH people. (That’s how there is such a physical distiction to this day between the CATHOLICS and PROTESTANTS of NORTHERN IRELAND). The CELTS swept into IRELAND and drove the good BRITISH people out of their homes and back to BRITAIN and SCOTLAND and ENGLAND (where Jesus once walked according to William Blake) too. Then with their heathen IRISH traditional music and incomprehensible language they spread their pagan and base culture throughout the land of IRELAND. Drinking and fighting were their pastimes. It was only millenia later that the good BRITISH and PROTESTANT and GOD FEARING people returned again to IRELAND with the PLANTATIONS and to claim the lands for themselves and beat down the pagan CATHOLIC IRISH heathens. And so ULSTER was saved for GOD and the good PROTESTANT GOD FEARING people, once again. ”

    Thanks Greagoir, will keep this to educate any American friends enquiring about Irish history 🙂

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Thanks Greagoir, will keep this to educate any American friends enquiring about Irish history :)”

    HA HA…..somewhat naive at times too regarding Irish history but I don’t think they’d buy it.
    The old values and belief of Empire are obsolete today.

    🙂

  • empire-home

    Empire-home is just a wee pun on where I live so dont read too much into a name,

    Back on topic though from a NI perspective I know there is a proposal to put compressed air under larne lough, no body took the bait on silent valley lol, it seems the underwater turbine at strangford is exceeding expectations, are there any other options that jump to mind to generate and store electric,
    I always wondered if the surplus energy was used to pull a large weight (call it a massive concrete block) then it releases the energy again when need. could that work?

  • empire-home

    totally of topic but on naive americans, was visting belfast with a couple of tourist one hot dry summer (yeah while ago) and there was a gorse fire on cavehill, of course they ask, Whaats That smoke up there? prob thinking it was a far of riot, i said ahh thats the volcano its starting to liven up a bit these days,
    they bought it hook line and sinker.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    ha ha …good one …those yankees!

  • Greenflag

    ‘they bought it hook line and sinker.’

    Americans are just not used to being lied to except by their governments , the large corporations , private health insurance companies , Wall St , mortgage brokers , Fox TV, televangelists , insurance companies , lawyers, senators , and congressmen and quite possibly car salesmen , committed christians , jews and moslems )

    But they do expect ordinary ‘regular ‘ Americans to tell the truth and that’s normally the case:)

  • Greenflag

    ‘I always wondered ‘

    ‘if the surplus energy was used to pull a large weight (call it a massive concrete block) then it releases the energy again when need. could that work? ‘

    Christ you are behind the times 🙁 The ancient Romans called this method catapulting . It was used for hurling large rocks against the walls of a besieged city and also I believe for launching plague ridden corpses over said walls to a new ‘resting’ place . Worked a treat .Cities usually surrendered immediately whenever the ‘dead ‘ were launched .

  • empire-home

    sorry missed that bit of history, how many kilowatts did they generate?

  • Greenflag

    EH –

    43.5 . Enough I’m told for 430 100 watt light bulbs but alas they had’nt been invented back then ;)?

  • greagoir.

    That was very witty and funny that alternate history of Ireland, sadly there are a percentage in the north who actually believe that.

    Hilarious.

  • dewi

    “Dinorwig was a hugely expensive pumped storage facility which was basically mined out of the inside of a mountain. It cost £450m in 1974. It paid for itself in 10 years.”

    Difference of course is it’s a storage not a generative facility. It uses nightime electicity to pump water up so that peak time demand can be pumped by releasing the water back down.This “costs” 25% in energy efficiency (i.e. it consumes 25% more energy in pumping water up than is generated by releasing it)
    How the payback therefore..that’s easy – Lectric’s cheaper in the night.

  • Niall Gormley

    Dewi,

    Dinorwig is precisely the type of facility that Spirit of Ireland have in mind. The water would be pumped into the reservoir at times of excess wind and the pumped storage would be used when the wind can’t meet demand.

    By this means every last watt of energy produced will make a difference. The economics of Dinorwig goes something like this. Wholesale electricity costs around 10 cent per kwh during the day and 2 cent during the night. Many oil, coal, gas and nuclear facilities run on a 24 hour basis because there are huge boiler efficiencies involved. Rather than sell the electricity during the night they can get, say, 7 cent for the same kwh during the day by using Dinorwig. It’s a no-brainer.

    The thing about wind power is that the fuel is free. The obvious attraction is to put 10mw monster machines out to sea where the wind is stronger and they annoy nobody, and feed the power into the grid when capacity is available and into pumped storage at other times. It’s a very simple idea and all the technology is available.

    The Spirit of Ireland group are talking about using sea pumped storage using the sea as the lower pool and an open reservoir for the upper pool so it would be much cheaper to build than Dinorwig. I’m not sure that these shoreline valleys will be easy to come by really. Let’s see what they propose.

  • empire-home

    what about those salt mines at carrick, would they be suitable for that sort of thing? just trying to think of anywhere up here that would suit that,
    of course the other option is to convert the electric to hydrogen and pipe/ship it back, think that is in use in someplaces, added advantage there is it usueable for all sorts of fuel.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Greg

    “[i]And thus, you have one of the greatest myths, one of the greatest fairytales that some naïve folk of Ulster are led to believe today, giving them a sense of importance and all courtesy of the likes of the UNIONIST historian A T Q Stewart etc…Are you one of the naïve too UMH?2[/i]

    Green energy has went dead on this thread since yesterday, so i’ll give your Irish history a go.

    I was meaning to buy Stewart’s ‘The Shape of Irish History’ as it’s something I don’t own. Would you suggest to avoid or purchase? (reasons please)

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Greg,

    I was reading an online extract of Stewart’s ‘The Shape of Irish History’ and regarding the 1845-7 famine it seems he’s quietly shy of the fact Catholic education practices fell below standard.

    Steward blames the famine on an act of nature, and quite rightly so, but he doesn’t delve deep enough into the roles of the RC church and their priorities during that period.

    Oliver Rafferty (a Jesuit) claims 20% of Catholics were illiterate in 1900 compared to 5% of Protestants, which proves Catholic education was poorer than Protestant.

    Rafferty states, “Also many of the brighter pupils became priests and nuns and this undoubted drain on the talents of the community”

    …but I say the Papal states was under financial pressure caused by the over spending of a lavish Pope and it had to recoup its looses, also it had to build an army of opposition against Napoleon.

    …and I also say Peter’s pence (money paid by poor Irish catholics to their Priests for absolution) was given to Rome making the Irish Catholics poorer and poorer.

  • Mack

    Ulsters my homeland –

    Undoubtedly so. In the days before the welfare state, would you think harsh penal laws preventing Catholics from owning or acquiring property, high office etc. contributed to their relative poverty, at all?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    The penal laws were long gone at the time of the famine as is evident by the large number of Catholics in the police force. The laws started to dissolve when the Papal States recognised the legitimatcy of James III to the throne.

    The Catholic schooling system is primarily to blame for Catholics being less skilled and educated than Protestants. When the famine hit, it hit the poor who were mostly Catholics.

  • Mack

    Ulsters my homeland –

    Actually they weren’t fully repealed until 1869 – or 14 years after the famine ended. The effects of disenfranchisement would take a long time to work their way out – many generations. For the disenfranchised poor, survival was the priority! As the state did not provide education, that was a luxury for the well-off, whether Catholic or Protestant until after the Second World War.

    Incidentally the potato blight struck across Europe, but it was only in the United Kingdom that it led to wide-spread death and emigration. In Catholic Ireland and Protestant Scotland (where 1.7 million were forced to emigrate).

    Btw, in modern Northern Ireland Catholics outperform Protestants educationally, the south significantly outperforms the North.

  • Greenflag

    UMH ,

    ‘The penal laws were long gone at the time of the famine as is evident by the large number of Catholics in the police force.’

    The emancipation of Catholics in Ireland came about 60 years after the abolishing of slavery by the Commons . Although emancipation took place in 1829 the effects of the Penal Laws continued to sour relations between denominations well into the 20th century and even today no doubt in Northern Ireland . Changing an immoral law does not immediately change the mindset of those who contrived such laws in the first place nor does it change the minds of victims . Law is not the same thing as justice .

    As for the large number of Catholics in the police force . It was physically demanding work -poorly paid , dangerous, and the police had very often to defend themselves personally and physically one on one against a people who did not think too highly of their role as defenders of the priviliged classes. A policeman who could not fight one to one would be considered an object of ridicule and his family would be shamed out of town !