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  1. Ireland’s Energy Outlook Lawrence Staudt Centre for Renewable Energy, DundalkIT

  2. Overview • Context • Irish energy trends • Irish energy options • Irish energy scenarios • Conclusions

  3. Context “The trouble is that no realistic technological, economic and political strategies for the warding off of the impacts of a decline in conventional oil supply are in sight.” Society of Danish Engineers and the Danish Board of Technology (2004)

  4. Context – Irish Kyoto performance Source: EPA

  5. Context – Oil and Gas Supply Security Source: ASPO

  6. Context – Oil and Gas Supply Security

  7. Context – Oil and Gas Supply Security Source: International Energy Agency

  8. Context – Oil and Gas Supply Security

  9. Context – Oil and Gas Supply Security

  10. source: Economist magazine

  11. Context summary • We are not meeting our climate change commitments • Fossil fuel prices are volatile and rising for the forseeable future, threatening the economy • While demand for oil continues to increase unabated, a peak in oil production is imminent

  12. Overview • Context • Irish energy trends • Irish energy options • Irish energy scenarios • Conclusions

  13. Irish energy trends (consumption) Source: SEI

  14. Irish energy trends (imports) Source: SEI

  15. Irish energy trends (indigenous energy production) Source: SEI

  16. Irish energy trends (consumption forecast) Source: SEI

  17. Irish energy trends (renewable energy) Source: SEI

  18. Irish energy trends (renewable electricity) Source: SEI

  19. Irish energy trends (ESB plant mix) 500 MW That’s more than enough base load generators to satisfy minimum system demand twice over… That’s enough base load generators to satisfy minimum system demand Coal Peat (Must-run) CHP (Must-run) Combined Cycle Base Load Generators 0 MW 1980 1990 2000 2010 Source: D. O’Connor

  20. Overview • Context • Irish energy trends • Irish energy options • Irish energy scenarios • Conclusions

  21. Irish energy options – coal? • Large coal reserves worldwide, but ultimately not sustainable • Coal is greenhouse gas intensive • Large-scale sequestering of CO2 is still in the concept stage • Coal cannot easily replace transport fuels • Conclude: coal can only aid the transition toward energy sustainability, along with oil and gas

  22. Irish energy options – nuclear? • Concerns about waste disposal, cost, security, construction time • In Ireland nuclear electricity generation appears to be socially unacceptable • The European Nuclear Society (euronuclear.org) states that “all 439 world-wide operated nuclear power plants can be supplied for several decades” with world uranium reserves, i.e. nuclear develop-ment is fuel supply limited just like fossil fuels • Conclude: nuclear fission will not aid the transition toward energy sustainability in Ireland

  23. Irish energy options – renewables? • Cost concern • Grid integration concern – supply variability and availability (actually a cost concern) • Huge indigenous renewable energy resource (see next slide) • Virtually no greenhouse gas emissions • Will not be affected by fossil fuel price volatility • Conclude: renewable energy presents the only known possibility for energy sustainability in Ireland

  24. Irish energy options – renewables? resourceapprox. annual energycomments wind power 1000 TWhe/y primarily onshore wave power 100 TWhe/y primarily offshore bioenergy 100 TWhth/y primarily wood the rest 10 TWhe/y tidal, PV, hydro 10 TWhth/y solar, waste Conclude: Ireland’s primary energy resources will be wind, wave and wood, and with these we can meet our national energy demand (185TWh/y, reducing to ~100TWh/y due to energy conservation and lower conversion losses) Sources: ESBI/ETSU, Total Renewable Energy Resource in Ireland, 1997 ESBI, Accessible Wave Energy Resource Atlas : Ireland : 2005 KMM, Marine Current Resource Study for Ireland, 2004 KMM, Assessment of Offshore Wind Energy Resources, 2003 ESBI, Updating the Renewable Energy Resource in Ireland, 2004

  25. Irish energy options – renewables?

  26. Irish energy options – renewables? Renewable energy resource ranking diagram Source: SEI

  27. Irish energy options – renewables? Renewable energy resource ranking diagram Source: SEI

  28. Irish energy options – renewables? BNE price (CCGT) 8.64c/kWh (50%>wind) REFIT price 5.7c/kWh Source: SEI

  29. Overview • Context • Irish energy trends • Irish energy options • Irish energy scenarios • Conclusions

  30. Irish energy scenarios • Fossil fuel prices are volatile and increasing • We are one of the world’s highest contributors to global warming on a per capita basis • Ireland presently imports 90% of its energy • Ireland has a massive indigenous RE resource, that is available at reasonable cost • There is presently no other commercial technology that can ultimately replace fossil fuels • Conclude: It is a prudent and conservative policy for Ireland to embark on a substantial renewable energy development programme.

  31. Irish energy scenarios • We will use everything available, but “wind, wave and wood” will be our primary energy sources • For electricity: wind and wave • For heat: bioenergy (wood) and heat pumps • For transport: electric vehicles, with some biofuels

  32. Irish energy scenarios • Can the economy sustain the capital investment required? • What is the time frame over which we must make this transition? • This is has been investigated using the ECCO model of the Irish economy (www.energyscenariosireland.com)

  33. Irish energy scenarios • ECCO Model results: • Business-as-usual will not work, whether the oil peak is now or in 2030 • If we launch a substantial national programme for energy sustainability, the economy can cope with the capital investment required, but only if the oil peak is later rather than sooner • Our options appear limited

  34. Irish energy scenarios

  35. Irish energy scenarios “If the time horizon for the impending peak in the production of cheap conventional oil is as short as one or two decades or less, the problems involved in handling the situation are of a specific, practical nature. Therefore, economic policies should not rely on general, theoretical assumptions that technological progress will ensure sufficient supplies of oil or substitutes for oil.” Society of Danish Engineers and the Danish Board of Technology (2004)

  36. Overview • Context • Irish energy trends • Irish energy options • Irish energy scenarios • Conclusions

  37. Conclusions • We need urgent actions, such as: • Large-scale energy conservation • Large-scale development of onshore and offshore wind energy • Large-scale development of bioenergy • Large-scale development of wave energy • Interconnection with Britain and Europe

  38. Conclusions • More urgent actions: • Inclusion of aeroderivative gas turbines in the generation mix • Large-scale development electricity storage facilities • Development of the grid to allow substantial generation in the west of the country • Large-scale demand-side management

  39. Conclusions • The fossil fuel era can only be regarded as a useful but very brief period in human history • Irish energy policy has not yet accounted for the crucial factor of the approaching oil peak

  40. Conclusions • The price of energy is set to rise for the foreseeable future as fossil fuels decline • This threat creates an opportunity for renewable energy, which offers the only known possibility for energy sustainability • A renewable energy future is desirable, possible and inevitable

  41. Thank you for your attention! larry.staudt@dkit.ie, 042 937 0574