Alternative Energy in Ireland

Alternative Energy in Ireland


Ireland is currently pursuing energy independence and further development of their strong economy through the implementation of research and development into alternative energy sources. At the time of this writing, almost 90% of Ireland's energy needs are met through imports - the highest level of dependence on foreign products in the entire history of the country. This is a very dangerous situation, and the need to develop alternative energy sources in Ireland is very much felt. Ireland also strives to preserve and rejuvenate its beautiful environment naturally and cleanse its atmosphere through the application of alternative energy supplies. The European Union has mandated a reduction in sulfur and nitric oxide emissions for all member countries. Green energy is needed to fulfill this goal. Hydroelectric power has been used in Ireland in several regions since the 1930s and has been very effective; However, more than that needs to be installed. Ireland also needs to harness the power of the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, which on the west coast is a potential energy supply owned by this nation.

Ireland actually has the potential to become an energy exporter, not a country that relies heavily on energy imports. This energy potential is in the substantial Irish winds, sea waves, and the potential for alternative energy producing biomass. Ireland can be a supplier of electricity generated by ocean waves and biomass-fueled energy to the European continent and, as they say, "make a killing". At the moment, Ireland is most focused on reaching the point where it can produce 15% of the country's electricity through wind farms, which the government has set as a national goal to be achieved in 2010. But universities, research institutes, and government personnel in Ireland have said that the development of ocean wave energy technology will be a true driving force for the country's economy and that will greatly help to make Ireland's energy independent. A test site to develop ocean wave energy has been established in Ireland, less than two miles off the coast of An Spideal in County Galway Bay. This site utilizing experimental ocean waves is known as "Wavebob". The most energetic wave in the world lies off the west coast of Ireland, said the CEO of the Irish Maritime Institute, Dr. Peter Heffernan. Technology to harness the power of the sea has just emerged and Ireland has the opportunity to become a market leader in this sector. David Taylor, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Initiative, or SEI, tells us that SEI is committed to innovation in the renewable energy sector. Wave energy is a promising new and renewable energy resource that can one day make a significant contribution to the mix of Irish power plants, thereby reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Padraig Walshe, president of the Irish Farmers' Association, told us that with the closing of the sugar beet industry, more and more Irish land resources will be available for alternative uses, including bioenergy production. At present, renewable energy sources only meet 2% of Ireland's total energy consumption. From an agricultural perspective, growing energy crops will only have a viable future if they provide economic returns on investment and labor, and if the prospect of these returns is safe in the future. At present returns from marginal energy plants and hamper industrial development. Biomass energy needs to be further investigated by Ireland.

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