• Question: have you got an ambition for energy in Ireland today can you see any drastic changes ;)

    Asked by Louise Farragher to Catherine, John G, Laura, Ray on 19 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: John Ging

      John Ging answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      The future is wind power. There will be a lot more of it on the system. Wave and Tidal may have a part to play but a very small one for the foreseeable future. By 2050 we will likely be carbon free electricity production. At least that’s the dream.
      I think we will need a lot of storage to make that work. Perhaps pumped storage like Turlough Hill or battery storage so that excess energy can be kept until it is needed.

    • Photo: Laura Tobin

      Laura Tobin answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      I want to see more solar! The wind people always forget about us solar. I don’t mean the big solar panels on the roofs of buildings. I mean the newer types that are coming into market, that work indoors and as part of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Rather than just sticking solar panels on a roof, they are integrated into the building, for example in windows. They won’t contribute a whole lot of renewable sustainable energy, but every little bit helps. We need a mixture of all type of renewable energy to help stop our dependence on fossil fuels. Also, it’s a terrible idea just to rely on only one type of energy supply.

      Did you know that the Earth receives more energy from the Sun in just one hour than the world’s population uses in a whole year. We’d be crazy not to try and harness some of it. My solar cells are pretty cool as they work indoors, so we don’t need the direct sunlight that traditional / conventional silicon solar cells need.

    • Photo: Ray Alcorn

      Ray Alcorn answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      A diversity and security of supply from different renewable sources plus better demand side management and use such as more electric vehicles… and by the way John there will be 200MW of tidal online by around 2018 through the Single Electricity Market (the projects are in Northern Ireland). I would alos like to see some offshore wind in Ireland

    • Photo: Catherine Conaghan

      Catherine Conaghan answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      Smart buildings are definitely going to big a big part of the future, and this is the area I am currently managing/developing in my company. A Smart building is one which isn’t just controlled by a user, but one that has some intelligence behind the controls and is usually automated (doesn’t need human input). This means that the buildings can be optimised to use less energy, change time of use of energy to when it is cheaper and easier to produce, change building heating/cooling controls based on other recorded information and lots of other things to improve energy usage, especially with the move to more renewable’s as John has said.

      An example of this would be if a strong wind is blowing, more wind turbines produce electricity and then electricity is then cheaper to produce and to the costs less to the customer/user – so it would cost less to run, say, a washing machine at that time rather then another when it is more expensive to produce it. Electricity is usually cheaper at night as well as less is being used, so moving any usage to night-time if possible is also cheaper. A very small example of this is, but if you charge your mobile phone during the day for a month, it will cost around 21c per month, but if you charged it at night it would cost around 9c per month.

      Another example is using forecast weather data to control a heating system. So instead of the heating room temperature always set at the same point every day, say we have very good weather forecast for tomorrow, we can calculate how much warmer a building will be because of this and then make changes to the controls for the next day to reduce the time the system is run based on this.