Electricity Prices will get higher and higher

Wind Swindle

Here is the text of the letter by Wind Aware Ireland in today’s Sunday Business Post:

Wind Aware Ireland welcomes the examination by the Oireachtas Committee on Communications and Transport of the rise in electricity prices for Irish consumers and businesses (“Oireachtas Probe to ask why lower oil prices not reflected in electric bills” SBP January 11th 2015). The increase in PSO levies on electricity bills highlights one of the many incongruities of the wind energy/pylon debacle. Wind energy makes no sense environmentally, economically and socially and Wind Aware Ireland has consistently called for a full cost benefit analysis of the project.

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland estimates that Ireland has saved €177 million in fuel imports due to wind energy. However, in order to prop up this uneconomical and unsustainable form of power and peat the consumer is now to pay €328 million through subsidisation. It doesn’t take a maths genius to work out that this is a net loss to Irish society of €151 million.

Wind energy, as shown from SEAI’s own figures, is incapable of either reducing CO2 or fuel imports in any meaningful way – saving 2.6% and 2.3% of overall emissions and imports respectively.

Ironically, some of the levies imposed are to go to the maintenance of two gas fired plants which are needed to ensure ‘security of supply’. In other words, because wind is intermittent and inefficient, we need a permanent backup source of power ready to be ramped up when the wind fails. CER explains that one of the gas plants, Tynagh, needed €69 million for 2014/15 to keep going. When the wind is blowing (at the right speed), wind energy pushes electricity from Tynagh off the grid as wind energy has priority onto the grid. The Commission for Energy Regulation state that ‘most of Tynagh’s allowed PSO costs are fixed rather than related to its output, so the less the plant runs and receives correspondingly lower revenue, the higher the PSO subsidy needed to cover its allowed fixed costs.’

We also have the ridiculous situation whereby the PSO, which supposedly supports ‘green’ wind energy, also props up electricity provided by peat generation which, supplying only 8% of our electricity, produces a disproportional 19% of CO2 emissions!

The Commission for Energy Regulation point out that although electricity wholesale prices are set to fall consumers cannot avail of this drop because: ‘A lower wholesale price ……results in the PSO plant needing more PSO money to cover their allowed costs, to offset the lower money they are predicted to receive from the market’. This policy will make Ireland uncompetitive as a country, closing down businesses, and with no demonstrable benefits to show.

We need a complete overhaul of the wind energy agenda, to which politicians, with a few notable exceptions, seem to be ideologically wedded. In addition, we need a separation of big business lobbying from the decision makers who have led us down this path of pure folly.

Paula Byrne
Wind Aware Ireland

About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from full-time practice in 2002 to take up a lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). His current interest is the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
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3 Responses to Electricity Prices will get higher and higher

  1. Pat Swords says:

    How much does it cost and why are we doing it is not an idle question, particularly when billions of our money and our natural environment is at stake. It is important to consider the NREAP template from the EU in the 2009 20% renewables by 2020 Directive, which the Member States filled in and submitted to the EU Commission on the 30th June 2010.

    If you go to Section 5.3 on the second last page of the NREAP template below and have a quick read (it’s very short):


    The Irish NREAP goes from Section 5.2 to Section 5.4. There was a verbal agreement between SEAI (no less) and the DCENR that it didn’t need to be filled in. So why can’t all those extremely well paid public representatives and public servants (an oxymoron of course) provide a simple figure or two as to why the hell we are doing this? Is that too much to expect or do they really think we are completely and utterly stupid, as they clearly are?

  2. Neil van Dokkum says:

    Thanks Pat. We keep coming back to the same inescapable conclusion: the NREAP is the fount of all evil.

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