Housing crash? Credit crunch? Losing jobs to Costa Rica? Maybe super-economy ireland can take all that. But can it take this on top?
Now I am really really worried.
The ESB are going to “invest” eur22billion over the next twelve years fixing the grid so it can accomodate 6000MW of intermittent wind energy. The wind isn’t always blowing at the right speed so we will also have to maintain 6000MW of conventional fossil fuel plant to back this up. The capacity factor for wind power is 25%, so the average power produced by 6000MW of installed wind capacity is only 1500MW. So effectively the ESB are going to “invest” eur22billion to facilitate a redundant 1500MW power plant.
How does this “investment” look compared to nuclear?
The bare plant cost for the new EdF Flamanville EPR is EUR 2000/kW. So the esb could buy a 1500MW carbon free nuclear plant off the shelf for about eur 3 billion. Instead the ESB will be “investing” 7 times this.
Ireland really is different. We can afford to “invest” eur22billion in something worth eur3billion. Our competitors would just take the cheap option but we don’t mind paying more for our electricity than anyone else. We can afford to wreck the landscape, because we don’t need tourists (they are only worth eur 5 billion per year).