Why isn't electricity cheaper?


5.5K to save 250 per year - 22 years payback is not great. I’m not convinced about the savings figure either, we only pay about 550 per annum for electricity (excluding the fixed charges).

as for Naughton’s new scheme, it’s a step in the right direction, but ultimately they’re going to have to introduce low/no cost loans to persuade people to do the work. For me, there’s always likely to be something more pressing I need the money for.


If you can’t sell excess power back to the grid I would have no interest. ESB helpfully stopped paying a feed in tariff for new micro generators in 2014, W*nkers


It depends on how you look at it. What could you do with free, guiltless electricity?

Grow house is the obvious one. Wouldn’t necessarily have to grow weed either.


even there, you’re going to be generating during the day when demand is lower, I don’t think that FIT or net metering would make it much better.

If you’re diverting to a water heater and you have several kids, you’re either going to need a huge water tank or you’re going to be sticking on the immersion/boiler to top it up when they’re all having showers in the evening.

One option is this sort of thing that stores excess energy chemically, but I’m not sure of costs etc:


Feed-in is not as attractive as battery storage on a macro view. Feed-in place-shifts the generation whereas battery storage time-shifts it.


Ironically PV generates more electricity when it’s least needed - in Ireland (particularly Irish homes) anyway. If you had a need for air conditioning then it would be great.


This thread is really interesting, it’s piqued my interest in the possibilities of home solar. Thanks all for the info



I looked into this a few years ago when getting a new gas boiler.

None of the three installers I cold-called from SEAI’s website really wanted to install a system to the SEAI standard.

From memory it would have added about €800 to the cost overall and we decided to go without.


A bit of an exaggeration as people still use coal for home heating, but still a milestone.


Surely gas and particularly coal are cheap because their pollution/climate change cost is not counted?


Both are cheap anyway, most numbers you see never take stuff like that into account

Gas is cheap because there is plenty of it for now, I read a few years back that Nigeria wastes more Natural Gas every year than the US uses, madness in a country where few people have electricity supplied by the grid

Also conventional Natural Gas is not really a pollution worry


I saw that reported and I didn’t believe it. I’d take a bet it means no coal-powered electricity was dispatched. I don’t think they can spin down the turbines at the big generators just because the National Grid isn’t buying. Indeed, I would guess they still got paid for being on standby.


National Grid says no – it was due to planned maintenance and low demand.


There’re clearly moving away from coal, Drax which is their largest power plant now burns a significant amount of wood pellets, whether this is a good idea or not is another question

Anyone know how long we plan on burning coal in Moneypoint


My (limited) understanding is that the grid is kind of built around Moneypoint.

It also provides a stable base load, ie it can’t be ramped up or down quickly.

Personally I am pretty agnostic about it. Right now it emits about 0.01% of global CO2 emissions.


I agree, but pretty much every country could say a similar thing about their own coal powered plants, closing it down or converting it to gas would be a quick way for us to massively cut our emissions, if thats what we want to do, I’m surprised the greens didn’t try to do it when they had the chance, they pushed for us all to buy Diesel cars instead


Some coal plants can be turned off and on relatively quickly. Generally a couple of hours, though there’s some work on designs that can do it in minutes. This is of particular interest in Germany, which has both a lot of coal generation and a lot of wind.


Algeria spent 14% of GDP on fuel subsidies alone in 2015.

One euro in seven spent in the economy was in the form of a fuel subsidy.

Proportionately, this was higher than the whole spend on social welfare in Ireland.

All over the world there are other egregious examples like this.

Believe it or not, on a global scale, coal-fired electricity in Ireland is not even low-hanging fruit.


Are they pulverised coal burners? … I kind of vaguely know they can be more like a gas turbine than a big slow-starting furnace. That would be good news for dispatchable power, but I still wonder how the grid can be reliably powered without someone paying for standby generating capacity. Apparently the CEO of the UK National Grid disagrees with me, though I notice the subtle reference in the last paragraph to a trade-off between alternative energy and reliability.