Saturday, July 29, 2006

How much renewable energy can we actually make?

A Biomass Plantation can look Really Nice

How Much Energy Can We Make?

I have been trying to find out how much of our total energy needs we could realistically provide by means of Biomass and Wind. The following is an aggregate of some of the masses of information, indeed some very technical, available on the Internet.

Biomass Energy How Much?

Scientific estimates vary but there seems to be a general indication that Ireland could meet 45% of its entire electricity requirements by planting just 15% of arable land with biomass. We could also be producing ethanol to run cars and other engines from biomass.

Jobs from Biomass Production and Processing?

I wouldn't have a clue how to go about even looking up that sort of a figure. Maybe some very clever people who read this blog could suggest some estimates? In the meantime here are a few thoughts; for starters 15% of our arable land in full-time production would keep a lot of farmers and farm workers busy and a good steady income.

It would take a hell of a lot of harvesters to crop that many acres, lots of truck drivers to transport it, many workers at processing and drying plants, and then the "New" Irish Electricity Board (which hopefully will replace the present dinasaur) would have several thousand new jobs at all the small ultra-clean, sweet smelling, generating stations around Ireland. All of these jobs would be fully sustainable in the long term, unlike most industries which leave after a few of years when the grant runs out!

Wind Power How Much?

Some estimates suggest that wind could provide as much as 20% of our nations electrical needs. Maybe with more scientific improvements this figure could go even higher in the future?

That's a total of up to 65% of all our power needs produced by clean, job producing, renewable sources. That is without considering some hydro-electric, geo-thermal, wave and solar power generation.

Money Stays in Ireland!

We would not be sending Billions of Euro to our Arab friends to buy a dirty, finite, and short lived fuel. How much would that benefit the ecomomy?

Can it be Done - or am I only dreaming?

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