Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Well Done Tesco UK!!

Tesco UK to Install Wind Generators

Tesco UK are to install wind turbines in some of their stores in the UK - ranging in size from 850 Kwts to 3 Mega Watts. Initially 31 stores will be served in this way.

Please Please Tesco Ireland do consider the same strategy here in Ireland.

If all major business in Ireland were to invest in Renewable Energy in this way, it would put the old dinosaur ESB in it's place. If the ESB are too stupid to make the move maybe industry could help make a swing? Something has to shift in Ireland. The status quo is so firmly rooted here it that would take a major disaster to change things.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Kedco cannot be bothered

Kedco, the new boy on the block in Ireland in wood pellet supply, has, so far, not been bothered to answer some direct questions I sent them some time ago. I would imagine that a new start-up company would be anxious to clarify their position and also to gain some free publicity. It seems not to be the situation here.

I take it that they either: (a) Have something to hide, (b) Are not interested in what people think about them, (c) Would distain contact with something so common as a Blog, or maybe simply (d) They couldn't be arsed to answer!!

To be fair it might also be that their website doesn't work properly and they didn't get my communication!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Further Update on the Kedco Boiler

I have had a number of readers of this blog make contact with me and give me various pieces of information and prices on the Kedco/OPOP wood pellet boiler.

To date I have had three different prices given to me. I can only vouch for one of these prices as being accurate:

Lowest Price

The lowest price I was informed of is €4800 incl. VAT at 21% for a 16Kw boiler/hopper unit to include commissioning but not installation.

Next Lowest Price

The next lowest price I was told about for the same boiler is €5000 incl. VAT.

The Price I can Vouch for as Accurate

The third price is the one I got myself from Kedco when I telephoned them, and that was €5100 incl. VAT.

Awaiting Kedco's Clarification

I have e-mailed Kedco some days ago, and invited the company to clarify regarding the prices I have received. So far I have not received any reply. If the quotation of €4800 is an accurate price, it represents good value by Irish standards, given that it includes the commissioning and Grant sign off cost.

Kedco are also, I believe, going to guarantee supply and stable prices for wood pellets. Again on this information, I await their return.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

New Valuable Crop - Bio-Diesel and Ethanol

Ireland is too dependent for all its energy on countries that either don’t care about us, or are unstable and cannot be relied upon. The answer lies in the soil, our rich and plentiful farmland.

Biodiesel from oil crops such as rapeseed, and ethanol from grains, offer a real and viable alternative to imported fuels.

In the USA bio-diesel is the fastest growing renewable energy source. The number of bio-diesel retailers and distributors has grown from about 450 in 2002 to approx 3,000 now.

The number of farmers using bio-diesel has increased to one in two. Figures indicate that there are 50 U.S. bio-diesel manufacturers in operation with another 50 planned.

There is also 101 ethanol plants in operation with another 42 under construction.

Those plants currently output 5 billion US gallons of ethanol per year with the 42 coming on expected to add another 3 billion. Three years ago there were just over 2 billion US gallons a year. This means production has doubled in three years. Indications are it will double again over five years.

Currently ethanol is included as a portion of 40% of the USA's petrol. In California and other states ethanol is a component of every gallon of petrolIreland is too dependent for all its energy on nations that either don’t care about us or are unstable and cannot be relied on. The answer lies in the soil, our rich and plentiful farmland.

Biodiesel from oil crops such as rapeseed serves and ethanol from grains offer an alternative to imported fuels.

In the USA biodiesel is the fastest-growing renewable energy source. The number of biodiesel retailers and distributors has grown from about 450 in 2002 to approx 3,000 now.

The number of farmers using biodiesel has increased to one in two. Figures indicate that there are 50 U.S. biodiesel manufacturers in operation with another 50 planned.

There is also 101 ethanol plants in operation with another 42 under construction.

Those plants currently output 5 billion US gallons of ethanol per year with the 42 coming on expected to add another 3 billion. Three years ago there were just over 2 billion US gallons a year. This means production has doubled production in three years. It will double again in five years.

Currently ethanol is included as a portion of 40% of the USA's petrol. In California and other states ethanol is a component of every gallon of gasoline.

Now that is in a country with a share of it's own oil supplies. Good old slow plodding and naieve Ireland has virtually no home produced petroleum products, and we are doing little to plug the leak in the dyke!!

It gives one to think, has anything in planning and government improved since the famine?


Monday, October 16, 2006

Wind Power from B&Q

Hope This Sort of Thing Happens for Wood Pellet Heaters Soon!!

This is a new development for renewable energy that will benefit the consumer big time; B&Q in the UK are offering a 1 Kilowatt windmill with automatic switching into house mains. The price includes pre-installation survey and full installation cost and is £1498 or about €2200. the link: http://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/index.jsp

B&Q also offer solar panels. Hopefully they will soon offer woodpellet heaters and boilers also. Come on Woodies you can do it too!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Fart in a Gale Force Wind?

Whoop di Doo!!!!

Sustainable Energy Ireland has stated that increases in wind power will benefit ESB customers with €30m savings in 2007.

But the price of electricity will increase by a huge 20% in 2007 simply because the ESB is such an inefficient and stupid dinosaur of a company - and has not planned sufficiently for Renewable Energy. The announced savings are to the 20% increase - as a FART is to a gale force wind!

€30m saving - A veritable fart in a gale force wind!

Chief executive of the SEI David Taylor said: “The use of wind power in the portfolio of electricity generation is delivering clear benefits to domestic electricity users. The reduction in the PSO levy, primarily attributable to the increase in wind power capacity connected to the electricity system, is welcome news at a time when consumers are facing continuously rising prices. A saving of €11 per household, while modest, is a clear and tangible indication that the policy of developing wind energy is delivering real benefits to consumers”.

“Ireland’s rich renewable resource has further potential to reduce the environmental impacts of meeting our energy needs and to meet the increased demands for electricity that comes with economic growth."

Gee - You don't say Mr. Taylor!!


Friday, October 13, 2006

Update OPOP Comfort Prices

OPOP Comfort Price in Denmark

Just got some prices from Denmark on the OPOP Comfort boiler, with burner, auger and silo. The combo is shown above, the silo is a different type.

The price is 27,000 Danish Crowns or €3,702 plus 21% VAT Total is €4479 including VAT. Does any know how that compares to the Kedco offering?? I am prepared to bet that the Kedco price is at least 20 to 30% higher. I am not a betting man, an actuary, or math genius, just going on the average IRISH pricing system in this business!!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

OPOP and Kedco Boilers Same Thing?

Kedco - OPOP - Can you tell the difference?
This is the new Kedco Wood Pellet Boiler that there has been a lot of hoopla about recently on the TV etc.

This is the new OPOP Comfort Boiler. What do you think? Are the two boilers the same thing or not? I wonder why Kedco feel they have to re-paint and re-badge the boiler? I wonder how the prices compare in Denmark, Germany etc. with the Irish price? Does anyone have some prices?


Another Reason for Avoiding Wood Pellets This Year

Wood Pellet Prices Soar in the US
due to Poor Supply

US residents want to start turning the heat on in their homes this fall and winter. But it's not so easy as it sounds for US woodpellet stove owners.

Some residents have had their names on waiting lists for the past two months. There are reports which suggest that wood pellet waiting lists are up to 500 names long, with residents calling supply stores only to be told they have no idea when the next shipment was due and to "call back again."

People are very annoyed by the lack of wood pellets fuel and even more so by the inflated price tag this year, up from the delivered price of $199 a tonne two years ago to as high as $330 a tonne this year.

Wood pellet producers failed to anticipate the rising demand, as homeowners shunned traditional heating methods because of inflating oil prices.

Authorities say wood pellet production is actually up, but that supplies have been slow in making their way to distributors, and thus prices have risen considerably.

The average price per tonne is around $263 a tonne which is up $40 from the same time last year. This average is likely to rise as the winter goes on.

SEI need to Wake up to Reality

There is no point in stimulating the wood pellet market with grants unless the supply quantity and price are first secured and assured. This is certainly not the case in Ireland. It is yet another reason for me to stay away from wood pellet heating until things are sorted out.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

How much does your plumber charge?

How much does your plumber charge?

Some months back I discussed some of the more outlandish charges which some "plundering plumbers" try to charge for specialist boiler installation. The worst case I came into contact with was the guy in the midlands that wanted €1000 per woodpellet boiler installation. As a typical replacement installation, where there is existing piping and chimney, takes no more than 2 to 4 hours, this guy was looking for between €250 and €500 per hour.

I told this guy that if I had cancer of the brain, and he was the only brain surgeon who could operate, I would not pay him that sort of money, because I am highly allergic to rip-off merchants and gougers.

Since that then, I have had occasion to replace a wrap-round back-boiler. The plumber, who I have known for many years and who does excellent work, charged me €200 for what amounted to almost six hours of very hard work. Now don't come asking me for this guys address; I am not in the referring business. I publish this information because it is a fair guide to realistic installation prices.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Republish: Criminal Insanity

With the Green Paper published,
and the ESB dictat elucidated,
it is a good time to
republish my rant of July last

Q. How many ESB executives would you need to screw in a light bulb?
A. None, they are all too busy screwing the customers.

I was reading over the weekend where the Chief Executive of the Public Irish Electricity Facility, the ESB, is expecting a pay raise of 17%. Gee that is a little less than he wants to raise the price of electricity for the customers.

This guy is getting a salary of nearly a half million Euro, €477,650 to be exact, a year for overseeing one of the most disastrous and insane companies in Ireland, if not in the world.

ESB Committing a Crime?

Quite apart from offering one of the poorest electricity supply standards in Europe, ESB is IMHO committing a crime. CORRECTION ESB is committing several crimes.

1. ESB imports 85% of its power in fossil fuels, adding to global pollution and taking away from the Irish economy thousands of jobs that could be made in the production and processing of Biomass fuels.

2. ESB is burning pages of the "Book of Kells" to generate electricity!!! Well this is not exactly correct; I said it to get your attention. However, ESB is doing something almost as INSANE. It is burning our, that's yours and mine and our children's, precious and irreplaceable bogs. A heritage once gone, can never ever again be replaced. 5% of ESB power comes from peat bogs. This is a crime in my opinion.

3. ESB is overpaying it's workers, and especially overpaying it's executives. It's average wage is more than double the average industrial wage. ESB then wants us the customer to fork out for this jobs-for-the-boys cozy cozy situation.

4. ESB charge Irish customers more than 40% more than UK customers are paying, and this for a less reliable service.

It is this sort of insanity and stupidity that sometimes makes me want to leave this beautiful country of ours.

I sometimes think of the Irish people as a bunch of sheep with the wolves circling, and they just milling around and bleating but doing nothing to defend themselves.

Irish Energy Policy Madness

Madness upon Madness

ESB is one of the highest paid, and lowest efficiency power companies in Europe. Do we not pay people in Ireland by how badly they work - I think we do actually!! Especially in the public service. Eircom or Telecom Eireann was a typical example of this practice. The best thing for telecommunications in Ireland was the privatisation of the telephone industry.

The present Irish government, in their infinite wisdom, see fit to support the near monopoly position of a proven highly inefficient and grossly overpaid dinosaur of a company. In another piece of wisdom they have made the Irish people look like complete idiots with their "Green paper" on energy. The "green paper" target of using 30% Renewable Sources for energy by 2020, is nothing short of laughable - if it were not so foolish, so ignorant, and so short-sighted.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Veggie Oil Prices

Had a nice note from Patrick B. regarding vegetable oil bulk prices. He gave me a link to Eilish Oils. I wrote to them with a few questions but they haven't bothered writing back so far. They list a high-grade rapeseed oil for use in cars etc. at €700 plus VAT for 1000 litres thats €847 for a fill. It would not make any sense to use it for heating at that rate.

One of the questions I asked Eilish Oil was; did they supply a lower grade oil suitable for central heating use. I can go to the supermarket and buy vegetable oil in a bottle for .69 cent in Tesco, so surely, in bulk lots of 1000 litres, without bottles and labels etc., the same oil should come at least 15% to 20% cheaper.

In the UK some farmers are pressing and filtering their own oil from rapeseed, and using the cake to feed cattle. The initial investment in the equipment is soon paid off.

If any readers are farmers with any knowledge of this practice, please drop me a note.

The Way it Works in Ireland

Hush now - we Irish have our own way of doing things!

I was talking to Manco Engineering in the UK recently (see earlier Blog on prices for Viadrus Boilers) about shipping to Ireland among other things. They didn't appear too anxious to do business and referred me to two firms on this Island. "We work through two companies (in Ireland) Nextgen Heat - Republic of Ireland; SI Energy - Northern Ireland"

I had a chat with NextGen Heat who told me they do not carry the range that Manco carry in the UK. The boiler they offer is a CN boiler at almost €10,000. Isn't that strange that they don't carry the Viadrus which Manco offer at £2200 sterling plus VAT, given that they are agents, of sorts, for Manco?

Seems if you want to get a wood pellet boiler cheaper you will have to take a van on the ferry to the UK or further afield.

In fact that is exactly what our little group are considering for next spring.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Price of Heating Oil

Yes - I know this is supposed to be
a Renewable Energy Blog!

No I haven't gone over to wood pellet heating because of rip offs Irish style. So I am investigating oil prices this season, hopefully for the last time.

Heating oil prices in the US are generally now around the $2 per US gallon delivered. If you do the sums that works out at approximately .42 Euro cent per litre plus VAT.

Why are the Irish being asked to pay .60 Euro cent per litre (other then the good old RipOff factor) - can anyone tell me?