Thursday, June 2, 2011

Energy, Ireland is always greener

While Germany has just announced the closure of its nuclear program is irreversible, whereas in Japan are expected up to 400 thousand cases of cancer in the next 50 years to the catastrophe of Fukushima, while Italy is expected to see the outcome of the referendum the next 12 and June 13, in Ireland the issue of atomic energy does not arise.

The "Green Ireland" has never had a nuclear program. Indeed, along with Portugal, Austria, Norway, Greece, Denmark and Luxembourg has sided openly against this source of energy, preferring to aim, since time is not suspected, renewable sources. If the first wind farm in the country dates back to 1991, since 2002 the government established the Sustainable Energy Authority, the SEAI, which deals since then to transform Ireland into a society based entirely on environmental sustainability and energy.

The objectives are clear: just as in microelectronics and in the fields of advanced scientific research, Ireland is to become "a recognized global leader" in the renewables sector, up to 100% of the production of clean energy on their territory, optimize distribution and consumption, rising to export the surplus and then throw in the conversion of transportation based on electricity.

Focusing on these goals in the last ten years there have been many advances: in 2010 the wind farms have produced more than 10% of domestic energy demand, with the goal of reaching 40% in 2020. Further back are the solar and geothermal sources, but have a great momentum studies into the possibilities of exploitation of ocean plants, taken together with the largest wind resource of the country.

Naval base in Haulbowline, government and scientific institutions of the country are making it the largest research center of the world ocean energy, with the officially stated goal of installing more than 250 locations in twenty years of energy production at sea open, arriving to produce 500 MW of energy and employing 50,000 people.

The operations also affect the conversion of the country reduce waste: Each year decrease substantially the consumption of citizens, industries, services and transport and reduce the significant percentage of CO2 emissions related to energy production. The Government took office just continues on this line, with the support confirmed to geothermal energy, marine and wind energy, improving the taxation system and incentives to citizens who support the various programs of "green energy", as well as production support energy "home" town and country, by improving the integration of the energy produced in the country's electricity network.

In short, by reducing consumption and waste, the phasing out of fossil fuels and the development of sustainable energies, Ireland wants to be (quoting verbatim) "Saudi Arabia of renewable energy." It is utopia? I'm talking to leaders? Yet, apart from the timing and numbers, the direction seems to many the right to watch a really practical and sustainable energy future.

Mauro Longo, a freelance journalist in Ireland

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