According to a new book, Ireland has the potential to produce three times the country’s energy needs using renewable resources. The book, Green & Gold – Ireland a Clean Energy World Leader? by Alternative Energy Resources CEO John Travers, states that 20 percent of total Irish energy needs can be met by clean energy within the next 10 years, while an impressive 80 percent can be met by 2050. Not just that, but 20 percent of Irish GDP can also be derived from clean energy exports.
In his book, Travers says, “Clean energy can help rescue Ireland from its current economic and energy challenges. In achieving energy independence, Ireland can become an outstanding world leader and a global beacon for the use of clean energy.”
“Ireland is endowed with winds that are among the strongest in the world and the waves that crash against our western seaboard are some of the most powerful on the planet. Harnessing these and other clean energy sources such as solar and biomass offers Ireland a golden opportunity to overcome the energy challenge it faces.”
He adds: “There is the potential to create almost 100,000 jobs from harnessing renewable energy and applying energy efficiency activities.”
A few months ago, it was reported by Pöyry Energy Consultants that if Ireland is serious about cutting its carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and meeting the country’s future energy demands, it must seriously consider a nuclear option. While the country is pursuing other renewable options such as wind energy, the report said that the government must not rule out nuclear power altogether.
“Many countries’ approach to de-carbonization includes a growing nuclear element. Although nuclear power plants are not currently a legal option in Ireland, we believe that due consideration of them as an option is worthwhile,” said the Pöyry Energy report.
Despite its low cost and high rate of energy production, nuclear energy is the bane of many environmental groups. While it does not produce harmful greenhouse gases such as CO2, it does produce harmful by-products that can remain hazardous for thousands of years.
Either way, it shows that Ireland can potentially generate enough power not just for itself, but also for the UK and Europe.