Electrical grids are actually really cool
I didn't know that Ireland out right banned the construction of new data centers. The lost growth here is serious - and it is unfortunate that it hard to take anybody to account for this. Great article, Fergus!
Spirit of Ireland is an ambitious project to combine pumped hydro and wind power on the west coast. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_of_Ireland Making Ireland energy independent would be a strong geopolitical move.
Good article! Is it true that about 20% of Ireland's electricity in 2020 came from coal at the Moneypoint power station? Coal is a "dirty secret" that is rarely mentioned in Ireland, and I didn't notice it in your analysis either. Only in the last few weeks have I heard it mentioned on the national broadcaster, and that was in relation to human rights in the Peruvian mines. Can you add the coal stats to the next analysis?
Before moving to expensive long term storage Ireland has a few more options to solve waste of over generation; 1)we can divert the power to the heat sector in times of high wind using high voltage electrode boilers which are in common use in Scandinavia. We can use the massive industrial need for heat to act like a virtual interconnector, only in time of high wind. 2) similarly we can then move to thermal storage which is being developed at huge scale.
Reducing this waste and maximising use of existing infrastructure would reduce the cost on all irish electricity consumers and help protect jobs from carbon leakage.