Thursday, 23 September 2010

Green & Gold - can Ireland lead the world in Clean Energy?

John Travers has authored a book on the prospects of Ireland as a world leader in Clean Energy technology.
The book speaks in plain English, and will appeal to a wide audience outside the technical and engineering domains.
It goes through all the main forms of renewable energy, explains the technology with illustrations and discusses the resource in both a general way and as potentially applied in the Irish energy sector.
The book achieves the enviable feat of maintaining an upbeat and optimistic tone, while keeping a lid on the extent of future renewable energy resource exploitation.
It is peppered with anecdotes, such as the night of the "Big Wind" in 1839, the most devestating storm in recorded Irish history.
It doesnt shirk the thorny topic of nuclear energy, explaining again in non-technical lingo the concepts of nuclear energy and its history in Ireland.
And what of biofuels, a thing Travers knows a thing or two about as CEO of a biofuel company? He outlines how Ireland could source 10 to 12% of its transport fuel needs from indigenous resources, and explains the various feedstocks and technologies that can be used to meet that target.

Looking to the future of renewable energy, Travers outlines some carrot and stick incentives to use renewables to meet 20% of Irish energy needs by 2020 and postulates that 80% could be met by 2050. To do so would exceed the EU legislation that sets out a 16% renewable energy target for Ireland by 2020.
The proposals are considered and do address the main barriers to renewable energy - grid connection difficulties, access to finance, extremely protracted and difficult planning environment and lack of public acceptance, to name but a few.

It is a good read, and will have appeal to a wide group of readers from policy-makers to investors to students.
It is available to order online here.