Michael McDowell: Ireland in no position now to guarantee supply of electricity from renewables

Ireland is pursuing irreconcilable goals - increasing demand for electricity by 40%, hoping it can be done with renewable capacity

How do we square this circle of ever-increasing demand for and dependence on electricity to the point where it is the sole means of economic survival with bland aspirations of renewable supply? Photograph: Getty Images

How do we square this circle of ever-increasing demand for and dependence on electricity to the point where it is the sole means of economic survival with bland aspirations of renewable supply? Photograph: Getty Images

When I raised the question here last week as to whether Ireland should aspire to being a leader on climate change with the most ambitious targets or be content to be in the following pack, I guessed that some feathers would be ruffled.

Letters published in response claimed that to even ask that question was “absurd and untenable”, needed to be “quickly dismissed”, and was “more insidious than climate change scepticism” because it appeared to “reasonably question whether we should inconvenience ourselves at all”.

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