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Soaring Charges

by Frank Schnittger Sat Nov 26th, 2022 at 09:00:33 AM EST

Electric cars - charging ahead? Destroying the incentive, Sat Nov 26 2022


A chara, - They say one should never waste a good crisis and the ESB [Irish state owned Electricity Supply Board] seems intent on not doing so by adding an up to 67 per cent price increase on top of a previous 47 per cent price increase last May at public electric vehicle charge points.

This is despite a 37 per cent decrease in wholesale electricity prices since last September and a 52 per cent decrease since September 2022 and brings the cost of electricity up to a level comparable to diesel ("Electric vehicle charging to match cost of diesel after 67 per cent further hike", News, November 24th).

With electric car prices still far beyond the reach of most car buyers, this destroys the one incentive we had to go electric, the reduced cost of running one, which could offset the increased repayments required to finance the purchase.

With the purchase of electric vehicles already far below the Government targets required to achieve our greenhouse gas emissions reductions, this latest increase seems designed to sabotage any chance we ever had of meeting those targets.

Buying an electric vehicle now only makes sense if you have a private charge point and large solar panel installation, which excludes the vast majority of the population.

Once again, the Green Party seems to be asleep at the wheel with the Minister for Energy already having allowed swingeing increases in road tolls at a time of booming revenues for toll operators due to increased traffic volumes.

What planet does Eamon Ryan live on? - Is mise,


I always give the Green Party a high preference at elections, depending on their candidate, but struggle to see the logic of their policies on occasion. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is Minister for Transport, the Environment, Climate and Communications and has direct political responsibility for the price rises in question.

Being the smallest party in a three party coalition is no excuse even if his two coalition partners are ideologically conservative parties. Such swingeing price rises at a time of high inflation are unpopular with all parties and he would have no political difficulty vetoing them. It is this insensitivity to popular feeling that makes me despair for the Green Party sometimes.

Implementing disruptive policies designed to mitigate climate change can be unpopular at the best of times, so you have to choose your battles carefully. Stupid measures such as the above which have no justification in cost terms will merely heighten popular suspicions about the "Green Agenda" and give fuel to their ideological opponents.

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As predicted over 12 months ago, failure of the EU in Brussels and free-market economy of Libertarians re: Rutte & Co. Add a needless war that destroys more than anyone benefits and the chaos is created for war profiteers. The revenge of BIG Oil & Gas (and coal = Koch) to counter all negativity caused by Global Warming "scaremongering" activists. Among the 30,000 participants flying into Sharm el-Sheikh for the COP27 summit, a large representation of the fossil fuel lobby. A disaster. The Greens have joined the neocon forces, just mind boggling Frank.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 26th, 2022 at 09:19:52 AM EST
Buying an electric vehicle now only makes sense if you have a private charge point and large solar panel installation, which excludes the vast majority of the population.

Offers great potential, including feeding the home in moments of the day the energy price is very high. Smart charging at moments during the day the price is cheap.

As usual the rich can profit the most. Building green hydrogen plants, wind turbines in the North Sea and large solar parks ... who are the investors and reaping Dutch and EU subsidies? Good guess the Shell, Exxons, BP, Gasunie, and the like. Deals made to supply low cost electricity (matter of a few $ cents per kWh) to the immense server parks for Microsoft, Meta, Amazon and the likes.

The Dutch government is seeking to impose environmental controls on hyperscale data centers after declaring that their high energy demands outweigh any benefit they bring to the national economy and the lives of the country's citizens.

High voltage electricity transport cannot keep up with demand. New schools and business are placed on a waiting list to be connected to the gid some time in the future. ☹

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 26th, 2022 at 09:48:51 AM EST
Is it electricity exports that are driving up prices in Ireland or did Ireland import hydrocarbons from Russia for electricity?

Southern Sweden's electricity prices swings with the continental prices. Northern Sweden is limited by transmission to Southern Sweden and thus has much lower electricity prices.

The most acute problem in Sweden is costs for heating. Mostly heat pumps thanks to a drive in the 90ies to get rid of direct electrical heating. The Green party is the only one that wants to get rid of the need for electricity use through a subsidy of up to 80% of cost for insulating your house. But we got a conservative govenrmetn with far right support so I guess handwaving about future nukes is what is going to happen.

by fjallstrom on Tue Nov 29th, 2022 at 09:42:26 PM EST
Although an increasing proportion of Ireland's electricity is generated through wind and solar, we still need oil and gas generators for peak demand and load balancing. Ireland only has a limited supply of its own gas, and so imports from the UK. It is this element which had been subject to increased wholesale market prices, which led to ALL electricity prices being increased -leading to windfall gains for Wind and Solar installations which had no increased in cost.

However demand destruction and the mild winter (to date) has led to much lower wholesale prices which have not been passed on to retail consumers. Worse, the near monopoly retail suppliers have sought to capitalise on general inflation, and PERCEPTIONS of increased energy costs, to implement further swingeing price rises without resistance from the government - hence my letter.

There is also a programme of insulation for houses in progress in Ireland, but the industry simply hasn't got the capacity to meet demand. My house was insulated to passive house standards two years ago, with the help of a 50% grant on certain (but not all costs) under a then pilot scheme which has been expanded but made less generous. As an older house it needed renovation anyway, so it was a win win even if I had the bear considerable costs. It has made all parts of the house much more habitable, enabled my daughter, partner and grand-daughter to move in and have space to work from home, and reduced total energy costs considerably.

With Ireland also suffering an acute housing shortage, enabling my daughter's family to move in effectively saved us (and the state) the need for an additional house.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 29th, 2022 at 10:43:16 PM EST
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I've always considered EVs as broadly as useful for our survival as biofuels. The problem they are supposedly good at solving, short distance transport in regions with good infrastructure, is already solved by trams. As to the question of the 'Green Agenda', I profess no special knowledge of the Irish Greens, but overall the whole political tendency seems to be very comfortable in the Marktkonformen Demokratie. And directly intervening in the economy by setting prices is one of the worst sins in this framework. Especially when you have full legal authority to do so.
by generic on Wed Dec 7th, 2022 at 10:13:54 AM EST
Dublin is the only city in Ireland to have trams - two lines - and rural areas are generally poorly served by buses. Low population density makes public transport uneconomic and inefficient in many areas. A car is a necessity for any quality of life in most rural areas and Ireland has no oil and little gas and we need to reduce our carbon footprint in any case.

So wind and solar power is the way to go and EVs are a good local storage mechanism to smooth peaks and valleys in demand and supply. It will take time for EV technology and economies of scale to make EVs more affordable, recyclable, and less dependent on rare earth metals. But I don't know of a better solution short of herding everyone into large towns and cities.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 7th, 2022 at 01:55:41 PM EST
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Well yes. We're talking about a near complete rebuilding of infrastructure in any case. Neither the transmission- nor generation capacity for a 1:1 switch to EVs exists as of now. Nor does the battery technology to make it possible. So why not envision a moderate change of settlement patterns and trains?
by generic on Wed Dec 7th, 2022 at 08:55:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland has a rapidly expanding population and most of that increase is concentrated in larger towns and cities, so some restructuring is taking place, and the emphasis on improving public transport is increasing.

Working from home has revolutionised work in some areas and revitalised smaller villages and towns which were dying before, as people moved there from the cities in search of more affordable housing.

There is a lot of local opposition to onshore wind farms and offshore, in the Atlantic, is expensive and relatively unproven. Most offshore development is in the Irish sea.

The current wind farm business model favours capital rich larger businesses and there is very little linkage and benefit for people living in their vicinity - hence all the resistance. We don't yet have a cooperative model for wind farm development.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 7th, 2022 at 10:45:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In terms of small scale and local actions, there's nothing like fewer and smaller cars:

The new electric SUV market under battery supply constraints: Might they increase CO2 emissions? - ScienceDirect

Two trends have shaped the European car market over the past decade: electrification and SUVisation. Recently, they have merged in a new product: the electric sport utility vehicle. This paper contrasts the view that regards this innovation as a technological solution to mitigate road transport emissions with a broader view that takes into account the battery requirement and profitability of such type of electric car. This broad view is formalised in a system dynamics model that captures the potential effects of supply side constraints. Four scenarios are simulated. The results show that the levels of CO2 emissions of new cars are substantially reduced only in the one that assumes lower motorisation. Based on these simulations, the conclusion that the diffusion of electric sport utility vehicles does not necessarily contribute to mitigating car emissions in Europe is drawn. Less reliance on technology fixes, downsizing and reduced motorisation are identified as solutions worth investigating to meet ambitious climate goals. Further research on how vehicle manufacturers distribute batteries is needed.

Of course the situation changes somewhat if you actually get to a fully electrified grid, powered by something that won't cook the planet, but probably not much. And I'd imagine, though haven't looked for any studies, that at the local level fighting commercial real estate's campaign to bring people back to the office should be a priority. But overall I think the last decades have shown that capitalism will not deliver anything to slow climate change. We've just seen a weird mind-virus run around the globe and burn enough oil to power mid sized nations to effectively solve sudokus for a blatant Ponzi scheme, after all.

by generic on Fri Dec 9th, 2022 at 12:55:26 AM EST
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