Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on August 14, 2008
Green is what comes to mind when I think of Ireland. Usually in terms of the landscape rather than energy, but that vision may change soon. Along the Emerald Isle’s east coast, the town of Dundalk has been charged with finding renewable energy that can be scaled up to meet the needs of larger populations.
It all starts with a 1.5 square-mile Sustainable Energy Zone, where experiments to both conserve old and create new energy are taking place. The project is funded in part by the European Union and is designed to find pilot projects that work and can be realistically expanded. Only two other towns — one in Austria and one in Switzerland – are involved in the program.
Dundalk has an advantage in that it lies on the edge of the North Atlantic, where the wind blows consistently year round. And there’s already a giant wind turbine that dominates the landscape and powers DIT (the Dundalk Institute of Technology). The wind power has cut the school’s electricity bills in half and has leaders looking to harness wind energy for everything, including street lights.
Reliability issues still plague straight renewable energy generation, especially in street lighting where public safety is at risk if the wind doesn’t blow. But these kinks can be worked out with money and time.
Keep a keen eye on our friends over the Atlantic.
(via New York Times)