2030 Vision – The Future of Energy in Ireland: Speakers and Presentations

The conference name well describes the main issues that were discussed. The general purpose of the conference was to discuss moving from the use of fossil fuels to new sustainable sources of energy and providing it in a environment-friendly way. The speakers gave presentations describing solutions to those challenges. The issue of shale gas extraction was also discussed. Key speaker Deborah Rogers explained how shale gas is not economically viable.  Below is the list of the speakers with their presentations.

Eamon Ryan

Eamon Ryan_Eamon Ryan is a politician and leader of the Irish Green Party. He was a Teachta Dala (TD) for the Dublin South constituency from 2002 to 2011, and served as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources from 2007 to 2011. During Ryan’s period in office, installed wind capacity in Ireland doubled, and by 2010 the average daily energy derived from renewable sources (as a percentage of total demand) had increased to 17%, peaking at 42%. He also committed Ireland to the European Super Grid programme in 2009 and announced major government investment in Marine energy research projects.

In his presentation, Eamonn spoke about his belief in an energy revoltuion in Ireland in the near future. He foresaw that in a few years, all electricity would be generated from renewable energy sources and that the use of fossil fuels would plummet.

Link to presentation: Towards 2030 – A different world, a different vision

 Matt Kennedy   

matt kennedy_Matt Kennedy is Low Carbon Technologies Manager at Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).  He has more than 15 years of experience in policy, strategy and management related to sustainable energy technologies, climate change mitigation, innovation and enterprise development. He manages Ireland’s Energy RD Programme for Industry and Academia. Matt is a member of the Technology Executive Committee of the UN and is Chair of  International Energy Agency’s Renewable Energy Technology Deployment Agreement. The SEAI foresees that whereas our peak electricity demand will exceed 48,000 GWatts per year by 2050, wind generation has the potential to exceed peak demand around 2030, indicating that Ireland has the potential to become a significant energy exporter by 2050.

Link to presentation:  Energy Roadmaps to 2030 and beyond

Michael Walsh

Mitchel WalshMichael Walsh is the Project Manager of the Marex project. The MAREX project is a cross border multiple purpose project designed to deliver 6Terawatt-hours of dispatchable renewable energy form ONSHORE WIND in Ireland via a single 1500MW VSC infeed to the UK, probably at Capenhurst. MAREX also contains 6Gwrs per cycle energy storage, which allows for dispatchibility of power.  The Marex project combines wind energy with hydro-energy – wind turbines generate electicity that, as well as contributing to the national grid, also powers a turbine that pumps sea-water to a reservoir on top of a cliff in County Mayo.  This ensures a steady supply of power.

Link to presentation:  MAREX project

David Taylor

David Taylor_David Taylor is Chairman of the Energy Institute, Ireland.  He is the former Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and is the Principal in David Taylor & Associates. He has advised the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security and was responsible for supporting the Committee’s Public Consultation on Ireland’s Electricity Needs post-2020.

David spoke about the importance of dialogue between all sectors involved in energy project – industry, statutory agencies, government and community.  He stressed the importance of keeping a balance in all discussions and in looking for outcomes that give the best result for all sides.

Deborah Rogers

Deborah Rogers_Deborah Rogers lives in Texas, US.  She has worked as a financial consultant for several major Wall Street firms, including Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney.  Ms Rogers was appointed as a primary member to the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI), an advisory committee within the U.S. Department of Interior, in 2013 for a three year term.  In May 2013, she was invited to testify before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  She was appointed in 2011 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to a task force reviewing placement of air monitors in the Barnett Shale region in light of air quality concerns brought about by the natural gas operations in North Texas.  In June of 2012, she was invited to speak in Rio de Janeiro at the International Society for Ecological Economics in conjunction with the United Nations Rio+20 world summit.  She is a Member of the board of Earthworks.  She is also the founder of Energy Policy Forum, a consultancy and educational forum dedicated to policy and financial issues regarding shale gas and renewable energy.

In her presentation, Deborah makes the case that the shale gas industry is essential non-viable, depending more on asset sell-on and a continuing threadmill of drilling than on sustainable production.

Link to presentation: Cost Benefit Analysis of Unconventional Gas Extraction

Deborah Rogers: The economics of fracking

Deborah Rogers – Founder of EnergyPolicyForum and critic of Fracking

Deborah Rogers is an expert in the economics of shale gas and an advisor to the Obama administration.  Speaking at the 2030 Vision conference in Carrick-on-Shannon this month, she made it clear that the shale gas industry in the US is now in deep trouble.  The basic reason for this is that initially it was assumed that shale gas wells would behave much like conventional wells (tapping into an underground reservoir of gas) with a lifetime of 20 years.  All production and cash projections were based on this assumption, which turned out to be hopelessly optimistic.  In fact, the average productive shale gas well has a lifetime of 3 – 5 years only.

Deborah Rogers at 2030 Vision conferenceBased on those initial projections, everyone jumped on the bandwagon and some leasing companies made fortunes. Drilling companies went into huge debt, encouraged by investment banks that made millions in fees.  Initially easily accessible gas was produced.  However, the wells started drying up far sooner than anticipated and the companies continued to drill more and more wells to meet their production targets, motivated by the cost of loans taken out.  They cannot stop, resulting in a glut of gas and the price has plummeted. The selling price of gas at present is roughly half the cost of production, so all shale gas companies are losing money.

“The whole thing doesn’t make sense”, said Ms Rogers.  “Many of the big players have written down their assets, including BP, Encana and Chesapeake. The Marcellus shale gas reserve estimates are down by 80%.  The recovery efficiency for the five major shale gas plays averages 6.5% compared with 75–80% for conventional gas fields.  The biggest companies, e.g. Exxon-Mobil, are now selling their assets.  Is the shale gas bubble soon going to deflate?”

“In the meantime, the drilling frenzy continues with collateral damage in the form of air pollution, ground water depletion, road damages and potential aquifer ruination”, she continued.  “This is immense and will only continue to rise as more and more wells need to be drilled. None of these impacts are at present covered financially by the gas companies – in other words, profits are to be privatized while costs and negative impacts will be borne by the people. “

“2030 Vision – The Future of Energy in Ireland” conference was organised by Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) to look at the choices of energy sources that Ireland has to make in the future.  Speakers included Eamon Ryan, Leader of the Green Party, who gave an inspirational talk on the potential of renewable energy sources, in particular wind energy, to substitute for hydrocarbons.  The conference was part-funded by Leitrim County Council through the Agenda 21 programme.

Link to Deborah Roger’s presentation at 2030 Vision Conference: http://bit.ly/GJjt2Q

Profile of Deborah Rogers

Deb RogersDeborah Rogers lives in Texas, US. She has worked as a financial consultant for several major Wall Street firms, including Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney. Ms Rogers was appointed as a primary member to the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI), an advisory committee within the U.S. Department of Interior, in 2013 for a three year term. In May 2013, she was invited to testify before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She was appointed in 2011 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to a task force reviewing placement of air monitors in the Barnett Shale region in light of air quality concerns brought about by the natural gas operations in North Texas. In June of 2012, she was invited to speak in Rio de Janeiro at the International Society for Ecological Economics in conjunction with the United Nations Rio+20 world summit

Tell the EPA US to Investigate Fracking Contamination!

Exclusive by DeSmogBlog

DeSmogBlog (Los Angeles Times) has obtained a copy of an Obama Administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fracking groundwater contamination PowerPoint presentation describing a then-forthcoming study’s findings in Dimock, Pennsylvania.

Water on Fire

The PowerPoint presentation reveals a clear link between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for shale gas in Dimock and groundwater contamination, but was censored by the Obama Administration. Instead, the EPA issued an official desk statement in July 2012 – in the thick of election year – saying the water in Dimock was safe for consumption.
The EPA has also shut down fracking investigations in Wyoming and Texas. The early results of all three investigations showed that the EPA had evidence linking gas drilling and fracking operations to groundwater contamination; yet instead of protecting people in these areas, the EPA ignored its own scientific data and abandoned the investigations.

Food and Water Watch have now put out a call for everyone to send a message to the EPA.

Fill out the form [click HERE] and edit the message as you wish. They will deliver your messages to the new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and President Obama to make sure the EPA does its job.
It is said of Gina McCarthy, the new EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy… has worked for and with both sides of the aisle to forge common-sense and science-based solutions to protect children, seniors, and the public health from dangerous pollution.” Let us ask her then, as a priority, to re-open these investigations and fearlessly publish their findings.

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