There is generally consensus that the world is facing a crisis in terms of global warming. The European union and the Irish government have implemented various policies and strategies to reduce CO2 emissions. Many commentators and prescribed bodies have made worthwhile observations to the debate or offered alternative solutions.
Irish and EU Policy
In order to reduce green house gases (GHGs) and comply with the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Convention on Climate Change, an EU directive encourages energy consumption from renewable sources. Ireland’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) goes beyond the Directive setting a target of 40% of overall energy consumption by 2020 from renewable sources.
Action is required to deal with global warming. To date, Ireland has concentrated largely on the development of wind energy at the expense of other solutions. Consideration must be given to both energy saving and extensive research into new effective, clean technologies for producing energy.
Although government and EU policy is firmly supportive the current renewable plans, many commentators, including leading economists and engineers have questioned the validity of these plans. Full and open debate on the issues is urgently required. In this section we explore these dissenting views.