March 30, 2009
With the huge number of technological, engineering and construction industry lay-offs, and great headway being made internationally in the development of green technology, funds (preferably from the NDP’s transport budget of around 6billion for the Dublin Metro) might be better put to use developing green alternatives to energy production.
Tidal energy production, in particular, would be an area where Ireland could make a serious difference. Improvements in energy storage and transmission across the national grid have made this a serious alternative to fossil fuel-based energy production. In the medium to long term it would help Ireland reduce its carbon emissions, saving the country money in reducing the amount of carbon credit we currently buy. In the long term, it could even be a source of income (both in the selling of carbon credits and in the selling of energy – should the science of transporting energy over great distances be improved).
Most importantly, in the short term, it would create employment in research and development, in the production of the hardware needed and in the construction of tidal and / or wind farms. Any new developments in this technology then becomes a product that a green Irish company can sell. We’re living on an island and we have lots of unemployed people with quite specialist knowledge and experience. When we speak about using the resources at our disposal, let’s be holistic in our approach. Let’s use natural resources, scientific, engineering and technological knowledge and the entrepreneurial spirit grown over the last 10-15 years to our advantage. And let’s get our green-tinted government to lead the way by incentivising and supporting such a plan.
It’s not a particularly new idea, but it’s one that needs to be considered in the coming budget. God knows when next we’ll have the Green Party in government,