11 solar projects to the first round of Government’s renewable electricity support scheme

  • The project portfolio announced today marks the first phase of the overall €300 million investment announced by the joint venture in January
  • The 11 projects are located in eight counties throughout Ireland
  • Over 200 jobs to be created in the construction of the projects
  • The joint venture has secured a pipeline of projects that will bring the total capacity of the overall portfolio to more than 500 MW, which will be submitted in subsequent rounds of the RESS process


30 April 2020: Shannon Energy powered by Obton has today announced the 11 projects that will be entered into the first round of the Government’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction, for which the qualification period closes today (30th April). The acquisition of these 11 solar energy projects will represent an investment of over €60 million in the Irish solar energy sector when developed and will deliver 105 MW of solar power to homes throughout the country.

Shannon Energy powered by Obton is a joint venture between Obton, a Danish solar photovoltaic (PV) business, and its Irish partner Shannon Energy. The project portfolio announced today marks the first phase in the Danish-Irish joint venture’s overall €300 million investment to provide over 500 MW of renewable solar power in Ireland over the next five years.

Projects in this portfolio are situated in eight counties throughout Ireland, with sites located in Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Longford, Galway, Offaly, Meath and Tipperary.  The combined 105 MW of power generated will be enough to fulfil the yearly energy requirements of up to 20,000 households. It is expected that more than 200 jobs will be created in the construction of the solar photovoltaic (PV) technology on approximately 400 acres.

In addition to the 11 projects announced today, Shannon Energy powered by Obton has secured a pipeline of projects that will bring the total capacity of the overall portfolio to more than 500 MW, which will be submitted in subsequent rounds of the RESS process.

Commenting on the announcement, Noel Shannon, CEO of Shannon Energy, said:

“Shannon Energy are delighted to have worked with Obton to secure these 11 projects and to submit them for qualification in the first RESS auction. We hope we are successful in all of these projects in the auction in July as that would allow us to proceed rapidly with the rest of the portfolio in subsequent auctions.”

Gerry Shannon, Chairman of Shannon Energy, added:

“By participating in the RESS auctions we are marking a significant contribution towards achieving the Government’s goal of 70% electricity production from renewable sources by 2030.”

Anders Marcus, CEO of Obton, said:

“These 11 new projects are an important milestone in our work to realise a sustainable future for energy generation in Ireland, and in our partnership with Shannon Energy we are developing a pipeline of further projects from around the country, with the combined capacity to deliver over 500 MW of renewable power.  We foresee that the diversity of this portfolio will allow it to serve as a secure source of power for the grid throughout Ireland, and we look forward to managing this contribution with Shannon Energy for many years to come.”

PV Solar Panels: Efficient Power Systems with Excellent Low Light Performance

Photovoltaic (PV) solar panel systems are a highly reliable type of power system perfect for use throughout Ireland. PV solar panels provide homeowners with maximum energy production even in low light conditions and challenging weather.

Utilising a robust and efficient design, PV solar panels will help you reduce energy bills by providing access to an unlimited energy source.

What are PV Solar Panels?

The PV solar panel system is a power system that captures solar energy from the sun through use of photovoltaics. Sunlight is absorbed through the solar panels and then directly converted into electricity. A solar inverter is used to alternate the current from DC to AC and supply your home with electricity.

PV solar panels are suitable for homes with limited space as PV solar panel units are capable of producing high yields of electricity. PV solar panels are typically roof-top mounted and can generate up to 165 W/m2 power density. This type of power system works well even on mornings, evenings and cloudy days.

This is due to the PV solar panels’ design, which features advanced surface and black surface texturing placed atop a black frame and backsheet. The design enables PV solar panels to capture the maximum amount of daily sunlight possible.

The PV solar panel system is highly reliable thanks to the its robust housing, and can withstand even the most challenging of weather conditions such as 35mm hail stones travelling at 97 km/h. All PV solar panel systems are required to pass an electroluminescence inspection, and are subject to over 30 in-house tests including UV, TC, HF and more.

Installing a photovoltaic solar panel system is a smart way to save money on your energy bills, and these highly efficient and reliable power systems are perfect for homeowners with limited space,

How 139 Countries Could Be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

Scientists have published a detailed road map to move 139 countries to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, according to a recent study.

Energy experts at Stanford University reported that using wind, solar, geothermal and water (hydropower, tidal and wave) energy to electrify all economic sectors that need power to operate — including the electric grid itself, transportation, heating and cooling, industrial, and the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries — would significantly reduce energy consumption, decrease deaths from air pollution, create millions of jobs, stabilize energy prices and save trillions of dollars on health care and climate-related costs.

“We have individual plans for each of the 139 countries, and these represent more than 99 percent of all of the emissions worldwide,” Mark Jacobson, director of Stanford University’s Atmosphere and Energy program, told Live Science. [Top 10 Craziest Environmental Ideas]

The study looked at the world’s energy needs, beginning with 2012 and projecting out to 2050. In 2012, the world used 12.105 terawatts (TW) of energy, which is equal to 12.105 trillion watts. By 2050, the world will need 20.604 TW if nothing changes and every country continues with the same approach it currently uses to meet energy demand, the researchers wrote in the study.

But if those same business sectors were to turn to renewable energy sources to electrify their all of their power requirements, the world would need just 11.804 TW to meet global power demands, according to the study. This is because electricity is more efficient than combustion, according to the researchers.

In a video explaining the main points of the study, Jacobson offered an example: In an electric car, he said, 80 to 82 percent of the electricity used goes toward moving the car; the rest is wasted as heat. In a gasoline-powered vehicle, on the other hand, only 17 to 20 percent of the energy in the fuel goes toward moving the car, and the rest is wasted as heat, he said.

Energy is also needed to mine, refine and transport fossil fuels. As such, switching to 100 percent renewable energy would eliminate these energy-intensive and environmentally destructive processes, the report authors said.

Road map for the future

In their study, Jacobson and his colleagues show how wind, water, geothermal and solar power can meet the worldwide demand for 11.804 TW of energy while avoiding the predicted global temperature increase of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial levels by 2050. The researchers outline how doing so would save the lives of 4 million to 7 million people who might have otherwise died from diseases caused by air pollution, save countries more than $20 trillion overall in health and climate costs, and produce a net increase of more than 24 million long-term jobs.

“It seems like a no-brainer to me,” Jacobson told Live Science.

The study builds on previous work from Jacobson, who began his career as a research scientist trying to understand how air pollution affects the climate. He said that in the early years, he focused on the problems, but by around 1999, he started looking at solutions.

In 2009, Jacobson and Mark Delucchi, a research scientist at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, published a study in Scientific American that outlined a plan to power the world with 100 percent renewable energy.

In the ensuing years, Jacobson and Delucchi worked on follow-up studies that examined these issues at the state level, and the researchers have now expanded that research to 139 countries. Detailed energy data for the remaining 59 countries in the world did not exist and thus could not be included in the study, the scientists said.

The overall cost of transitioning to an infrastructure of 100 percent renewable energy — a plan that sees countries moving first to 80 percent renewable energy by 2030 — may, at first glance, seemcost-prohibitive, but Jacobson and his team have crunched those numbers, too.

Jacobson said that, when averaged over all countries, the cost of building renewable energy systems, including storage and transmission, is 8.9 centsper kilowatt-hour (kWh). In a world that doesn’t transition and keeps the current fossil-fuel system, the cost is 9.8 cents/kWh.

And that doesn’t include the cost to society.

Climate change’s price

Fossil-fuel energy comes with health- and climate-related costs. The authors estimate that by 2050, countries will spend upwards of $28 trillion per year in costs for environmental, property, and human health issues related to global warmingincludingfloods, real-estate destruction, agricultural loss, drought, wildfires, heat stress and stroke, air pollution, influenza, malaria, dengue fever, famine, ocean acidification and more. [5 Ways Climate Change Will Affect Your Health]

And if the world takes no action to address climate change and ice continues to melt at Earth’s poles at the current pace, 7 percent of the world’s coastlines will be underwater, Jacobson said.

Jacobson said the total societal cost of renewable energy — which includes the cost of health and climate issues, as well as the direct cost of energy for wind, water and solar power — is about one-fourth that of fossil fuels.

“In other worlds, you reduce the total cost to society by about 75 percent,” he said. “The cost benefits of this are huge.”

Several countries are already moving toward a renewable energy portfolio to meet 100 percent of their power demands for all business sectors, according to the study. The list includes Tajikistan (76.0 percent), Paraguay (58.9 percent), Norway (35.8 percent), Sweden (20.7 percent), Costa Rica (19.1 percent), Switzerland (19.0 percent), Georgia (18.7 percent), Montenegro (18.4 percent) and Iceland (17.3 percent).

So far, the United States has just 4.2 percent of its total electricity generated by renewable sources. But the country has an advantage, according to the researchers. The study found that countries like the U.S., with more land per population size, would have the easiest time making the transition. Countries expected to have the most difficult time are those that are small, geographically, but have very large populations. Countries such as Singapore, Gibraltar and Hong Kong will have the biggest challenges transitioning to 100 renewable energy, according to Jacobson.

Still, there are ways to solve the problem, he said. These regions could turn to offshore wind energy, or they could exchange energy with a neighboring country, he added.

“With this information, we’re giving confidence to countries that they can be self-sufficient,” Jacobson said. “I’m hoping that different countries will commit to 100 percent renewable energy [by 2050] and 80 percent by 2030.”

4 Million Solar Panels Seen from Space

On the Tibetan Plateau in eastern China, 4 million solar panels silently soak up the sun as part of the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park. It’s the largest solar farm in the world, spreading over 10 square miles of the high desert landscape.

The complex sprung into existence in 2013 and has been rapidly expanding ever since. Satellite imagery curated by NASA’s Earth Observatory chronicles its growth from a cluster of panels to a sprawling solar farm that looks like a giant, angular thought bubble as of January 2017.

The Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is one piece of the massive renewable energy revolution taking place in China. The country invested $103 billion into renewables in 2015, the last year with data available. That helped the world set arenewable investment high water mark of $286 billion.

According to Greenpeace’s Energydesk, preliminary 2016 data show China installed the equivalent of one and a half soccer fields of solar panels every hour. That puts the country on track to meet its 2020 renewable goals sometime in 2018.

The renewables targets line up with China’s international climate commitments. The government previously announced it would lower the carbon intensity of its economy 40-45 percent below 2005 levels. Under the Paris Agreement, China has pledged to peak its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

Looking ahead, the government announced in early January that it plans to spend $361 billion on renewable power generation from now through 2020. The influx of cash is expected to help China produce a total of 110 gigawatts of solar power and 210 gigawatts of wind power by 2020.

The increase in investment coincides with a 40 percent drop in the cost of installing utility-scale solar in China since 2010. Solar is expected to become even cheaper in the coming years, further creating more bang for China’s buck (or yuan as the case may be).

Despite the growth in capacity, China has struggled to balance demand and production. An economic slowdown has caused some solar and wind farms to sit idle or produce energy that can’t be used. Local governments and strong coal interests also present obstacles to China’s transition from the world’s biggest carbon polluter to an economy largely powered by clean energy.

China continues to see its emissions rise due largely to heavy coal use, which will increase the risks associated with climate change. The Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is a step toward ensuring China has the capacity to change that.