Costing Ireland's energy options
Item Type:Journal article
Citation:Nichol, R. J. 'Symposium on Future Demands for and Supplies of Energy - Costing Ireland's future energy options'. - Dublin: Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland,Vol. XXIV, Part I, 1978/1979, pp155-177
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The primary objective of this paper is: 1. To improve our understanding of the comparative costing of our national energy options; 2. To point the ways in which economic research can help to improve this understanding. I would like to begin with a reference to what I have called the geophysical economics of energy. Of the solar energy which reaches the earth about 30 per cent, known as the earth's albedo, is directly reflected and scattered into outer space in the form of short wave length radiation. About 47 per cent is absorbed into the earth as heat and about 23 per cent in wind and wave motion and in the water cycle. The tiny portion remaining is used by plants in the process of photosynthesis of carbohydrates. This is the entire source for the biological requirements of the earth's humans, animals and plants. Mankind is also using up another minute fraction of this biological energy which has been converted into fossil fuels under the planet's surface over the last 600 million years. This first overview of the earth's geophysical economics suggests that from mankind's point of view the system is most inefficient and wasteful ? 30 per cent radiated, 47 per cent heating the ground every day to dissipate every night, over 20 per cent into the wind, waves and rainfall. Mankind captures only a small proportion of the last in hydropower and a minute portion in windpower.
Description:Read before the Society, 5 April 1979
Author: Nichol, R. J.
Other Titles:Symposium on Future Demands for and Supplies of Energy
Publisher:Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland
Type of material:Journal article
Series/Report no:Journal of The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland
Vol. XXIV, Part I, 1978/1979
Availability:Full text available