Ireland v Germany: supply and demand renewables

Time for Ireland to start selling Germans something more than pretty postcard views
Pic (cc) Final Gather

Ireland you messed up. You got greedy and now you owe big banks in Germany lots and lots and lots of money.*

Payback is tough, but maybe today’s Irish Times leader points to a solution. A post-Fukishima Germany is rethinking its energy mix. Ireland, you haven’t even fully thought out yours in the first place, but look west and you’ll see an answer both yourselves and Frau Merkel may find to your liking. What’s more, the interconnectors running energy off the island of Ireland and into mainland Europe are close to coming online which means you get to enter a market formally reserved for big boys and girls only.

Supply and demand, debt for wind. Easy no? Oh, and as an upside, you get to turn your desolate western ports into green jobs incubators. Sorta like Dong Energy is doing in Belfast. Double win, all across the Atlantic coast.

And here’s a bit of advice Ireland. Get this done quick. Because if you don’t, the smart German electricity companies are going to buy up your waters and do this anyway. Who do you think electrified Ireland in the first place?

* Let’s ignore for the sake of simplicity the complicit and profit making motives of German banks in lending money to greedy Irish developers in the first place.

-EDIT-

Irish ministers were in London this week discussing renewable energy sales. Very neighbourly of Britain to offer to subsidise (I’m guessing) cap-ex projects. Thanks chaps.

Politically motivated change: No hope

[Sweeping away the old (by flashbak)]
Sweeping away the old (by flashbak)

Nine times out of ten if I was asked to pick between an parliamentary and presidential democracy as an ideal way to govern a country I’d chose the former. From what I can see it establishes a closer bond between the electorate/community and the parliamentarian who represents them. It allows for a more representative government and cabinet. And the party in power acts as a natural ego check for the prime minister. In theory.

But yesterday was a great example of how a presidential style system can and should work. Out with the old and in with the new. The breath and breadth of fresh air rolling down the Mall was absolutely tangible. In one fell swoop America gets the clean start it is crying out for. And so does the world.

Looking at the parliamentary systems in the UK and Ireland leaves me with little hope for a clean out or clean up. Labour lose the next election and we get the Tories. Hardly something that will bring the spring clean fresh smell to Westminster and the country. And there’s no hope now I think of reviving New Labour, with or without Brown.

And in Ireland the situation is even more depressing. The Fine Gael as the main opposition offer no alternative vision for the country. Fintan O’Toole in yesterday’s Irish Times suggests they simply merge and get on with it leaving Labour as a proper opposition.

On the anniversary of the first Dáil, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, who share an analysis of the crisis, need to form a unified government, leaving Labour, which does not share that analysis, to lead a coherent opposition.

That’s as sensible a suggestion as any other I suppose but not like likely to happen leaving voters in the British Isles with no hope of Obama-like change being led by our politicians. We’ll just have to implement the change we need without them.