Our first seeds of the season just sown by Enda, sitting in our heated seed incubator (powered by the sun), watered with freshly harvested rainwater, pumped to the tunnel by solar energy!
40% of Ireland’s electricity requirement must come from renewables by 2020.
As we switched on our photovoltaic electricity energy system last week I was excited.
To see the system producing 14kWh on a February afternoon was unexpected, that is enough energy to power an average house for a day.
Every now and again as I sit at my computer or walk into our new cold room where we store our vegetables it hits me that all of this is being powered by the sun.
It may be a bit selfish but the feeling of satisfaction I get seeing us generate our own power on our farm is fantastic.
Why is it though that the government drags its heels. Why can’t it be out ahead of the crowd promoting and supporting the use of renewables instead of playing catch up.
In my discussions last week with John Coffey of PV Energy who is working out a plan for us to deal with the excess energy we will generate on our farm it became plain that we will get very little for this renewal energy.
We are currently exporting our surplus energy to the grid, to the ESB for free.
Producing our own electricity here was never about saving money. It was the right thing to do and something I have wanted to for a long time, but for the sector as a whole to succeed these supports are necessary.
With climate change being the single largest threat to the survival of humanity on this planet where is the concerted and decisive action, from our government?
The government has not thought it wise to force the big energy companies to pay micro producers for the renewable energy they produce. They are not obliged to support small scale renewable energy generation and hence they don’t.
How then, can this energy sector be expected to get off the ground and flourish?
To encourage the sector It would seem sensible to at least pay the producer for any excess energy they produce.
There are strict CO2 emission reduction goals that we as a country must achieve by 2020, that is just two years away and we as a country will be found lacking if things don’t change fast.
Times are changing however, the energy from the sun is free and if you have a roof there is the potential for you to generate your own energy.
Even though I get agitated at times when I think for too long about climate change and the challenges we face on a global scale. We can do our own bit and it does make a difference, it makes a massive difference, because small steps taken by many adds up to a whole lot of change.
If financial supports come that will be great, it will encourage a wider take up of renewal energy.
Whether the supports come or not though I feel good knowing our organic vegetables in our polytunnels are being watered with chlorine free rainwater, pumped to our polytunnels with a pump powered by our own solar energy.
It really doesn’t get much better than that!
I can't say it enough, it wouldn't have happened without you, so a big THANK YOU.