By John Fitzgerald
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Additional info for A Review of Irish Energy Policy issue 21
Honohan and Irvine (1987), showed that at the then very high marginal tax rates there had to be a huge return from state expenditure (including in terms of jobs) if it was to offset the jobs lost from raising taxation. Over the 1990s, with falling tax rates, the opportunity cost of state funds for public investment projects fell (Honohan, 1998). 8 of a job). Forfás has developed an appropriate methodology for assessing the value of such investment projects, which takes these issues into account.
Given the EU “bubble”,25 what it will do is to reduce the cost of meeting their targets for other EU members at an extra cost to Irish consumers. Such an outcome would be neither good for the environment nor for Irish competitiveness. The research to date all shows that, while the Irish electricity system could absorb significant levels of wind generation, as the share rises towards its “optimum” it will become necessary either to cycle fossil fuel plants more often or to constrain off wind. 26 In the absence of Locational Marginal Pricing27 how can the regulator ensure that the expansion of wind happens at a rate that is optimal in terms of minimising the costs for consumers?
Thus, the cost of capital is today very high in Ireland and it will continue at this elevated level until the economic crisis is brought under control. As noted previously, this has very negative implications for all new investment in what is a very capital intensive sector. It also poses significant problems for state-owned utilities in funding their investment plans and it will also affect any attempt to restructure the state-owned firms in the sector by selling assets or transferring assets between them.
A Review of Irish Energy Policy issue 21 by John Fitzgerald