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Between 1975 and 2008, production of electricity in Ireland grew at a compound rate of 4.3% per year.
The output for 1975 totalled 7.5 terawatt-hours (TWh). By 1991, that had doubled to 15 TWh. It doubled again 17 years later to 30 TWh.
A different picture emerged as the recession unfolded. In the last five years, output of electricity has decreased at an average rate of 3% per year. At the end of 2013 it had fallen back to 25 TWh, the level at which it was nine years ago.
Do we really need to build miles of expensive, ugly, high-voltage pylons? The message is clear. Instead of planning to generate unlimited supplies of energy, we should develop ways to maximise conservation and minimise wastage. The world will have to call a stop to reckless production sooner than we think.
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