An Post five keep Earth alive


An Post five keep Earth alive

Ireland’s pursuit of alternative energy sources is celebrated today (Friday) as An Post releases a set of five stamps celebrating renewable energy technologies.

The stamps, designed by Rose Design, feature the five main sources of renewable energy in Ireland; wind, wave, hydropower, solar and bio fuel. Each features an image of the various technologies in use in Ireland including the Ardnacrusha Hydro Station on the Shannon, an ocean energy unit off the West coast and a beautiful field of rapeseed.

The set of five stamps (55c) are available to purchase, in booklet form only, at main Post Offices, by calling +353 (1) 705 7400 or by logging onto An attractive First Day Cover edition and Commemorative Booklet have also been produced.

Wind power - Ireland is one of the most naturally windswept countries in Europe.  At present, there are approximately 146 wind farms active here, dotted around coastal areas, in open plains and gaps in the mountains.

Hydropower is the biggest source of renewable energy in the world. The Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station built in 1929 on the Shannon is still the country’s largest renewable energy generating unit. Today, about 6% of Ireland’s electricity generating capacity comes from hydropower.

Although still in its early stages of development, ocean energy from waves and tidal currents can provide us with renewable energy. In fact, a recent study indicated that the average wave power in Europe is highest near the West of Ireland. To accelerate the use of ocean energy here in Ireland, the Ocean Energy Development Unit (OEDU) was set up in 2008.

Solar power is a relatively new phenomenon in Ireland. You might not think that Ireland has enough sunlight to sustain solar power but we actually get enough to provide an average of 60% of a building's hot water needs.

In 2002, bio fuel contributed to 61% of all renewable energy in Ireland. It has significant potential as a source of energy here and could provide between 5% and 10% of our total primary energy requirement by 2020. Biomass fuels include wood and crops such as rapeseed, but also manure and some waste.