Ireland’s energy policy is fully aligned with the EU’s climate and energy objectives on the transition to decarbonisation, which includes continuous and on-going review of policies to reduce harmful emissions, improve energy efficiency, incentivise efficient and sustainable infrastructure investment, integrate markets, and promote research and innovation while ensuring our energy security of supply is maintained and enhanced. As Ireland develops its indigenous renewable energy sources, our reliance on imports will decrease and this contributes to enhancing our energy security.
The 2015 Energy White Paper Ireland's Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future sets out a road-map for Ireland to reduce its Greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050. The strategy is clear that non-renewable energy sources will make a significant – though progressively smaller – contribution to our energy mix over the course of the energy transition. The National Mitigation Plan, which I published in July 2017, restates the Government’s commitment to move from a fossil fuel-based electricity system to a low-carbon power system. Investment in further renewable generation will be incentivised.
During this transition, some fossil fuels such as natural gas will continue to play a role in terms of enhanced security of supply. Natural gas also has the potential to play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the power generation, industrial and commercial, residential and transport sectors by replacing more CO2-intensive fossil fuels. In Ireland gas powered generation provides an important back-up for intermittent renewable wind generation.