Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (31)

Mick Wallace


31. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which the development of a liquefied natural gas facility here would be compatible with the State's commitment to tackling climate change; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41175/18]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

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.

The development of an LNG facility would further enhance Ireland’s gas security of supply by increasing import route diversity and would be compatible with the State’s commitments to tackle climate change. 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, gas has the potential to deliver significant and sustained benefits, particularly in terms of enhanced security of supply. Natural Gas 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.