Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Questions (140)

Bríd Smith


140. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his policy regarding the upcoming EU meeting to ratify the fourth list of projects of common interests; his plans to support the building of LNGs here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38926/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Shannon LNG is an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI) on the current list of PCIs. This project was supported by Ireland in obtaining this designation as it would enhance our gas security by increasing import route diversity.

Projects of Common interest are key infrastructure projects with one of their main objectives being to safeguard the EU’s energy security by diversifying sources. A new list of these projects is drawn up every two years following an evaluation process carried out by the European Commission. The first PCI list was adopted in 2013 and the Shannon LNG project has been designated a PCI on each list since that date.

The fourth list of PCIs is currently under evaluation by the European Commission and it is expected to be adopted in October 2019. The inclusion of the Shannon LNG project on the list continues to have the support of Government.

As a private commercial project, final investment decisions on whether this project will proceed are matters for the project promoter.

I intend to carry out a security of supply review which will consider what fossil fuels are required, and how they are sourced, during the transition to a low carbon economy. This is required particularly as coal and peat are removed from electricity generation, and as we move from 30% renewable electricity to 70% renewable electricity. When we go from 30% renewable electricity today to 70% renewable electricity in 2030, we will need backup electricity generation when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. For example, in a recent 30 day period, 25% of Ireland’s electricity was provided by wind generation. However, over this same period, one day had only 4% of our electricity provided by wind and on another day it provided 62% of our electricity.