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Energy Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (86)

Jennifer Whitmore


86. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the impact that building up to seven new gas power stations will have on Ireland’s ability to meet climate action targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61343/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Government's Policy Statement on Security of Electricity Supply, published at the end of last month, sets out that the development of new conventional generation, including gas-fired generation, is a national priority and should be permitted and supported in order to ensure security of electricity supply and support the achievement of higher levels of renewable electricity generation.

The policy statement supports the need to deliver circa 2 GW of new gas-fired generation which is set out in the National Development Plan 2021-2030 and the Climate Action Plan 2021.

The need for this level of new gas-fired generation capacity was identified by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, which has statutory responsibility for security of electricity supply, and EirGrid.

As set out in EirGrid's Generation Capacity Statement, which was published in September, much of this new capacity is needed to replace older high-emitting power stations such as those fuelled by oil and coal. It is also needed to meet growing demand from large energy users, such as data centres, and the electrification of the heat and transport sectors.

It is important to note that the development of flexible gas-fired generation is to provide security of supply and support increased levels of renewable electricity generation. The new capacity will only run when needed and therefore minimise the level of associated emissions.

Question No. 87 answered with Question No. 60.