Natural Gas is an important transition fuel on the pathway to decarbonisation and 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. Dispatchable power generation is also an important back-up for intermittent renewable generation, for example, as a back-up for wind power generation, when the wind is not blowing. The Programme for Government states that an LNG facility on the island of Ireland would be a positive step, and commits to examining if there are ways to facilitate LNG on the island of Ireland, noting that the regulation of the gas market is the responsibility of the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities.
In line with the Programme for Government and the Government’s Energy Policy Paper, “Ireland’s Transition to a Low-carbon Energy Future, 2015-2030”, the potential for LNG is being examined as part of the study my Department is carrying out, in conjunction with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, Gas Networks Ireland and EirGrid, on Ireland’s resilience to a long term gas disruption. This study will inform the formulation of future policy measures to maintain the resilience of Ireland’s gas and electricity networks and supply.
Some private sector commercial LNG projects have been proposed in Ireland recently. The location, development and final investment decisions for these projects are ultimately the responsibility of the project promoters. In addition, it is the responsibility of the project promoters to comply with any legal and regulatory requirements, including requirements for planning permission, other consents or permits, and related environmental impact assessments.