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, 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. 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.
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 also provides an important back-up for intermittent renewable wind generation.
The Shannon LNG project has been designated an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI) by way of an evaluation process organised by the European Commission. The designation of PCI status requires the agreement of Member States. Ireland supported the designation of Shannon LNG as a PCI in the original PCI list in 2013 and in subsequent lists in 2015 and 2017.
The Deputy will appreciate that the LNG project to which the Deputy refers is a private commercial project and any future investment decisions on the development of this project are a matter for the project promoter.