It is settled policy that electricity generation from coal will cease no later than 2025. This position has been set out in a number of policy documents, including the National Mitigation Plan, the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and the 2015 Energy Policy Paper, “Ireland’s Transition to a Low-Carbon Energy Future”, and most recently in the National Energy and Climate Plan. The 2016 Programme for Government included a commitment that the most suitable low-carbon technology to replace coal by 2025 would be identified.
Removing the largest single dispatchable generation plant from our energy system raises significant issues and the ESB, the owner and operator of the plant, has been asked for a report on the issues and options that arise in decommissioning the plant. As part of this study, the ESB will consider the best option in energy and climate policy terms. This work is not yet completed and I have not yet received the report. I expect to receive it shortly.