I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 36 and 76 together.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (the CRU) has statutory responsibility to monitor and take measures necessary to ensure the security of electricity supply in Ireland. The CRU is assisted in its statutory role by EirGrid, the electricity transmission system operator.
EirGrid’s Generation Capacity Statement, which was published on 29 September, sets out the need to develop 1,850 MW of dispatchable generation capacity by 2025. On the same day, the CRU published an information note which sets out the programme of actions being progressed to deliver the required generation capacity. The actions include: increasing the availability of existing generators; developing new generation capacity; extending the operational life of some existing generators; introducing new rules for the grid connection of data centres; and developing actions to reduce demand when system margin is low. My Department is working closely with the CRU and EirGrid to support them in addressing these challenges.
My Department is also developing a review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems. The review is being carried out for the period to 2030 in the context of net zero emissions by 2050. The review process includes a technical analysis being carried out by consultants, which will be followed by a public consultation. The review process will consider what, if any, the future role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) should be.
In relation to the technical analysis, the consultants have provided my Department with an interim draft report which focuses on risk identification. The final technical analysis report, along with a non-technical summary, will be published with the commencement of the public consultation before the end this year. I expect the policy review, which will inform future Government policy, to be completed in the first half of next year.
The Government's Policy Statement on the Importation of Fracked Gas, which was published in May of this year, sets out that in advance of the completion of this review, it would not be appropriate for the development of any LNG terminals in Ireland to be permitted or proceeded with.