Ireland consults on its future energy policy

Ireland seeks to update its 2007 energy white paper as it is “embarking on a new avenue” to end its “energy island isolation”, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and strengthen its expertise in areas such as ocean energy, says energy minister Pat Rabbitte.

A paper put to consultation on Monday seeks respondents’ views on how Ireland should proceed in six priority areas. For example, it asks whether coal-fired power generation at the Moneypoint plant should be replaced with biomass energy or nuclear power.

The document mainly takes stock of measures taken so far and will be followed by a more comprehensive white paper after the consultation.

Natural gas, which remains an important component of Irish power generation, is a major issue. Although almost all of Ireland’s gas comes from the UK – a country that is not reliant on Russian imports – Pat Rabbitte said Ireland could be affected by an increase in wholesale prices on the continent due to a supply shortfall.

To minimise these risks, Ireland must continue to increase the share of renewable energy sources in power production and to achieve energy savings, he added.

His department and three other organisations are currently finalising an analysis of the costs of achieving the country’s 40% renewables target for 2020. “Initial indications are that there is a small additional cost to consumers… but we should await publication of the report”. A bioenergy stragegy will also be published in coming weeks.

 

Excerpted from ENDS Europe Daily