Dáil debates

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Energy Security: Motion.

6:00 pm

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)

I move:

That Dáil Éireann:

recognises Ireland is acutely exposed in the event of fossil fuel import disruptions because:

- fossil fuels comprise 96% of Ireland's primary energy mix;

- all oil used for energy and over 90% of natural gas is imported;

- Ireland is at the end of a long supply chain that mostly originates in regions of geopolitical instability;

- Ireland has a total of only 11 days of commercial storage capacity for natural gas which may, or may not, be filled at any particular time;

- Ireland has no strategic gas reserves;

- natural gas accounts for over 60% of indigenous electricity generation in 2008;

- Ireland has only a few days of commercial stocks of oil on the island and is dependent on 24/7 availability of Dublin Port and the Whitegate refinery;

recognises the potential devastating impact of a dramatic spike in the price of oil or a prolonged disruption to fossil fuel imports can have on the Irish economy, national finances and general economic activity;

welcomes the anticipated coming on stream of the Corrib gas field and increased European electricity interconnection but recognises that these are only short term measures to assist energy security problems;

and calls on the Government to:

- extend the remit of the National Oil Reserves Agency to develop strategic gas reserves;

- increase the requirement on gas fired electricity generators to hold back-up stocks of oil from 5 days to 10 days so as to permit electricity generation to continue for a longer period of time in the event of a shortage or absence of gas supplies;

- facilitate as much as possible the coming on stream of the Corrib gas field;

- use the opportunity provided by the Corrib gas field and the global slump in energy demand to front load investment in domestic energy infrastructure as outlined in Fine Gael's 'NewERA' economic stimulus plan;

- facilitate greater investment in micro generation by fast tracking revised planning legislation to deal with impediments to micro generation and introducing statutory safety guidelines for the installation and maintenance of micro generation equipment, to develop a proper certification process for installers and to develop a new and more appropriate tariff and taxation structure to kick-start investment;

- invest in greater electricity interconnection with mainland Europe;

- develop a clear action plan with specific targets to promote indigenous biomass energy in Ireland;

- produce a White Paper on energy security and publish an annual report on efforts to improve Irish energy security, including annual targets for new domestic energy production, reasons for delay in developing indigenous energy production infrastructure and energy storage capacity; and

- devise an emergency strategy for the allocation of energy resources in the event of a serious disruption of oil or gas supplies.

Perhaps we should wait for the appropriate Minister to arrive.


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