Tuesday, 14 May 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Leo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
We have already passed legislation on fracking, for example, and keeping the gas that may be underneath the land of Ireland in the ground. We take a separate and a different view when it comes to offshore natural gas because we appreciate that natural gas is a transition fuel. While we can go from 30% renewables to 70% renewables, and we will do that by 2030, we will still need natural gas under certain circumstances, for example, when the wind is not blowing fast enough, when the sun is not shining bright enough and when batteries do not provide adequate storage. Everyone appreciates that we will still need to use natural gas to a certain extent for the foreseeable future. The question is, if we have our own, do we use our own or do we import it instead from the United States, the Middle East, Qatar and other parts of the world and then take the environmental risk that arises from transporting it? On balance we believe it makes more sense if we have natural gas, recognising that it is a transition fuel, that we should use our own.