Thursday, 15 November 2018
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
172. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the fact that leakage of methane during fracking, processing and transport to here means that the Shannon LNG project, for which permission was extended by An Bord Pleanála in July 2018, will be more harmful to the climate than a new coal-fired power station; and the way in which this decision by An Bord Pleanála fits with Ireland’s urgent obligations to move away from harmful fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. [47561/18]
The 2015 Energy White PaperIreland's Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Futuresets out a road-map for Ireland to reduce its Greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050. The strategy is clear that non-renewable energy sources will make a significant – though progressively smaller – contribution to our energy mix over the course of the energy transition. The National Mitigation Plan, published in July 2017, restates the Government’s commitment to move from a fossil fuel-based electricity system to a low-carbon power system. Investment in further renewable generation will be incentivised.
Ireland’s energy policy is fully aligned with the EU’s climate and energy objectives on the transition to decarbonisation, which includes continuous and on-going review of policies to reduce harmful emissions, improve energy efficiency, incentivise efficient and sustainable infrastructure investment, integrate markets, and promote research and innovation while ensuring our energy security of supply is maintained and enhanced.
During this transition, gas has the potential to deliver significant and sustained benefits, particularly in terms of enhanced security of supply. Natural Gas has the potential to play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the power generation, industrial and commercial, residential and transport sectors by replacing more CO2-intensive fossil fuels. In Ireland gas powered generation also provides an important back-up for intermittent renewable wind generation.
The Deputy will appreciate that the LNG project to which the Deputy refers is a private commercial project and any future investment decisions on the development of this project are a matter for the project promoter.
An Bord Pleanála is independent in the exercise of its functions and a copy of its decision in relation to the Shannon LNG project is on the An Bord Pleanála website.