Tuesday, 6 July 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
106. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will issue guidance to all planning authorities that reflects the policy position which opposes the development of power generating facilities that use fracked gas as a fuel source; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36223/21]
The Programme for Government set out that the Government does not support the importation of fracked gas and committed to developing a policy statement to establish that approach. On 18 May, the Government's Policy Statement on the Importation of Fracked Gas was published.
The policy statement provides that pending the outcome of a review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems being carried out by my Department, it would not be appropriate for the development of any Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals in Ireland to be permitted or proceeded with. Consequently this will mean that gas fired power stations will not use gas which is sourced from imported fracked LNG.
The review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems is focusing on the period to 2030 in the context of ensuring a sustainable pathway to 2050. The review includes a technical analysis which will help inform a public consultation. It is planned that the technical analysis will be published and the public consultation undertaken in the second half of this year. The review, once completed, will be submitted to Government.
The Government Policy Statement was notified to An Bord Pleanála following its approval by Government. It was not considered necessary to notify other planning authorities as LNG facilities are considered strategic infrastructure developments and therefore any planning application would be made directly to An Bord Pleanála.
Section 34 of the Planning & Development Act requires An Bord Pleanála to consider the proper planning and sustainable development of an area with regard being had to relevant Government policies such as the Policy Statement on the Importation of Fracked Gas.