Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Electricity Generation

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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38. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if gas fired power plants will be built to protect energy supplies as Ireland transition to renewables; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [60869/21]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (the CRU) has statutory responsibility to monitor and to take such measures as it considers necessary to protect security of electricity supply in Ireland. The CRU is assisted in its statutory role by EirGrid.

The National Development Plan 2021-2030 and the Climate Action Plan 2021 set out the need to develop circa 2,000 MW of new gas-fired generation in order to ensure security of supply and underpin Ireland’s increased target of up to 80% of electricity demand to come from renewable sources by 2030.

The Government approved and published a new Policy Statement on Electricity Security of Supply on 30 November which sets out that the development of new conventional generation, including gas-fired and gas oil/distillate-fired generation, is a national priority and should be permitted and supported in order to ensure security of electricity supply and support the growth of renewable electricity generation.

It is for the CRU to ensure suitable market structures and mechanisms are in place to incentivise and support the development of this generation. This work forms part of the overall CRU work programme to ensure security of electricity supply. Details of this programme were published by the CRU in September.

In addition, my Department is carrying out a review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems for the period out to 2030 in the context of net zero emissions by 2050. I expected this review to complete in mid-2022.


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