The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan T.D., has today published a new Government Policy Statement to ensure security of electricity supply to 2.4 million homes and businesses throughout Ireland.
As set out in the Policy Statement, the Government has decided that the development of new conventional generation (including gas-fired and gasoil/distillate-fired generation) is a national priority and should be permitted and supported. This will ensure security of electricity supply and facilitate the target of up to 80% renewable electricity generation by 2030.
The Policy Statement builds on policies set out in the National Development Plan and the Climate Action Plan 2021, which target the development of circa 2,000 MW of flexible gas-fired generation capacity. It also sets out that connections of large energy users to the grid must take account of the potential impact on security of electricity supply and the need to decarbonise the grid.
The Policy Statement notes that additional electricity transmission and distribution grid infrastructure, as well as additional electricity interconnection and electricity storage, should be permitted and developed. It also notes that additional natural gas transmission and distribution grid infrastructure should be developed.
Commenting on the new Policy Statement, Minster Ryan said:
“Secure supplies of electricity are vital for our economy and society as we increase the share of renewable electricity to up to 80% by 2030. They are also vital to attract new investment into Ireland and for people and businesses to have complete confidence when purchasing electric vehicles and installing heat pumps. This new gas-fired capacity will be flexible enough to balance our national grid as we expand solar energy and onshore and offshore wind, and will be more efficient than our older oil and coal-fired power stations.
“This Policy Statement supports the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and EirGrid as they carry out their statutory roles to ensure security of electricity supply in Ireland. It provides clarity to investors and planning authorities that the Government fully supports the actions being taken by the CRU and EirGrid, including the need to develop new gas-fired generation capacity.”
The new Policy Statement also sets out that existing conventional electricity generation capacity should be retained until the new conventional capacity is developed.
For example, it is expected that Moneypoint will remain available to generate electricity beyond the previous target closure date of 2025, but only until it is replaced by new generation capacity, which is expected to be within one or two years. It will only operate if and when needed, with renewable energy and efficient gas-fired power stations always being supplied to the market first. This approach will minimise the impact on greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring continued security of electricity supply.
The Policy Statement is part of a range of actions being taken to enhance and ensure security of electricity supply in Ireland. These actions are being led by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), which has statutory responsibility of ensuring security of electricity supply. In September, the CRU published information on the programme of actions it is leading. The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and EirGrid are working closely with the CRU to implement this programme.
The Policy Statement can be accessed/viewed at this link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a4757-policy-statement-on-security-of-electricity-supply/.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has statutory responsibility, under S.I. 60 of 2005, to ensure security of electricity supply. It has the duty to monitor security of electricity supply and to take such measures as it considers necessary to protect security of supply.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) is assisted in its statutory role by EirGrid, which is required to report to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities in regard security of electricity supply matters. EirGrid is also required, where it is of the view that security of electricity supply is threatened or is likely to be threatened, to make recommendations on measures necessary to cover peak demand and to deal with shortfalls.
Recent publications in relation to security of electricity supply include:
- The Commission for Regulation of Utilities’ (CRU’s) Progamme of Actions:
- EirGrid’s Generation Capacity Statement:
- EirGrid’s Winter Outlook:
CONTACT DETAILS FOR FURTHER MEDIA QUERIES
DECC (Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications) Press Office
Jim Breen; Press Officer. Gerry Kavanagh; Press Office.
087-6937580 / Press.Office@decc.gov.ie