DUBLIN, Ireland: If Norwegian gas imports are diverted to the EU this winter, Ireland could face blackouts, warned energy expert Gerry Duggan.
Ireland receives 75 percent of its gas as imports through the UK, which in turn imports the gas from Norway.
"A significant portion of the UK's gas imports come from Norway. If there's a shortage in Europe it's almost inevitable that the EU will approach Norway and say 'please give us more gas," said Duggan, long-time energy industry executive, as reported by RTE.
"In that situation, it's not clear what the attitude of the Norwegian government would be, even if the gas had been contracted to the UK. The risk is political," he said
Duggan added that Norway has better relationships with the EU than the UK. It also exports more products to the EU.
"If the EU is short of gas, they are not going to be giving it away, certainly not going through the UK to here. You can take it that is unlikely to happen," Duggan added.
Duggan warned that generating electricity could become a problem in Ireland as early as November.
"There mightn't be gas for electricity generation. There is an increased risk of blackouts this winter in the event of a gas shortfall," he said.
Duggan noted that electricity would continue to be distributed to hospitals, if there is a shortage.
Meanwhile, this week the government disclosed details of plans to increase Ireland's offshore wind energy target from five to seven gigawatts, along with a target of two gigawatts set for the supply of hydrogen to generate electricity.