IAE Report on Security of Ireland’s Gas Supply
Natural gas plays a critical role in Ireland’s energy mix and economy. Gas provides around 30% of Ireland’s total primary energy and generates about 50% of Ireland’s electricity. Many industries and homes in Ireland depend on gas for heating.
Ireland’s Government has a vision of transitioning to a low-carbon economy by 2050. This will require a large increase in renewables and a shift to lower-carbon fuels like natural gas. Natural gas has the lowest carbon emissions of all fossil fuels and is an ideal complement to renewables. Natural gas will be critical for Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon future.
Ireland needs to develop alternative sources of gas supply and supply routes. Developing a Liquefied Natural Gas import terminal in Ireland would enhance Ireland’s security of gas supply and provide access to the increasingly competitive global LNG market. Exploration for gas offshore Ireland should also be promoted, with appropriate licensing terms.
A strategic government plan is needed to diversify Ireland’s gas supply. This strategic plan should include appropriate fiscal, licensing and legislative frameworks to facilitate the development of new sources of gas supply and encourage investment. The plan needs to factor in a lead-time of five to ten years for large energy infrastructure developments in Ireland.