This event kicks off The European Commission Representation in Ireland’s Energy Roadshow – a series of four regional events on themes relating to energy, in the context of RePowerEU. REPowerEU is the European Commission’s plan to make energy affordable, secure and sustainable.
This event took place on October 13th, at the South East Technological University in Waterford. Our own CEO, Paddy Phelan joined as one of three speakers on the day.
During the event, the speakers discussed different aspects of Ireland’s energy security, our energy mix, and how the issues here can effect our economic position in the world.
Jim Power highlighted that energy security is an important consideration for large multinationals when choosing countries to set up operations and that Ireland, as it is, is already quite dependent on large multinationals for employment.
A common talking point during the panel discussion was the need for new policy. A call was made for policy to match the energy objectives of the country and to open the doors to a greater mix of renewables in the Irish grid.
Paddy Phelan, CEO of South East Energy Agency said: If we look at our existing electricity supply and demand we’re in good condition today in the southeast and can meet the current needs. If you look at 2030 as electricity demand will increase through electrification, we need a significant infrastructure investment to secure the region.
For all of this to happen…
- You must have a policy to support it.
- You need a license/planning permission
- You need a grid connection – at the moment our grid connection can’t deal with the current policy
For a developer to build, the markets need to enable them. They have been unable to build infrastructure that they have already received permission to build.
Put the policies, get the licensing in place, and get on with building it.
– Paddy Phelan
Another key talking point in Paddy Phelan’s address was the potential of biogas in both the southeast region and Ireland. Paddy presented findings from the Interreg NWE RegEnergy project, showing the biogas potential in the southeast of Ireland to meet a large proportion of the energy demand in the region without affecting food supply.
Policy-wise across Europe it’s (biogas) wholesale, it’s everywhere…it’s complimenting industry it’s complimenting agriculture. North of the border, biogas is complimenting industry it’s complimenting agriculture … Unfortunately, in Ireland it seems to be in a policy blind spot.