Dependence on Gas could prevent Ireland From meeting Global Warming Targets

A study by the American Oil Change International  (OCI) shows that Ireland will not meet its obligations on countering global warming if it continues a flawed strategy of relying on gas as an energy source.

Leading energy NGOs have concluded that drilling more new natural gas fossil fuels and expanding related infrastructure in Irish waters, especially in terms of power generation, will weaken the ability to decarbonize the economy by 2050.

OCI predicts the approach adopted in Ireland, in fact, is to use natural gas as a clean energy transition fuel”, especially in electricity production. Which will obstruct rollout of cheaper renewable energy from wind and solar panels.

In an analysis submitted to the Oireachtas Climate Action and Environment Committee on Tuesday, it assessed the role of fossil fuels in the energy system based on Ireland’s own decarbonization goals and the commitment of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The committee is reviewing the 2018 Climate Emergency Measures Act, which proposes a ban on future licensing of fossil fuel exploration and extraction in Ireland.

Despite the government’s opposition, Bríd Smith TD – People Before Profit, introduced and passed its first phase – as FiannaFáil said it will continue to support the bill and is expected to end in the next phase.

OCI Research Director Greg Muttitt spoke before the committee’s attendance, saying that Ireland’s goal could not be achieved without significantly reducing fossil fuel consumption.

“This report finds gas is no exception to that rule, and that further development of gas extraction, or import infrastructure, can serve only to undermine the country’s progress toward reaching its climate goals.”

He added that allowing more natural gas exploration and its use in power generation in the coming decades “obstruct the introduction of renewables for homes and businesses and associated gas infrastructure locks-in even higher emissions.”

The study concluded that claims that “new fossil gas” is needed to balance the peaks and valleys of electricity supply and demand, these statements demand do not stand up to scrutiny. Battery storage and grid management technologies will soon implement technical limitations to address this issue.

OCI found that they would be much cheaper than today and mean gas will not be necessary.

The report shows that the development of “new gas” and the power station using the fuel is inconsistent with the Paris commitment, as all new energy development must be “zero carbon”.

Michelle Li
Michelle Li

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