An Independent TD says that Ireland’s energy supply is “very exposed” to the Ukraine conflict, accusing Eamon Ryan of trying to “sabotage” Ireland’s energy security.
The remarks were made this week in the Dáil, as Danny Healy-Rae TD asked about the proposed Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on an estuary of the river Shannon.
“A planning application [for the terminal] is being processed at present by An Bord Pleanála,” said Healy-Rae.
“We need this terminal to have energy security into the future. We are leaving ourselves very exposed – given the current situation in Ukraine – importing coal from Russia and Europe importing 30% of its gas from Russia.”
Healy-Rae added that this was already having an effect on fertiliser costs.
“Wind turbines are fine, but no good when the wind does not blow such as last summer, which was almost totally windless,” he said.
“In Europe, all countries touching the sea have LNG terminals – for example, Portugal, Spain and Holland. Even Malta has an LNG terminal.”
The Deputy went on to highlight the state of Ireland’s energy supply.
“The Corrib gas field does not have that much more left,” he said.
“Moneypoint, gladly, is going full belt, but the coal to keep those fires burning is coming from Russia. Where are we with that source now given the conflict between Europe and Russia? Anyway, gas is cleaner than coal.
“We have eight gas-burning stations in the country when they are working, but we need gas to keep them going. We will need gas for at least 30 or 40 years. We need to have our own terminal so that we have the option of buying gas from other countries, such as the US, which would be inclined to sell it to us.”
Healy-Rae accused Climate Minister Eamon Ryan of “disappearing” during the crisis, accusing him of being “reckless” by objecting to the proposed LNG plant with An Bord Pléanala
“I believe that this is a misuse and abuse of the Minister’s powers as he has demeaned the position of Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications.”
He added: “Deputy Eamon Ryan is trying to sabotage one of our options of energy security. I believe that part of the job he is supposed to be doing as Minister is to ensure that we do not run out of electricity. I believe that Deputy Eamon Ryan’s objection is ethically and morally wrong and in total contraction of his portfolio. I am calling for an investigation into what the Minister has done.”
“They closed down Bord na Móna, our own independent energy source, and will not support Shannon LNG. Are they intent on leading us into the dark? It is totally unacceptable to be exposing the country to the lights going off. We have very few options and we do need to get gas from other sources like the United States.”