Response to Department of Environment, Climate and Communications Consultation on EU TEN-E Regulation Proposal
Posted by Jerry Mac Evilly on February 18, 2021 at 09:24 AM
Decarbonising Ireland's energy system is key to meeting our climate goals. This means reducing energy demand, significantly increasing renewables, electricity interconnection and storage, and making sure people and communities are at the forefront of this transition, particularly the most vulnerable. Friends of the Earth is also clear that rapid phase out of fossil fuels is absolutely essential. Infrastructure decisions at Irish and EU level need to reflect these objectives. Decisions we make on energy infrastructure now will have far-reaching impacts on the pace and scale of our decarbonisation.
Friends of the Earth recently made a submission to the Irish government's consultation on an important EU law currently being negotiated by member states - the EU Regulation on guidelines for trans-European networks in energy. This Regulation lays down the rules under which major cross-border energy projects (called 'Projects of Common Interest') will be prioritised, supported and receive EU funding.
In our submission we welcome proposed changes to end direct support for fossil gas projects and in requiring environmental assessments. However, the long-term lock-in of fossil gas remains a major risk due to new hydrogen and 'gas grid' categories. Friends of the Earth calls on Ireland to ensure independent planning and oversight at EU level, to remove conflicts of interests regarding gas grid operators, and to respect decarbonisation and PCI commitments in the Programme for Government. You can read our full submission here.