EU Clean Energy Package gives Ireland a platform for a low carbon economy – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today said that the EU’s Clean Energy Package gives Ireland the platform to optimise a mix of renewables, energy efficiency and fossil fuels to meet a low carbon future in a cost efficient way.

“The EU’s Clean Energy Package should give us the real impetus to deliver a low carbon energy mix in a cost efficient way. One of the key proposals from the Commission is that the majority of coal subsidies will be phased out over five years. I hope that this package prompts the government to act urgently to adopt a clear plan and put a firm date on the phase out of coal. Our dependency on coal is too high at the moment. Moneypoint, the only coal-firing powerplant in Ireland, is running at high capacity and provides about 21.5% of our electricity needs.

“Phasing out coal would resolve the perverse situation of financially supporting the introduction of renewables while at the same time offsetting the emission benefits by using a heavily emitting coal plant.

“As the Climate Commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, said: ‘Europe is on the brink of a clean energy revolution’. Ireland needs to work harder if we want to be part of Europe’s clean energy revolution.

“The Smart Buildings Initiative included in the package will be a major boost for Ireland’s energy efficiency tools. This initiative which expects to mobilise €10 billion by 2020 will transform our building stock, help us meet our EU emissions targets and importantly it will create much-needed jobs all over the country.

“We need to do more to help households become more energy efficient by providing better insulation and reconditioning to ensure proper thermal efficiency.

“The government must see this package as a way to optimise a low-carbon energy mix for the future given that we can no longer depend heavily on fossil fuels. Our share of renewables has to increase and energy efficiency systems need to be strengthened so that everyone can contribute to lower carbon emissions.”