Ireland, UK pen memo on security of gas supply
Ireland and the UK have agreed to increase co-operation on ensuring security of natural gas supply, signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that outlines how the two countries will work together in the event of reductions or disruptions in flow.
The deal announced on September 11 is aimed at avoiding the kind of risk that was seen last year when there were fears that Ireland could have its gas supply from the UK cut off if the latter country suffered shortages. Ireland relies on gas for 30% of its overall energy needs and half of its electricity generation.
The majority of Ireland's gas is piped from the UK, and its dependency on this imports is set to reach 90% by the end of the decade as production at the offshore Corrib field dwindles. Ireland imposed a de-facto ban on further oil and gas exploration in 2021 over climate concerns, and LNG projects have faced an uphill struggle in the face of opposition from environmentalists.
Ireland and the UK signed additional MoUs on developing offshore renewable energy and considering increased electrical interconnection between the island of Ireland and Great Britain.
Despite lengthy delays, US LNG developer New Fortress Energy remains hopeful that it can realise plans to develop what would be Ireland's first LNG import terminal, Shannon LNG. Earlier this year it won state contracts to build two power plants with a combined capacity of 353 MW that would be fed with gas from the facility. Ireland's multi-party government remains divided over LNG, with the Green Party opposing such projects and Fianna Fail and Fine Gael supporting them.