An ambitious new EU energy package could see the Shannon Estuary serve as an energy hub for Europe and save Irish householders money, according to Sean Kelly MEP.
The Ireland South MEP welcomed the announcement of the Energy Union and called on member states to work to harmonise their national energy strategies for the benefit of the entire EU.
“Increased EU energy cooperation will see us improve the security of our energy supply, increase our competitiveness, and move towards a low carbon system. An integrated energy market brings more competition and ultimately more affordable energy prices for European consumers”, said the MEP.
“It is clear that we are far too dependent on unreliable external sources for our energy supply, particularly Russia. There is an urgent need to diversify our energy resources to ensure the European consumer is not adversely affected by geopolitical crises such as the one we have seen in Ukraine,” he said.
Mr Kelly said increased efforts to build additional LNG terminals, such as the planned Shannon LNG facility in Ballylongford, would mean more gas supply options and less political risks.
“Ireland is ideally placed as an entry point for global gas shipments, which could see the Shannon Estuary serve as an energy hub for Europe. At the same time, increasing the share of renewables in our energy mix – both for power production and for renewable heating and cooling – will see more of our energy produced indigenously and bring significant added benefits to our environment,” Mr Kelly said.
The Kerry MEP also said work must be done to improve our energy infrastructure, including the installation of more gas and electricity interconnectors, and investment must be made in research activities to explore the feasibility of all possible indigenous energy sources that could contribute to our energy goals.