National energy security
A replica of the Statue of Liberty by Danish artist Jens Galschiot emits smoke in a park outside the 23rd UN Conference of the Parties (COP) climate talks in Bonn. Photograph: Martin Meissner/AP
Other nations that have pledged to phase out coal by 2025 have energy security through diversity of sources and strong interconnection. Ireland is still effectively an energy island, with only modest electricity interconnection to the UK.
Beyond coal, Ireland is hugely reliant on natural gas imported in two pipelines from the UK. The Kinsale field is depleted and the Corrib field will likely be depleted around 2025, and Ireland has only miniscule gas storage. Wind and solar renewables reduce energy imports, but provide zero energy security. Converting Moneypoint to imported biomass is neither economic nor sustainable.
Therefore it would be highly imprudent for energy security to phase out coal until Ireland has a liquefied natural gas import terminal.
We need to keep the lights on. – Yours, etc,