Over 30 environmental groups join forces to reject LNG, declare data centres a threat to energy security and demand community-owned renewables 

View all news

Public consultation on the Government's energy security review closes today

Thirty-four Irish environmental organisations sent a joint submission to the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications consultation on a “Review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems”, which closes today after a six-week public consultation period. 

See joint submission here

The organisations assert that Ireland must prioritise its climate commitments and that Ireland should not allow commercial or state-owned LNG. They demand that the policy against the import of fracked gas must become law. The submission reads: We support the finding in the technical analysis that there is not a need for commercial LNG. Additionally, we do not support state-owned floating LNG or LNG storage. The state-owned floating LNG option would, as we understand it, be rented by the Irish government from private fossil fuel corporations and would still carry a risk of carbon lock-in. It would also likely involve high emissions with no guarantee that volumes would be sufficient to cover a security of supply shock.

Jerry Mac Evilly, Head of Policy, Friends of the Earth commented: “The energy security review must reject LNG, including state-backed, and new oil and gas exploration. It is also essential that Government decision-making fully reflects and respects climate commitments. This means that the Government must not accept industry attempts to misinterpret energy security as simply equating to ever-more fossil fuel infrastructure. Rather the real solutions are to both prevent further expansion of data centre demand and to double-down on renewables and energy efficiency. These measures will reduce our fossil fuel dependence, permanently enhance our security, reduce emissions and protect households from rising energy costs."

The organisations also cite data centres as a major threat to Irish energy security. The Energy Security review states that data centres “are forecast to continue to grow by up to ~9 TWh in 2030 (~23% of total demand)”. The groups demand in the submission that the government place a moratorium on the construction of new data centres and that “Existing data centres must also be legislated to stop running fossil fuel generators on-site and instead transition to sources of renewable and clean energy technologies.” 

"In 2021 Ireland's data centres used 13% of total electricity demand with an expectation of increasing this demand in the coming years," says Sinéad Sheehan of Futureproof Clare.  "New data centre infrastructure is simply unacceptable given the threat to energy security for our homes, schools and hospitals".  

Lastly, the organisations admonish that the review falls short on its research into urgent clean energy and energy efficiency solutions: The energy security review report fails to properly address energy security needs and opportunities at household and community levels. Ireland needs to support increased energy efficiency, solar PV and community owned renewable energy and storage, as energy security measures.

The joint submission is online herehttps://www.foe.ie/assets/files/pdf/joint_civil_society_submission_on_the_irish_energy_security_review.pdf

Categorised in: