Published: Mon, 22 January 2024
Seán Kelly MEP is encouraging Ireland to seek EU funding to boost its power grids and secure ways to integrate more offshore energy supplies, under EU plans to increase investment in the infrastructure across the bloc.
The Fine Gael MEP was referring to the European Commission’s plan to significantly scale-up investment in Europe’s power grids, with a strong focus on accommodating more renewable energy sources.
“The Commission aims to support projects of common interest across the Union. The emphasis on ‘projects of common interest’ status for key electricity projects will not only help expedite the permitting process but also provide access to crucial EU funds. The inclusion of energy storage projects is also a strategic move to ensure a robust and resilient grid. These plans should be of great interest to Ireland”, Kelly said.
“To meet Ireland’s ambitious 80% renewable energy target by 2030 under the Climate Action Plan, the strategic importance of our offshore renewable assets cannot be underestimated. The development of 900MW offshore wind projects along the South Coast, spanning Waterford, Wexford, and Cork, for example. This initiative holds the potential to power over 600,000 homes with affordable renewable energy, a significant step toward achieving our renewable energy goals.
“Offshore electricity infrastructure, including substations and undersea cables will all be necessary for Ireland to seamlessly integrate offshore-generated power into the mainland grid. That’s where EU funds could be very beneficial for Ireland – I hope any such opportunities for support are seized”, Kelly added.