Published: Wed, 12 February 2020
Statement by Seán Kelly MEP on upcoming European Parliament vote on fourth Projects of Common Interest list
12 February 2020
“I will be voting against an objection tabled by the European Greens on the fourth Projects of Common Interest list”, Seán Kelly MEP confirmed ahead of a vote in the European Parliament later today (Wednesday, 12 February). The fourth Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list cites important projects needed to implement cross-border energy infrastructure in order for the EU to achieve its energy objectives including an affordable, secure and sustainable energy supplies for all citizens.
“I believe the projects on this is list are important for the creation of a well-functioning internal energy market in the EU as they support the ambition of a stable, secure and affordable supply of energy. In addition, the investments will of course create jobs and growth in the regions concerned. The list of energy projects comes as a package and it has to be approved as a package”, Mr Kelly said, speaking from Strasbourg.
“Rejecting the list would mean blocking a number of important new projects including the Celtic Interconnector, Ireland’s proposed electricity interconnection with France, additional electricity interconnections between Ireland and the UK, and the proposed new renewable hydroelectric power station in Tipperary. These are all important elements of Ireland’s move towards renewable energy, and notably our objective of reaching 70% renewable electricity by 2030.
“Regarding the inclusion of gas projects, in all projected transitions to a low carbon economy by 2050, gas will continue to play a role in sustaining the transition. It plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the power generation, industrial and commercial, residential and transport sectors by replacing more CO2-intensive fossil fuels like coal and oil. Furthermore, gas-fired electricity generation is well placed to address the variability of wind and solar supplies and provide back-up flexibility and reliability for our electricity supply.
“The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is currently undertaking an evaluation of security of energy supply taking into account our transition to a zero carbon world. This review will include a full consideration of international evidence, and I believe this will be important in making sure Ireland has a secure supply of energy for its citizens at all times”, he concluded.