Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Ireland 2003 Review
AUTHOR: IEA Staff
PUBLISHER: Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development
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In the four years since the last in-depth Review, the Irish energy sector has seen a number of important developments, notably reform of the electricity and natural gas markets, and the move towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Market reform promises multiple economic benefits, although the government must ensure that the incumbent players do not enjoy undue advantages and that enough new competitors enter the market.
Ireland's climate change policy is making progress. One uncertainty, however, involves the closure of the coal-fired Moneypoint plant. While this could provide 22% of the country's required emissions cuts, replacement generation capacity would be required. This could also make the country 80% dependent on natural gas for its electricity, leading to energy security concerns. Ireland should take steps to better integrate Kyoto mechanisms into its overall climate change strategy.
Given the reluctance of new entrants to invest in power plants, Ireland faces a potential shortfall in electricity generating capacity by 2005. The government must encourage new plant construction without undermining the market reform process.
PUBLICATION DATE: 7/1/2003
CATEGORY: Political Science