Ireland’s reliance on gas from UK pipelines leaves us exposed this winter according to Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey.
He was speaking after the European Commission announced a voluntary target for member states to reduce their gas use by 15% until next spring.
The Midlands-North-West MEP questioned what the UK might do in the event of a serious shortage and repeated his call for a review into Ireland’s energy security to be published immediately.
“Ireland isn’t dependent on Russia for energy but gets about 70% of its gas through UK interconnectors, with the rest coming from the Corrib. I’m concerned about the security of supply coming from the UK in the event of an emergency. We had a solidarity principle between member states however, that has not been updated since Britain left the EU, which leaves Ireland in a precarious position”, Markey commented.
“There have already been reports that Britain would shut off supply to mainland Europe if there are serious shortages and I question whether the next British Prime Minister would have any issue doing the same to Ireland”, Markey added.
“Of course we would have a better sense of our energy security needs had a long awaited review on the issue been published by now. Instead, we have an Environment Minister who is sitting on this crucial report in the middle of a global energy crisis. It is crazy to believe that we will not see the review until the autumn.
“Leaked recommendations include leaving a certain volume of gas in the ground in the Corrib instead of it running dry this decade and the establishment of significant gas storage in Ireland. Why are we not asking what is possible now ahead of the winter? I’m worried that we are completely ill-prepared for what’s coming”, he concluded.