Ervia signs agreement on storing Irish carbon emissions
ERVIA has signed an agreement with Norway's Equinor to carry out research on the potential for Ireland to benefit from carbon capture and storage (CCS).
CCS involves taking carbon emissions and storing them deep underground. It prevents the emissions from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.
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Equinor, formerly Statoil, has delivered projects in this area over the past 20 years.
The agreement - a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - details how the State utility company will work with Equinor and the Norwegian government's wider 'Northern Lights' project, which aims to drive CCS development across Europe.
If successful, this would see carbon emissions from Ireland's electricity production and large industry captured and shipped to be permanently stored in Norway's geological reserves in the North Sea.
Cathal Marley, interim CEO of Ervia, said: "This MOU is a key step forward in Ireland playing a role in developing the potential of CCS technology."
He said that this technology "has been recognised by the European Commission and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as being critical to the achievement of climate targets".
Currently gas is used in the production of about 50pc of electricity here and while move to 70pc renewable sources by 2030 is planned, gas usage will continue.
The MOU signing ceremony was attended by Equinor chief executive Eldar Sætre, with the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Kjell-Børge Freiberg, and European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, also present.