Eamon Ryan: We need to change public opinion on power plans
We cannot keep burning fossil fuels to provide the electricity we need. Every analysis at home and abroad is saying the same thing. If we are to take climate change seriously then we are going to have to totally decarbonise our electricity supply.
In Ireland that decarbonisation path means we will increasingly rely on wind, solar and hydro power. Those variable power supplies will be backed up by interconnections with our neighbours in the UK and France and with flexible gas-fired power stations.
Coal and peat-fired generation will have to close as it is too polluting and nuclear will not happen as it would cost twice the price of developing renewables. In the long run the development of demand management systems and new offshore power supplies will allow us switch off the gas tap as well and we will then be able to sell our country as one of the best clean energy locations in the world.