'Paving the Way for a Decarbonised Ireland' – CEO Mike Quinn

  • Carbon Capture and Storage solution could help Ireland meet its 80% decarbonisation target by 2050.


April 18, 2018 –

Ireland has a significant challenge ahead to transition to a low carbon economy by 2050. Speaking at the Engineers Ireland National Conference, Ervia CEO Mike Quinn highlighted Ervia’s commitment to the decarbonisation of Ireland’s energy system and outlined Ervia’s work on innovative solutions to help Ireland meet its climate targets.

As part of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Ireland will need to reduce emissions by 80%-95% by 2050. We are committed to playing our part in this and in particular are looking at key transformation technologies to decarbonise the gas sector from the injection of renewable gas into the network for heating and electricity, to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to fuel our transport fleet.

We are also currently assessing the feasibility of developing a large scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project in Ireland, at the former Kinsale Gas Fields. While at a very early stage of exploration, this technology has the potential to be a ‘game changer’ for Ireland with the EU acknowledging that CCS has to be an important research and development priority to achieve 2050 climate goals in a cost-effective way.

The Engineers Ireland Annual Conference 2018 focused on the growing need for collaboration between industry, academia and innovators to create opportunities for regional development and growth. Mike Quinn addressed the conference’s 200 delegates along with national and international experts including Michael Lohan, IDA Ireland; former Secretary General of the Department of Finance John Moran and Lord Andrew Adonis, former Chair of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission.

During his address which highlighted Ervia’s delivery of vital infrastructure and services to support Ireland’s future economic growth, the Ervia CEO championed the technology; “CCS is a proven technology – operating on 17 sites worldwide including two power plants. In combination with the biogas and CNG projects run by Gas Networks Ireland, it would allow us to go carbon neutral by 2050.” 

About Carbon Capture Storage and Our Long-Term Vision

Carbon Capture and Storage is a technology that can capture up to 90% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes, preventing the carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

As part of Ireland’s commitment to a low-carbon economy by 2050 it will need to reduce its annual emissions from 60 million tonnes to c.11 Mt per annum in 2050. For the gas sector, emissions would have to drop down from aproximately 9Mt to below 1.8 Mt by 2050 to meet the 80% decarbonisation target.

Ervia and Gas Networks Ireland have therefore developed a long-term vision to outline how we could play our part in decarbonising Ireland and in particular the electricity, heating and transport sectors. Our vision is to utilise natural gas as a ‘Bridging Fuel’ out to 2030 and then decarbonised gas as a ‘Destination Fuel’ out to and beyond 2050.

In 2018, Gas Networks Ireland will introduce Renewable Gas onto the Irish Gas Network for the first time. Over the next five years we plan to construct six Renewable Gas injection facilities with a total combined annual capacity of 1,450GWh. That is enough energy to heat 145,000 homes with a 100% carbon neutral fuel. By 2030 we are targeting that 20% of total gas demand will be met by Renewable Gas - a figure supported by the SEAI report.