The moral hypocrisy of Irish energy policy was typified with news of the greenlighting of the Celtic Interconnector between France and Ireland in recent weeks. 

A billion euro investment to shore up post-Brexit electricity supplies, the move has drawn criticism owing to the fact France generates its power primarily from nuclear production, a feat blocked under current Irish legislation.

Prohibiting nuclear power at home the state is nevertheless happy to tap into reserves generated by nuclear abroad so heightened is its sanctimony and naivety towards future energy needs.

This is all occurring within the context of a looming energy crisis come the Winter as well as An Taoiseach flying to Brussels with the intent of ratcheting up sanctions against Russian energy imports.

With a disproportionately high energy import dependency rate relative to the rest of the EU, Ireland further strangles production through a variety of green edicts and legal challenges stopping LNG production.

Industry experts decry the fact that Ireland is leveraged to the hilt towards the success or failure of renewables with our geopolitical existence at the end of almost every major supply chain scarcely factoring into decision making.

No greater indictment can be found to the current order than the state’s lethargic attitude to the development of the Barryroe oil and gas field 50 kilometres south of the Cork coast.

80% owned by the resource exploration group Providence,the company itself completed a strategic survey on the Barryroe field with estimates of more than 346 million barrels of oil present at the site, making it one of Europe’s untapped reserves. In comparison the state requires circa 152,000 barrels of oil a day to meet current demand.

Situated 100 metres deep into the sea shore a major incentive for the development is the already existing infrastructure from the Kinsale Head pipeline unused since that field went dark in 2020 after meeting the majority of Ireland’s gas needs since 1971.

Stressing the assistance Barryroe could provide towards 2050 Energy Goals in the eyes of Providence the opening up of production would be a net positive both for local employment and the national exchequer. 

Set against the tailing off of production at Corrib combined with geopolitical uncertainty abroad such a move is a no brainer for a state wishing to keep the boat afloat on energy security.

Partnered with Lansdowne Oil and Gas the potential drill operation has unexpectedly encountered the cold shoulder from Eamon Ryan at the Department of the Environment who Providence have repeatedly appealed in vain to get drilling fast tracked.

Nevertheless the plans have found some support in the Oireachtas by way of the Rural Independent Group consisting of 6 TDs including Mattie McGrath and the Healy-Rae duo.

Cautioning that Ireland is to exhaust gas production at Corrib by 2031 and import the entirety of its oil needs, Providence highlights the potential to get the field operational by the end of 2026 and is currently seeking potential equity partners to finance the endeavour

Expected to cost €57m to get up and running, future drilling at Barryroe may furter sweeten the deal for investors.

The prospect of oil prospecting may very well leave a nasty taste in the mouth of many Irish people owing to previous corporate and state tomfoolery at Corrib nevermind historic incidents of corruption around the industry.

Regardless,time is increasingly of the essence for the state to safeguard our energy future as renewables hit the wall, nuclear power is ruled out by law and stormclouds gather abroad. Grandstanding on Ukraine or climate change means little when lights are going out in Dublin and domestic energy production flatlines right at the time its needed most.

Barryroe will not be without its blemishes but gives us at least breathing room to plot a viable energy future should we grasp it. A state even halfway in our interests would have availed of it years ago.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan

9 Comments

  1. Mick Murray 08/06/2022 at 9:13 pm

    The Irish voted for Eamon Ryan and the Greens. There can be no respect for an electorate that constantly votes in wunkers. Given the previous form, the Irish deserve what is coming down the line. We are in for a hard winter we probably deserve.

    Reply

  2. Ivaus@thetricolour 09/06/2022 at 12:27 pm

    The Leinster House, Green n GAS/WIND Bags have enough renewable energy between them to supply all of Ireland into the foreseeable future.
    Banning all of Ireland’s natural resources to be replaced by IMPORTING all
    it’s energy needs…the idiots are demented…not to mention their own CARBON FOOTPRINT…your tax liability. Aye,only fools n donkeys.
    The Green Gombeen Ryan is the product of MURPHY’S LAW…as long as they
    are in POWER…the majority will be deprived of energy.
    Compulsory straight jackets and bridles are available at Leinster House Bar.

    Reply

  3. Why is Nuclear Energy banned? Under what legislation?

    Reply

  4. It’s sad that 100 years after “independence” Ireland’s natural wealth still remains largely untapped and undeveloped. With the right people in charge this country could be like Norway.

    Reply

  5. It really shouldn’t be a shock to anybody on this island, that our own available resources remain untapped!.

    So long as our political class have the ability to corrupt Irish children and their teachers, into doing their bidding,
    as witnessed when school kids left their classrooms to persuade their own parents that a tax hike, is a just and badly needed form of Further taxation on the poorest and the working class, in order to save the earth.

    Then mismanagement of our nation, corruption and Green wet dreams WILL be the norm for Ireland.

    You see, it’s actually less about unwillingness to invest in gas and oil resources off the south coast, and more about pleasing the Greens, who have a habit of holding together political parties in Ireland who have constantly failed for decades to form a government without such assistance!.

    Just as the 2030 plan is akin to some kind of religious zelot desires and demands.

    The Green Mafia within the EU and in Ireland, are unwilling to invest in gas / oil exploration, for to do so, goes against their very own core beliefs!, their own very green replacement for Catholicism!.

    But don’t blame the Greens in Ireland, they are simply taking advantage of a Healey-Rae type situation.
    Greens support inept political parties like FF and FG, in turn the Greens demand certain concessions from failing political parties for sharing the same bed!.

    We in Ireland often say with exasperation, ” Sure it could only happen here”.

    But fear not!, our Green EU cousins are as morally bankrupt as those who blackmail Irish voters.
    One only needs to listen to Green Queen Baerbock over in Germany, to discover how stupidly inept Euro – Greens are and how determined they and their cycling (Ban the Car) friends are, to ensure THEY get THEIR way.

    OH Yes, and damn the cost to those who can not afford new electric cars, those who can barely afford to pay their electric bills, those who just about afford to feed themselves and their children!.

    So long as the Green party in Europe and Ireland, are kept happy AND continue to, in an absolute IMMORAL way, to prop up inadequate political parties, who in turn prop up the great unelected millionaires of the EU, who cares?, Right?, well?.

    Because of course, the answer which Greens worldwide submit as the absolute solution (Electric Cars or EVs), ARE TRULY GREEN!.

    After all, production of EVs couldn’t possibly be as harmful as current production vehicles, could they??.

    Everybody is absolutely sure that the cost of running EVs is minute, in comparison to combustion engined vehicles, Right??

    Well when one takes into account that the combustion engine will be replaced by the Electric motor, NO doubt we are saving the world, aren’t we??.

    Any reduction in carbon footprint, IF not done correctly and greatly considered,
    WILL no doubt result in Direct hardship for lower income families, which again NO Doubt, will result in desperate measures, by future governments further down the line, as they attempt to reduce the ever climbing numbers of those falling below the poverty line! .

    For those of you, like myself of a certain age. It is all as poorly conceived as the decision by the Irish government back in the 1970’s, who decided to completely remove road tax!. Only to reintroduce it at a great cost to the Irish motorist!.

    Reply

  6. Now that’s a rant!

    Reply

  7. In reply to Tim Doyle,

    Considering your total contribution to the debate thus far, is all of 12 words, 8 of which you wasted asking a question, which was already answered, within the article body itself.

    Am I to assume, that I have in some way offended you, by speaking ill of your particular political leaning?.

    Or are your simply bragging about your ability to transverse the big words?.

    Be it the latter, WE are all so very proud!.

    Reply

  8. Actually I was laughing at how far off the topic you got but still remained relevant to the issues of the day. I confirm that my own view of the situation is line with yours and noted a reflection of my own rankings to my children in what you said.

    Reply

    1. In reply to Tim Doyle,

      Tim,

      This being the case, I have to ask for your forgiveness and offer my sincere apologies to you, for my haste of reply and for my rudeness .

      All I can offer you by way of apology, is to explain that my reply was a direct result of recent abuse suffered by both my friends and family.

      On reading your reply, I wrongly considered your words as furtherance of this abuse.

      This is not by way of excuse nor justification for the manner in which I pounced on your reply, as there is no justification!.

      Thank You for your clarification, which for me, showed my rudeness and lack of respect towards you.

      Again my sincere apologies.

      Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.