According to a report carried out by Pöyry Energy Consultants, Ireland is going to have to consider nuclear energy as one of its renewable alternatives if it is to have any chance of meeting future energy demand and meeting its carbon emission targets.
Other renewables would play a role in meeting Ireland’s energy needs but the report urged the Irish government not to ignore nuclear power altogether. “Many countries’ approach to decarbonisation includes a growing nuclear element. Although nuclear power plants are not currently a legal option in Ireland, we believe that due consideration of them as an option is worthwhile,” said the Pöyry Energy report.
Currently there is no legal framework to allow the construction of a nuclear plant and no regulatory body or even a nuclear industry to speak of. The report highlighted the contribution nuclear energy could make to a small energy market such as Ireland’s. Currently Ireland only has a capacity of around 5 GW, a nuclear power plant could contribute up to 1 GW towards this and significantly reduce its carbon emissions.
Given the lack of legal or market structures for nuclear energy, Ireland would need to start examining its options on nuclear energy now if it is to have any chance of commissioning a plant before 2035, the report concluded.
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