Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan has said that personally he favours universal energy credits this winter as they are “cheap and easily delivered”.
Such credits were the best way to address the issue of the increasing cost of energy and to help people through this winter, he told RTÉ radio’s News at One.
The situation would be reviewed in March and would have to be kept under review, he added.
An independent review of energy security, which will be published today, has drawn up options for the Government to mitigate risks to both natural gas and energy supplies. Among the suggestions are increasing the importation of energy and different ways of storing gas.
Mr Ryan said that gas storage would have to be looked at as a reality even though Ireland was not at high risk because we were not reliant on Russia.
New interconnectors would be built with the UK and France and Ireland will develop its own gas production through agricultural methods – anaerobic production could provide 15 percent of the country’s needs. The system had already been tested in Europe and there were already four facilities, but 200 were needed.
These were all medium to long term measures, he said.
By law Ireland will have to go for energy production measures that are low carbon and the importation of fracked gas would also be unlawful.
Gas storage could be either onshore or floating off shore, he explained, but any measure would have to be future proofed and designed to provide significant safety reserves.
As Ireland becomes more independent through greater use of renewables, the risk to energy security would be lessened. By the deadline in 2030 there will be a much more secure system.
The Budget will set out the details of the combination of measures available to support people, he said.