Fully functioning and truly European Energy Union needed to secure energy supplies and drive transition to renewables – MEP Kelleher

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has called for an acceleration in the establishment of a true European Energy Union in order to speed the transition to renewables and protect our long-term energy security.Kelleher was commenting following a debate in the European Parliament this week in Strasbourg on the interconnected Energy Single Market.

„The weaponisation of Europe’s energy supplies by Russia after its despicable invasion of Ukraine has rightly forced the EU and Member States to accelerate the energy transition to ensure security of supply of affordable and clean energy. Not only is this necessary from an environmental point of view but we must find cheaper energy for our businesses and vulnerable households.

„Renewables, energy efficiency and energy infrastructures must also play a key role in achieving these objectives in the long-term, while enabling progress towards European energy sovereignty and climate goals.

„We need a truly European future-proof energy system integration, based on diverse energy infrastructure projects, especially cross-border, that produce, store, and distribute energy efficiently.

„For Ireland, as an island nation, it is essential that we increase our access to any future European Energy Union. At present, 70% of our gas comes from the British market. We need to lessen our dependence on this singular market and open ourselves up to securing gas and indeed electricity from other Member States.

„While the Celtic Interconnector, due to be operational in 2026, will help, we probably need to start looking at increasing overall capacity. While it will supply 700MW of electricity, more will be needed in the long term.

„Additionally, when Ireland gets its act together on offshore wind energy production, we will need to be able to sell any additional energy supplies easily and efficiently into the European market.

„It is essential that energy systems of EU countries can benefit from accelerated permitting procedures and funding, and that Member States coordinate their actions in order to ensure that the integrity of the Single Market is further strengthened. 

„The solution to the energy crisis and the financial burden of European citizens is a truly interconnected Energy Single Market, where green electricity flows freely across our borders,” concluded Kelleher.

Billy Kelleher MEP 

Fianna Fáil | Renew Europe 

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