The 2014 Green Paper on Energy Policy questioned Ireland’s policy of ignoring the potential benefits of nuclear energy. The huge global threat posed by climate change and the threat to the national economy posed by volatile fossil fuel prices was acknowledged, while accepting the useful but limited role that renewables could play in our energy future.
Ireland took an important step towards addressing its future energy needs with Eamon Ryan’s recent call for an Oireachtas committee discussion about nuclear power, writes Tom O’Flaherty.
It is becoming widely accepted that the greatest challenge facing human society over the next few decades is to arrest the onset of climate change, while there is still time to avert its more devastating effects. A parallel challenge is to meet the world’s energy needs, and to safeguard national competitiveness, against a background of the diminishing supply and increasing cost of oil and gas.
Clearly these challenges have to be met on two fronts: by curtailing growth in energy demand, and by major development of non-fossil sources of energy. It is BENE’s belief that nuclear energy has a vital contribution to make to the latter objective.