‘We are in the beginning of a brand new industrial revolution’: Ireland’s surroundings minister

Speaking Europe speaks to Eamon Ryan, the chief of the Irish Inexperienced Occasion and Minister for the Atmosphere, Local weather, Communications and Transport within the present coalition authorities in Dublin. We caught up with him after he attended a signing ceremony for the Celtic Interconnector, a challenge that may hyperlink Ireland’s and France’s energy grids for the primary time. The cable shall be commissioned in late 2026 or early 2027 and can present energy in each instructions. Ryan says the challenge is a part of a “new industrial revolution” that may join European international locations and finally cut back their power dependence on Russia and the Center East.

Explaining what the Celtic Interconnector will do, Ryan mentioned: “We’re connecting France and Ireland for the first time. It’s a small cable, but it can carry large volumes of power, over a length of 550 kilometres, and when it lands on either side it gives you balancing capabilities. When it’s windy in Ireland we can export to France. When it’s quiet we can import back from France with a combination of renewables and nuclear from the French side.”

- Advertisement -

On the broader significance of this challenge, Ryan mentioned: “I think we’re at the beginning of a new industrial revolution. And just as the first one started in Europe, this one will too. It’s an electrification of everything, especially to use renewable energy sources. power.”

He continued: “When the wind comes in from the west and passes over Ireland, we can pick it up at different stages. If we combine that with hydropower from the Scandinavian countries and the Alps, and solar energy from the south, you start to have a balancing ability. This new industrial revolution will be characterized by balancing the varying supply of electricity and the varying demand, storing it and sending it to different countries. So Europe is starting to get an alternative energy supply to Russian gas, Middle Eastern oil and gas, and that’s why it is strategically significant.”

Talking about his assembly in Paris together with his French counterpart, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Ryan was struck by the parallels between France and Eire. “We have many of the same problems,” he mentioned. “How do you get projects through the planning system faster? How do you make sure that politically these projects won’t be stop-and-start? That they will happen regardless of who is in government? And how do you avoid being delayed when it applies to the supply chain?”

He continued: “If we can do all three of these; better permitting, clearer policy messaging and getting the supply chain right, it takes the risk out of the development of renewable options.”

When requested in regards to the jobs that shall be valued in what he calls “the electrification of everything,” the minister mentioned: “You have to resource the people. The main shortfall is actually getting the engineers we need. If there are young people out there. thinking, what are they going to do with their career, what are they going to do with their life? Well, if you want to be at the forefront of tackling climate change, if you want a job that has real meaning, purpose and status, i I think, it is in the very technical aspects how we shape this electrical future.”

Produced by Sophie Samaille, Isabelle Romero and Perrine Desplats

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept

Privacy & Cookies Policy