Public consultation on establishment of geothermal regulation in Ireland
As part of a roadmap for a Policy and Regulatory Framework for geothermal energy development in Ireland, a public consultation has been launched on a draft Policy Statement on Geothermal Energy for the Republic of Ireland.
The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Communications of the Republic of Ireland has shared details on a Public Consultation On Scoping Report For The Environmental Assessment Of The Emerging Draft Policy Statement On Geothermal Energy.
The Energy White Paper, Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030, made provision for the establishment of a regulatory framework to facilitate the exploration for, and development of, geothermal energy resources. The Programme for Government, ‘Our Shared Future’, commits to supporting the development of district heating. Geothermal energy has the potential to be an energy source for district heating, evidenced by the report ‘An Assessment of Geothermal Energy for District Heating in Ireland’ published by the Geological Survey Ireland in November 2020.
Geothermal energy resources have been proven to be secure, consistent, environmentally sustainable, effectively carbon-neutral and cost-effective. Geothermal energy can play an important role in decarbonising Ireland’s heat and energy sectors.
We published ‘Geothermal Energy in Ireland – A Roadmap for a Policy and Regulatory Framework’. As part of that roadmap, a draft Policy Statement on Geothermal Energy will be published in December. The Policy Statement will set out:
- An explanation of how geothermal energy can be harnessed
- The different types of geothermal energy projects
- Environmental considerations
- An outline regulatory framework for geothermal energy projects
Strategic Environmental Assessment
As part of the policy development process, the emerging draft Policy Statement was screened for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) under the European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans and Programmes) Regulations 2004 (as amended). It was determined that SEA is required for the emerging Draft Policy Statement. The SEA Screening Determination and SEA Screening Report are below.
- SEA Screening Determination for emerging draft Policy Statement on Geothermal Energy: Download
- SEA Screening Report for emerging draft Policy Statement on Geothermal Energy: Download
We have engaged external consultants to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the likely significant effects on the environment of the emerging draft Policy Statement on Geothermal Energy.
The next stage in the SEA process is Scoping for the Environment Report, which involves determining the scope, level of detail and range of environmental issues to be covered by the SEA. An SEA Scoping Report has been prepared by the consultants for consultation with the environmental authorities, as required by law. Submissions on the Scoping Report are also being sought from the wider public.
- Based on the plans, policies and programmes outlined in the Scoping Report, are there any other key relevant international, national, or regional plans, policies or programmes that should be considered in the SEA Environmental Report on the Policy Statement on Geothermal Energy?
- Are there any effects or impacts that should be considered in the SEA Environmental Report on the draft Policy Statement, which haven’t been outlined in the Scoping Report?
- Do you have any comments regarding the draft SEA Objectives, as presented in the Scoping Report?
- Do you have any suggestions or comments in relation to the overall approach to alternatives, as presented in the Scoping Report?
Scoping Report for the Environmental Assessment of the emerging Draft Policy Statement on Geothermal Energy: Download
All submissions are welcome and will be considered in finalising the Policy Statement.
The closing date for submissions is 5.30pm 22 November 2021
Submissions should be marked Consultation on Geothermal Energy SEA Scoping and sent by email to GSPD@decc.gov.ie or by post to:
Geoscience Policy Division
Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications
29-31 Adelaide Road
Dublin, D02 X285
Source: Official release