Ervia, a multi-utility company in Ireland has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with multinational energy company Equinor,

The MOU will see the two companies assess the potential for Ireland to benefit from carbon capture and storage (CCS) and outlines how with companies will work together in the wider ‘Northern Lights’ project.

If successful, the project will see carbon emissions from Ireland’s electricity production and large industry captured and exported via ship to be permanently stored in Norway’s geological reserves in the North Sea.

“This MOU is a key step forward in Ireland playing a role in developing the potential of CCS technology, which has been recognised by the European Commission and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as being critical to the achievement of climate targets,” said Cathal Marley, Interim CEO of Ervia.

“Ervia’s vision is for the gas network to evolve to become carbon neutral by 2050 and we are working closely with national and international stakeholders to bring this to reality through technologies such as CCS, renewable gas, and in the longer term, hydrogen.”

Today, gas is used in approximately 50% of Ireland’s electricity. A move to 70% renewable sources, such as wind and solar, is planned by 2030 as part of ambitious national climate action targets. 

Up to 100% of the carbon emission from gas powered electricity generation can be captured through CCS, meaning Ireland can continue to benefit from the reliability of gas in a low carbon future. 

“We are very excited to be working with Equinor on this project, bringing Ireland to the centre of Europe’s large-scale decarbonisation. We are committed to maximising the contribution of Ireland’s gas network – a €3bn asset owned by the Irish people – to building a sustainable, low carbon future.