This government has serious questions to answer about their mismanagement of the grid
Ireland’s power supply crisis is much worse than previously thought meaning the risk of blackouts and brownouts this winter has increased, according to Social Democrats Climate Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore.
Deputy Whitmore was commenting after the publication of Eirgrid’s Generation Capacity Statement today.
“As recently as August 30, representatives from Eirgrid told a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action that the gap between power supply and demand was 280 MW. However, according to this latest report, that gap has further increased to 380 MW.
“At a time when the government has been assuring us that it is working tirelessly to ensure the gap between power supply and demand is reduced, we instead learn that it is increasing. The obvious implication of this is that the risk of blackouts and brownouts this winter has increased.
“Of further concern is that the supply crisis is not going to be addressed any time soon. According to Eirgrid, capacity deficits have been identified for the next decade up to 2031.
“Previously, Eirgrid chief executive Mark Foley has downplayed the contribution of data centres to the current supply crisis. However, this latest report is clear that a significant increase in electricity demand from data centres is going to put severe pressure on an already creaking system.
“The report notes that a “key driver” of electricity demand over the coming years is the connection of data centres, with demand in that sector now expected to be 140 MW higher by 2030 than previously forecast.
“This government, and previous governments, clearly have serious questions to answer about their mismanagement of the grid and their failure to put in place adequate generation capacity to meet demand.
“In many respects, this puts us in a much worse position than many other countries that are dealing with the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Not only do we have to deal with an energy price and supply crisis, we must also grapple with a worsening power supply crisis that risks plunging the country into darkness this winter.”
6 October, 2022