This level of denial and myopia at cabinet is deeply concerning

Ministers who claim to be “livid” or “astounded” at Ireland’s worsening electricity security crisis have been asleep at the wheel, according to Social Democrats Climate Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore.

“The Business Post has reported that ministers are “livid” and “astounded” that Ireland is facing into an unprecedented electricity crisis. Given there have been warnings – and detailed reports – about the extent of this escalating crisis for years, this level of denial and myopia at cabinet is deeply concerning.

“Ministers, at the helm in government, cannot be allowed to point the finger of blame elsewhere as they seek to avoid responsibility for the current crisis. The situation has now deteriorated to such an extent that black-outs may only be avoided if large hikes to tariffs for businesses and consumers are imposed for energy use at peak times.

“Laughably, the government has now commissioned yet another review of our power supply deficit – which will not be completed until the end of the year. This review is a further attempt to avoid responsibility when the immediate answers to this crisis are clear.

“The government needs to impose a moratorium on all new data centre connections to the grid and speed up the provision of emergency generation so that it is in place as quickly as possible. It must also ensure that consumers do not pick up the tab for their mismanagement of this critical infrastructure.

“Long overdue investment in the grid, so that it can support additional renewable energy generation, must also be fast tracked. A 2019 report, from the Irish Academy of Engineering, estimated that the grid needed a €9 billion investment by 2027 to cope with the additional demands placed on it by data centres.

“The government is not an innocent bystander, powerless to solve our energy security crisis. It has the tools and the authority to take action. It is time it did so, before the country is plunged into darkness this winter.”

22 August, 2022


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