August 30, 2022
Committee hearing confirms spectacular mismanagement of electricity system – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has said a failure of government policy, planning and regulation of our electricity system has resulted in a “heightened” threat of electricity blackouts this winter.

The Meath East TD said;

“It’s clear from the evidence presented at the Oireachtas Climate Committee this afternoon that there has been a spectacular failure of government policy, planning and regulation of our electricity system.

“The Commission for Regulation of Utilities confirmed that energy demand from data centres is contributing to our current problems, despite repeated attempts by government to stress their red-carpet rollout for them has had nothing to do with the current capacity constraints.

“We heard evidence how the procurement system for electricity generation fell apart last year, leaving us with a shortfall of electricity generation this winter. This raises questions as to whether this system is fit for purpose going forward.

“Minister Ryan performed a dizzying U-turn on the need to decouple gas from electricity prices.

“Currently the price of gas is dictating the price of all electricity, which is pushing electricity prices to extortionate levels.

“At a European level Minister Ryan has been actively opposing progressive reforms to this system, and as recently as June of this year he confirmed to Sinn Féin his total opposition, but today he now said he was in favour of it.

“It’s clear the government prioritised the profits of energy companies ahead of the interests of citizens and their ability to afford to heat their home during the winter.

“We need immediate action in a number of other areas too, to address the cost of electricity for consumers this winter.

“We need to see a windfall tax introduced, targeted payments to help households that are struggling with energy costs, all consumers offered the lowest available tariff and an extended ban on disconnections.

“It’s also imperative those living in and at risk of energy poverty, are prioritised for retrofitting. It will be simply unforgiveable for the government to miss retrofit targets this year when so many people need energy efficiency upgrades to help reduce their energy bills.” 

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