July 6, 2021
Incoherent government policies to blame for threat of electricity blackouts – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications and Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, today questioned the Commission for Regulation of Utilities about the growing and serious concerns over our electricity supply and grid system, in the face of extraordinary power demands from data centres.

The Meath East TD said:

“The increase in the number of electricity system alerts and threat of blackouts should be a cause for major concern.

“The transition from fossil fuel electricity generation to renewables was always going to be a huge undertaking and pose its own challenges, but the growth of data centres and other demand-intensive facilities has created a real problem.

“The last government pushed for Ireland to become the data centre capital of the world, with little thought given to the demands such a proposal would put on our generation capabilities and our national grid.

“The demand from existing and proposed data centres could be in excess of 70% of the electricity used by the entire state.

“We are now faced with a system that is under real pressure. Urgent action needs to be taken to avoid the prospect of blackouts into the future.

“On the one hand, Government seems intent on supporting the unfettered expansion of data centres, while on the other, they are dithering on off-shore wind and grid investment.

“This is completely incoherent. It is a sure-fire way to miss of soon-to-be enshrined 2030 targets. It is also a recipe for ever increasing electricity costs.

“The Government have also failed in other key areas, such as not bringing communities along with them in relation to the development of grid infrastructure.

“Indeed, Eirgrid and successive administrations have collied head-on with some local communities when it comes to grid development.

“I fear ordinary households will pay the price for this disjointed government approach and Minister Ryan needs to address this problem as a matter of priority.”

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