August 16, 2021
Incoherent policies to blame for threat of blackouts this winter – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action and Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, today commented on the news that Ireland’s electricity grid is facing an increased prospect of blackouts this winter as the emergency plans to import power generators have now been abandoned.

Teachta O’Rourke said:

“There has been no recognition by this government of their incoherent and contradictory policy positions in the area of climate action.

“The last government set a target of making Ireland the data centre capital of the world, with absolutely no thought about the impact this would have on our carbon emissions or electricity supply.

“This current government hasn’t changed course, with more and more data centres flying up across the state, with the state now facing a severe challenge to our electricity generation and supply system this winter.

“Fossil fuelled power plants are running at capacity to meet the increased electricity demand, with a 15% increase in emissions in the first six months of this year, at the same time as the Government are talking about reducing emissions by 51% over the next decade.

“They are saying one thing but doing the total opposite.

“The government are also failing to help ordinary citizens contribute to our national climate action targets.

“For example, we still don’t have a microgeneration scheme in place here, four years after Sinn Féin introduced our microgeneration bill in the Dáil.

“Our bill would allow households, community groups, farmers and businesses to make a significant contribution towards renewable energy production here.

“We are way behind Europe in this area and the snail’s pace of progress is extremely frustrating and is totally at odds with the pace of change that is required.

“Furthermore, Eirgrid and successive governments have failed abysmally to bring communities along with them in the changes that will be required to strengthen our electricity grid.

“For example, in the north-east, Eirgrid have botched community relations when it comes to the north-south interconnector over the past fifteen years.

“Instead of working with communities to come to a workable solution for all, the hostile relationship has resulted in years of delay, tens of millions of euro wasted, and no infrastructure built.

“The litany of failures and incoherent climate action policies from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens are why we are now facing the threat of electricity blackouts this winter.”

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