Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, today welcomed the Oireachtas Climate Committee’s agreement to hold a public meeting next Tuesday to hear from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), EirGrid and Minister Eamon Ryan.
Teachta O’Rourke yesterday wrote to the Chair of the Committee, Brian Leddin TD, calling for an urgent meeting to be scheduled ahead of the Dáil’s return, given the threat of electricity blackouts the state now faces.
The Meath East TD said:
“I’m glad the Oireachtas Climate Committee have agreed to my proposal to hold an emergency meeting on the serious issues facing our electricity grid.
“The meeting will take place next Tuesday, August 30th at noon, with the CRU, EirGrid and the Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan all invited to attend.
“It is very important that we get a comprehensive update on plans to address energy supply and electricity generation constraints in order to prevent blackouts this winter. We also need to hear how electricity customers will be protected.
“We have had a number of electricity amber alerts already this month, which gives rise to concern about how the grid will cope during the winter, when demand for light and heat increases due to the cold and dark.
“We also need accountability as to how the state has been left in a situation where no guarantee can be given that the lights will stay on.
“The government has chased data centre investment, with absolutely no regard for the ability of our electricity grid to cope with the huge demand they put on it.
“We need sensible and fair solutions to address the immediate challenge we are now facing.
“The recent suggestion that households be charged even more for using electricity at peak times needs to be taken off the table. Ordinary households aren’t to blame for the current situation and financially penalising people in the midst of a severe energy price crisis is absolutely not the answer.
“A plan for large energy users to reduce demand at peak times, public information campaigns, and having cheaper electricity rates at other times to act as an incentive, can all help address the current challenge.”