Government will do 'everything it can' to avoid energy blackouts – Taoiseach

Government Will Do 'Everything It Can' To Avoid Energy Blackouts – Taoiseach Government Will Do 'Everything It Can' To Avoid Energy Blackouts – Taoiseach
The Government has ordered a review into electricity supply issues over worries of potential energy blackouts this winter. Photo: Getty Images
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Michelle Devane, PA

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said people would have expected an earlier warning system to be in place over power supply issues.

Mr Martin said the Government will do “everything it can” to ensure energy security for the people of Ireland.

It has emerged that the Government has commissioned an independent review into electricity supply issues amid concerns of potential blackouts this winter due to demand potentially outstripping supply.

Former senior civil servant Dermot McCarthy has been asked to conduct the review.


Mr Martin said Mr McCarthy has “considerable experience” of government systems and that Green Party leader Eamon Ryan was of the view Mr McCarthy would be a “very appropriate person” for the job.

Speaking in Cork, the Taoiseach said: “There’s no question there is a growing demand on our energy because we’re growing as an economy and growing as a population.


“People would have perhaps expected an earlier warning system in relation to some of this that’s materialising.

“It’s a good idea to do that – that’s important. But the broader issue is measures we take now to ensure we maintain energy security for the country.”

Earlier this month, the Single Electricity Market Operator (SEMO) issued an amber alert stating it was due to a “generation shortfall in Ireland”.

The alert is issued when there is a threat to the supply of electricity.

The Fianna Fáil leader said the Government will be holding further meetings with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and EirGrid about the procurement of energy for this winter and next winter.

“We had meetings last year in respect of this,” he said.


“We gave sanction to emergency procurement of generation – the Government did – in an unprecedented way. We gave them the capacity to procure energy generation on a short-time basis.”

Mr Martin added: “Government will do everything it possibly can to ensure energy security for the people of the country.”

The Taoiseach said it was also important to have certainty around energy security due to foreign direct investment having “grown exponentially” in the past two years.


“In that context we really have to accelerate renewable energy and off-shore wind energy in particular, so that’s the big challenge in the coming years,” he added.

Mr Martin also said the Government would have to look “at demand reduction as well in an intelligent way”.

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