A “tight” energy supply imposes the urgency of climate commitments


Transport Minister Eamon Ryan’s admission that the energy situation in Ireland will be “very tense” over the next few years – if not weeks – should interest hearts and minds amid the first chills of autumn.

r Ryan said, “We have a way. We know what to do. It regulates both demand and supply.

It sounds simple, but how do you regulate supply and demand?

The planet is urgently forcing governments around the world to address the issues we have all avoided.

Mr. Ryan’s admissions will be satisfied by the development of renewable energies. As an island, the off-shore wind potential will have to be vigorously exploited. As he reminded us, our territorial ocean area is 10 times that of our land area.

“There is real potential for us to harness that, not just energy, but transport, heat and a whole range of different needs. “

But the truth is this: having exhausted all the easy options, now we must adapt to the difficult consequences that come with the more difficult ones. The arguments for alternatives are now overwhelming, not only from a sustainability perspective, but also because consumers are hit in the pocket.

Squeezing natural gas supplies are biting customers with a series of dramatic price increases in recent weeks. Yesterday, crude oil prices hit three-year highs of nearly $ 80 (€ 68) a barrel.

On top of the 300% rise in European gas prices this year, the price spikes threaten to further poison inflation expectations.

But it’s not just Europe. The Chinese electricity crisis is currently causing industry contraction and putting pressure on the economic outlook.

Goldman Sachs predicts that Brent will hit $ 90 a barrel by the end of the year, adding: “The current deficit in global oil supply and demand is larger than expected, the recovery of the Global demand due to the impact of the Delta being even faster than our above consensus forecast. “

Electricity supply problems in China’s manufacturing and industrial hubs have intensified this month as provinces struggle to meet the central government’s strict carbon emissions targets as coal prices rise.

Power shortages in 10 Chinese provinces are likely to weigh on the country’s gross domestic product.

The overwhelming need to introduce carbon taxes is likely to have an impact on the formation of the next coalition in Germany.

We are all going to have to be aware of our climate commitments, without a blanket.

Putting aside environmental imperatives,
Europe’s energy will be further complicated by geopolitics and the escalation of the gas war with Russia. We are getting closer and closer to a supply crisis. Tough questions will need to be asked when world leaders meet in November at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference.

But clearly, the way we live now will not be the same as tomorrow.


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