Security of energy supply is a key priority, Taoiseach told Dáil

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The government is doing “everything in its power” to ensure the security of energy supply this winter and “the winters beyond”, insisted Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Dáil.

He was responding to Labor leader Alan Kelly who warned that a “perfect storm” was brewing over energy supplies.

He told the Taoiseach that it could be “the rock you perish on”.

During questions from executives, Tipperary TD said there were seven amber alerts in the energy system on a single day in September.

He said that month, “I asked the Taoiseach if he could guarantee he could keep the lights on.”

“He couldn’t answer that question,” so Mr Kelly said he was asking the same question again, pointing to Norwegian company Equinor which had pulled out of the Irish market and a $ 2 billion wind farm project. euros with BSE.

The government had been informed of the short to medium term risk to the electricity supply and that there was “an increased likelihood of more frequent system emergencies with the potential for some electricity customers to lose electricity. “if no action is taken,” said Martin.

The ministry and minister were working closely with the Utilities Regulatory Commission (CRU) and national grid operator Eirgrid to take the necessary steps to address the issue, but, he said, he said. was an international problem.

Mr. Martin added that “we are doing everything possible to ensure security of supply, but not only this winter, but especially for next winter and the winters beyond”.

The Taoiseach also promised Mr Kelly that he would seek information on a collapsed electricity deal in which state-owned Eirgrid made a € 10m down payment to ESB on a € 110m contract. euros which did not succeed.

The Labor leader asked how the payment was made, whether it had been sanctioned by the Minister of the Environment and where the money was now.

Expressing serious concerns about the regulation of energy supply, he compared it to a lack of regulation of banks.

Mr Kelly said: “Over a decade ago bad policy, terrible policy and lack of banking regulation destroyed this country.

“I am deeply concerned with the way our energy market has been regulated over the past few years. “

He said that in May, Eirgrid requested 200 megawatts of emergency electricity, under the direction of the CRU. “It was going to cost 110 million euros. The plan was for these emergency gas operators to be in place for 22 weeks. “

Use of privilege

Using Dáil’s privilege, Kelly said the contract was awarded to ESB, but “Eirgrid missed the tender.”

He added that “another company, Tynagh Energy, threatened to take the High Court claim that the Eirgrid-led deployment process was anti-competitive. The plan was therefore abandoned, ”he said.

“We need to get more information on this,” he said, asking if the 10 million euros had been repaid and pointing out that a new tender is currently being launched for the same power.

Mr Kelly also said that marine area planning delays were delaying offshore wind production, which meant wind farms could not be connected to the grid.

He asked the Taoiseach what assurance he can give to renewable energy projects, including solar and offshore wind farms, that the regulatory system would be fit for purpose.

Mr. Martin insisted that there is a regulatory framework governing the supply of electricity.

He said the CRU is independent and responsible.

The CRU was in charge and the government did not have the power “to intervene directly and do what it wants in terms of energy markets”.

He promised Mr Kelly to “provide all the information you need” about the abandoned tender, warning: “I would not jump to conclusions. Let’s wait for complete and transparent information.


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