Ireland could face electricity shortages over the next five winters due to rising demand and the closure of plants.
EirGrid, the state-owned electric power transmission operator in Ireland, released the report.
Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan said energy supplies will be tight over the next five years, and the Government can’t be “absolutely certain” that blackouts won’t occur.
However, Ryan said he is confident that efforts to bring additional power into the system will be successful.
EirGrid said today that “system alerts” are expected to be a feature of Ireland’s power system over the coming winters and that this winter “is likely to be challenging.”
The report found that despite a short term reduction in electricity use due to the pandemic, demand in Ireland is on the rise and will continue to increase due to a number of high energy users, including data centres.
EirGrid chief executive Mark Foley said: “It is clear from the report that new, cleaner gas-fired generation plant is required now to address this issue, especially for when wind and solar generation is low.”
“Appropriate volumes of dispatchable flexible gas generation are critical to support the transition to a low-carbon power system into the next decade, as we move to 70% renewables by 2030 and, ultimately, a zero-carbon power system.”
IMAGE – “Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach – 27 June 2020” by Houses of the Oireachtas is licensed under CC BY 2.0/ “Farr Wind Farm” by steve.abraham is licensed under CC BY 2.0