Ireland will face a “challenging outlook” as regards energy supply for the next decade at least, according to national grid operator EirGrid.

The announcement comes as part of the body’s annual Generation Capacity Statement (GCS), with authorities warning that as demand for power increases, Ireland’s ability to generate said power will have to increase parallel.

Mark Foley, EirGrid’s chief executive, commented on the statement this week.

“This year’s GCS forecasts significant capacity deficits over the coming years with an increase in the tightness between supply and demand,” said Foley.

“The number of system alerts will increase as our economy grows, electricity generators exit the market and demand increases, with significant new additional demand from the heat and transport sectors as they are electrified.”

One source of strain on the grid, according to the Eirgrid report, will be the growing number of electric vehicles and heat pumps, which the government has invested heavily in as part of green climate initiatives.

While the group said that investment in wind and solar power were needed to meet Ireland’s climate targets, new-gas fired plants would be needed in the meantime to meet demand. The operator also called for keeping older fossil fuel plants operating beyond their scheduled closing date.

Part of the increased pressure will also be the country’s growing number of data centres, which the report describes as a “very strong” source of energy demand expected between now and late 2024.

Last week Gript asked Green Party Minister Catherine Martin if her party took any responsibility for closing down so many viable fossil fuel power stations, leading to Ireland becoming the single least prepared EU country regarding energy supply according to experts.

While Martin did not directly answer the question, she said that “now is not the time” to do away with green policies despite the crisis.

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  • Niall McConnell
    published this page in News 2022-10-07 09:52:27 +0100
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