Family homes could face blackouts this winter, ministers have been warned by the energy sector.
According to The Sunday Independent, family homes could be disconnected under the “worst case scenario”, while businesses could be given an hour’s notice to reduce their electricity usage.
Cold weather usually triggers high demand for electricity during the winter months. However, supply has been a particular problem this year because two gas-fired plants in Cork and Dublin were taken offline for repairs.
Last month Energy Minister Eamon Ryan said that the price of gas has “gone through the roof” following a recent cold winter and that the end of the pandemic has seen a global surge in demand for electricity.
Mr Ryan conceded that problems with supply and demand would continue over the next few years, as other power plants are switched off as the state transitions to renewable forms of energy. He added, however, that he was "very confident" there would be enough supply to meet demand in the future.
Government 'failed' to meet targets
But Sinn Féin’s Climate spokesperson Darren O'Rourke told Newstalk that blackouts would hit the vulnerable hardest:
“People who are relying on medical appliances and medical devices and vulnerable people with disabilities that need particular support. There are real, measurable potential health and welfare impacts associated with blackouts and they need to be avoided at all costs.”
He added that the Government’s energy strategy was to blame:
“It has delayed the renewable option. It has failed to deliver on renewable targets, we see that in wind, we see that in solar and the rhetoric is there but the delivery is not.
“And we have the necessary move away from fossil fuels but actually, perversely, we seem to be more dependent on them now because of the Government’s failure to manage the transition.”
Main image: A pylon in Dublin. Picture by: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie