“Government Policy Worsening Energy Crisis” – Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín has responded to a government commissioned review that has signalled that warnings over electricity could be earlier than expected.
Speaking today, Tóibín said “Keeping the lights on, ensuring people have a roof over their head, having access to timely health care being able to afford to feed your family. These are the simple expectations that citizen have in a functioning republic. Yet in all of these areas, the government is failing badly. The worsening energy crisis is especially frustrating as government has facilitated it spiralling out of control. While the rest of Europe has spent the summer building up gas reserves, the Irish government made no effort to do so. While Data Centres are swallowing ever larger portions of the available electricity planning permissions are still being granted for new ones.
Ireland is the last country in Europe to provide a feed in tariff for the microgeneration of electricity and while the legislation finally came in last February, the majority of microgenerators are still waiting for information on when and how much they will be paid. This is an outstanding example of how absolutely useless the government has been in getting the obvious stuff right. Many firms who won contracts to supply renewable electricity onto the grid are way behind time in actually making the connection. So far behind is the government, that Eamon Ryan is planning new fossil fuel power plants to bridge the gap between supply and demand. Poor investment in infrastructure has meant that our system is rapidly becoming unsustainable."
Tóibín continued “This crisis is also manifesting itself in terms of price and plans are now afoot to introduce a tariff peak time evening consumption. Already people are feeling the cost of this crisis with fuel, gas and electricity. 23% of Irish people are experiencing energy poverty this year. However, an ESRI report found this could soon rise to 43% of households. For many, this government failure will mean a choice between heating their home and feeding their family.”
“The pain and suffering that this crisis has the potential to cause is unimaginable. It permeates every aspect of our national life. From running a shop, driving children to school and trying to work from home. The government must take steps to bolster the national grid, develop gas reserves and to expedite the supply of micro generated sustainable energy” concluded Tóibín