Ireland rues mistakes of the past as it struggles to keep the lights on

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From Tallbloke’s Talkshop

February 28, 2023 by oldbrew

No surprise to find that ‘Surging demand and insecure supply has left the country vulnerable indefinitely’, after years of climate-driven policies on electricity supply. The self-induced emergency has led to desperate measures like these ‘effectively jet engines’. Another case of replacing what worked with what sounded good.
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Back-up power generators have started to arrive in Ireland to help it keep the lights on during the next few winters, reports The Telegraph.

Demand for electricity has leapt in the country, driven in part by the growing number of energy-hungry data centres set up in Dublin CREDIT: David Soanes/Getty Images

The mobile turbines, described as “effectively jet engines”, are set to be installed in areas including Dublin and nearby County Meath.

The €350m (£308m) temporary capacity was ordered by environment minister Eamon Ryan last year as a “last resort”, after regulators flagged a looming shortfall in generation.

“This is an electricity emergency,” minister of state Ossian Smyth told its parliament in October.

“It is a national scandal,” retorted Darren O’Rourke, the Teachta Dála for Meath East.

Fears of blackouts across Europe and the UK this winter – first sparked by market turmoil linked to Russia’s war on Ukraine – have started to recede as spring looms.

Yet concerns about the future remain: in Ireland, surging demand for electricity and the closure of ageing gas-fired power stations have left the country vulnerable next winter and beyond.

Critics have also warned that Ireland is becoming too reliant on imports of gas, as domestic fossil fuel generation is sidelined in pursuit of green goals.

Full report here.
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Report: Government to spend €350m on ‘jet engines’ to supply emergency electricity in the event of power outages (Oct. 2022)

Quote: “These are effectively jet engines,” Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said. “You put a transformer on them and a fuel supply attached to them.” He described their purchase as a “last resort”.