Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has today written to the Chair of the Oireachtas Climate Committee, requesting that an urgent meeting be convened to address the serious concerns about the prospect of electricity blackouts and runaway energy costs this winter.

O’Rourke said the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), EirGrid and Minister Eamon Ryan, should all appear before the Committee at the earliest opportunity, and in advance of the Dáil’s return.The Meath East TD has said they must give a detailed explanation on plans to secure energy supply and electricity generation capacity for this winter, and to ensure people won’t be left in the cold and dark.He told Meath Live, “Today I’ve written to the Chair of the Oireachtas Climate Committee, Brian Leddin TD, calling for an urgent meeting of the Committee to discuss the growing threat of blackouts this winter.“The Taoiseach’s comment this week that we needed an earlier warning system in relation to demand constraints is simply ridiculous.“Sinn Féin, amongst others, has a long record of highlighting the risk associated with the approach of successive Governments to whittle away energy supply at a time when demand was increasing greatly.“Indeed, EirGrid has been issuing Amber Alerts for a number of years. It is not credible to suggest that the government has been blindsided by this worsening crisis.“In truth, Government policy has left us in this incredibly precarious situation. Their promotion of data centres has compounded matters and exacerbated the demand being placed on our electricity grid.“People are deeply concerned about this winter, but the Government has failed to provide any comfort or clarity. We need to hear from the CRU, EirGrid and Minister Ryan to hear the factors which have contributed to this situation.“More importantly, we need to hear what contingency plans are now being put in place for this winter – to secure energy supply and electricity generation capacity and to protect residential and vulnerable users at a time of runaway prices.“The suggestion that households would be charged more during a time of crippling energy costs, for example, is not a solution.

“People need assurance that there is a plan in place to ensure they will not be left in the cold and dark this winter – and they need the details of that plan. The Climate Committee should convene on these matters urgently.”