EirGrid has warned of “rolling blackouts” in the winter as Ireland shuts down power stations nationwide and depends more and more on unreliable green energy sources.
The government is being forced to provide emergency generators to Dublin in autumn because of fears regarding the city’s grid stability later in the year when power consumption increases with the cold weather. Reportedly, new emergency legislation is being passed to allow the bypassing of existing planning laws to set up these generators around the North Wall in Dublin.
“Within the industry, we’re all very exercised about it, and understandably so. It’s going to be a very hard winter,” a senior electricity market source reportedly told the Irish Times.
According to Eirgrid, there will be significant “challenges” as Ireland struggles to respond to the growth in demand for electricity, and the shutting down of power stations across the country.
The move comes as major power plants in Huntsdown, Dublin, and Whitegate, Cork, which will be closed for months to make repairs. Additionally, the ESB has declared that it will demolish two “pristine” power stations in the midlands to make way for “renewable energy centres.”
The ESB has confirmed that it is working on plans to demolish its 'pristine' power plant sites at Shannonbridge in West Offaly and Lough Ree in Lanesborough in order to construct “renewable energy centres.” #gript https://t.co/zJdQMgUDVO
— gript (@griptmedia) June 24, 2021
In an effort to meet climate targets, many such power stations have been shut down in recent years for the same reasons.
Eigrid says that the Irish energy supply will experience significant issues “resulting from our global leadership position in accommodating intermittent wind energy” on the grid. The regulator also warned that Ireland should slow down the construction of foreign data centres, as they were drawing so much power from the grid that Irish consumers were facing “rolling blackouts” at the current rate.
There have reportedly been 8 system alerts since November – an average of one a month – indicating that there is not enough surplus power above the demand to cover emergency situations.