The government “put the cart before the horse” by shutting down working fossil fuel power stations before it had a working alternative ready, a TD has claimed.
The remarks were made in the Dáil on Tuesday by Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue, during a debate on the ongoing energy crisis.
“People do not mind whether [Ireland’s energy] is provided by wind energy, solar energy or any other source of green energy,” the Limerick TD said.
“But, like everything else, the Government puts the cart before the horse. Does the Minister of State, Deputy James Browne, know that Ireland is paying 60% more for electricity than any other European country?”
This was likely in reference to a report from last May by Bonkers.ie, which found that Irish net electricity prices were 60% higher than the EU average. According to Eurostat, Ireland has the fourth highest electricity prices in the EU.
"There are questions there" – Call for investigation as net Irish electricity prices '60% higher' than EU average. @PatKennyNThttps://t.co/6keomMVYGb
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) May 10, 2022
“Why is that?” asked O’Donoghue.
“The government decided to close down plants that were providing energy, even if they were being run on turf.
“…it was dismantled and sold off to other countries, reinstated to supply power for other countries and now today there is emergency legislation to build plants and run diesel generators for the power we are short. Did you ever hear anything so ludicrous?”
The TD continued that the government “has no clue” how the energy sector works.
“If you want green energy, you put the infrastructure in first,” he said.
“The government is full of deadlines but no infrastructure. The government pushes the deadlines with no infrastructure. It pushes the change, with no other change in place, so we can change to it.
“The Government pushed inflation through the roof because it has no alternatives.”
The Deputy said that if there were working alternatives to the current energy model, people would change to those alternatives.
“But no,” he said.
“The Government pushes for the alternatives which are not there, that are above in the clouds and it asks for sacrifice until it can introduce the alternatives, which are a decade away. That is not planning for the future, it is destroying the people the government is here to protect for the future.”
Responding to the Deputy’s comments and others’, Fianna Fáil Junior Minister James Brown said that the government was “deeply aware of” and “concerned” about the pressures on businesses and individuals due to the energy crisis.
“It is a priority for the government to provide supports to alleviate that pressure,” he said, adding that the government had provided €2.4 billion worth of supports last year to assist households with such costs.
“The government has provided and will continue to provide supports to people and businesses affected by the unprecedented high energy prices,” he added.