I along with the Regional Group of TDs are tabling a Private Members Motion to be debated on the resumption of the Dáil to call for emergency legislation to be introduced to keep the lights on this winter and ensure that it is affordable for families and business.
“The reality is that the current crisis has been caused by the mismanagement of electricity supplies, which is now causing serious financial hardship to families and business throughout the country.
This emergency legislation should provide for
(1) a ban on any threat to turn off the electricity supply to domestic customers and critical social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, etc
(2) To facilitate this Data centres & other high energy users must be directed to use their emergency backup generators at all times of peak electricity demand.
(3) Immediately reopen 250 megawatts of power generation at the midland power stations in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge to be fuelled by biomass, which are presently lying idle despite a 10-year lifespan being left in both of those plants.
(4) The existing biomass supplies should be supplemented with an immediate suspension of the requirement for licences for the felling and thinning of forestry.
(5) Re-commission Derrybrien Wind Farm and ringfence all profits for a local community & environmental benefit fund
These measures should be introduced for a period 36 months until we overcome the current electricity supply crisis.
We are also demanding that the Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan secure EU wide agreement at the forthcoming Energy Council for the immediate decoupling of the link between gas prices and electricity prices, which are inflating electricity prices whether generated by natural gas or not.
Finally, we are calling on the Government to establish an energy support scheme for businesses as some businesses are experiencing a 200%-300% increase in utility costs”.