Electricity blackouts in Ireland this winter cannot be "absolutely" ruled out
"It is going to be difficult but we will manage it."
Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has said he cannot "absolutely" rule out electricity blackouts in Ireland this winter.
His comments come after a new report was published by state-owned electric power transmission operator EirGrid, which said Ireland could see electricity supply shortfalls over the next five winters.
The shortfalls could arise if no action is taken to address the recent withdrawal of previously procured generation and a recent auction to supply power to Ireland's grid that did not deliver the amount necessary.
“We expect system alerts to be a feature of the system over the coming winters and this winter is likely to be challenging," EirGrid chief executive Mark Foley said.
Speaking on Morning Ireland, Ryan was asked about Foley's comments and if he was sure Ireland will not have electricity blackouts this winter.
"It is tight and you can't be absolutely certain but we expect to be able to manage it," Ryan replied.
"The main problem this winter is that two of our largest gas-fired most modern power plants have been out of action.
"They will come back into operation next month and the month after so that should allow us [to] manage.
"But this winter and the subsequent winters are going to be difficult."
Ryan also said the government knows what it needs to do, stating that it will have further auctions early next year with the goal of bringing additional backup power into place.
"It is going to be difficult but we will manage it," the minister added.
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