Government will buy an additional 450mw of electricity next year

The cabinet has approved a plan by Minister Eamon Ryan to spend 350 million euros to buy an additional 450 megawatts of electricity next year.

Eirgrid will buy temporary electricity generators to do the job, although it is currently unclear whether these will be powered by oil and gas or renewables.

The 350m bill will be recovered from customers over a 3-year period, but the minister says the cost will be more than offset by a reduction in the public service obligation tax.

The PSO has already been reduced to zero, under the National Energy Security Framework announced last April, and will come into effect this October.

Under this latest plan, the PSO could turn negative, allowing customers to receive a bill-by-bill refund.

The final decision on the rate will be made by the Public Services Regulatory Commission next month. Last September, Eirgrid predicted a possible shortfall in Ireland’s electricity, for 5 consecutive winters, in part due to the closure of some peat-fired stations.

During the previous 18 months, there were “eight system alerts” in the system.

The destabilization of energy markets due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has significantly exacerbated this problem.

It is unclear what additional measures, such as extending the life of the Moneypoint coal-fired generating station, are being actively considered to ensure security of supply.

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