A power engineering expert has warned that Ireland’s power grid faces an increased possibility of blackouts this winter as emergency plans to import power generators are stalled.
Brian Ó Gallachóir, professor of energy engineering at University College Cork, was responding to the EirGrid statement that said maintaining a balance between supply and demand had become an increasing challenge due to a number of factors.
Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio, Professor Gallachóir said the potential for blackouts would be part of the process “as our electricity system increasingly transitions to a carbon-neutral energy system.”
Following the publication of the IPCC report last week, there is now an even greater impetus to “virtually reduce emissions across all sectors of the economy, transportation, heating and agriculture,” said the professor, who is also director of the MaREI Center for Research and Innovation in Energy, Climate and Marines.
“The main challenge with electricity is to do that and at the same time ensure we have enough power to keep the lights on and the things we need to go on with our daily lives,” he said.
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He added that over the past 20 years, Ireland has increased the amount of renewable energy in the system.
This has been implemented very effectively through policies built on the research, market signals and engineering community working together, he said.
He said that while the amount of renewable energy has increased, there has also been a growing demand for electricity such as data centers, electric vehicles and heat pumps.
Professor Ó Gallachóir said that data centers in particular have been “extremely hungry in the electrical demands they create.”
“Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante.”