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Electricity crisis worries Ireland as CRU says more amber alerts likely in coming years

DUBLIN: The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has said that more amber alerts (alerts used when there is a threat to the supply of electricity) are likely in Ireland in the coming years. There have been two amber alerts on the electricity market this week, which the Single Electricity Market Operator (SEMO) says are due to shortfalls in power generation.

Amber alerts indicate that the buffer between power demand and supply is less than optimal. EirGrid, Ireland’s electric power transmission operator, said the alert was issued due to forced outages at a number of generators, low wind generation and limited electricity imports.

Jim Gannon, Commissioner for Utilities Regulation, said that in the last couple of days, there have been multiple forced or unexpected outages to generators and interconnection, as well as a very low wind period.

He added that the number of amber alerts will certainly increase over the next few years as they meet carbon targets and respond to short-term challenges around security supply.

Mr Gannon said: “What Eirgrid and industry do is during the summer times they make sure that all of the necessary works are completed to be winter ready, and this is something that’s conducted annually every year to make sure that the system is ready and that the generators are ready.

“So, this is nothing strange. This is nothing different, it was just there were a couple of unexpected outages that had us enter a number or amber alert state that again allowed preplanned actions to be taken place to maintain integrity.”

The CRU is also collaborating with larger electricity demand users to work with industry that has backup generation to ensure that there is no interruption in supply.

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