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Sinn Féin MPs raise concerns over energy tsunami set to hit Ireland

11 October, 2017 - by Chris Hazzard

Sinn Féin MPs have raised concerns about an energy tsunami about to hit Ireland.

Speaking from Brussels today Chris Hazzard MLA said:

“Energy conductors are due to bid in an open competition for supplying the north ‪on 11th December, in the framework of the Single Integrated Electricity Market.

“They will bid to Single Electricity Market Operator for contracts and be asked to generate energy on a needs basis, apparently protecting consumers and offering more competitive pricing.

“The legal basis for this is entirely European Union legislation – the arbiter in any dispute is the European Court of Justice, the ECJ.

“The British Government in its withdrawal bill – clause 5, states there will be no role for the ECJ post Brexit 

“AES and energy conductors need confidence in the continuity and viability of the all-Ireland electricity market after Brexit.

“Given that the competition is in December, there is a fear that the process of further integrating the all-Ireland market will be stalled.

“If that competition is stalled, then from May 2018 onwards the north will face a huge energy crisis.

“Security of supply and price are the two priorities of the department. 

The 26 counties aren't worried about this as their conductors are either state or semi-state and won't have to enter a competition to secure supply.

“East – West isn't an option as current interconnectors are very low capacity and the infrastructure development necessary would be immense and costs would be extremely prohibitive.

“The fear is that existing private energy conductors will be mischievous and take advantage of ambiguity, ignore the competition leading to "catastrophically high prices" for consumers in the north.

“If this is to be a success, then the north would need to maintain high EU standards of energy regulation and the ECJ would need to be the de jure provider of legal cover.

“I have asked the civil service at home an immediate paper on this.” 

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