Government will do everything ‘to keep the lights on’ this winter, says Ryan

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said the government would do everything possible “to keep the lights on” this winter.

The first priority is to help people pay their energy bills, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

Mr Ryan was speaking ahead of a meeting of EU energy ministers where proposals will be made to forge a united response to rising energy costs following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Green Party leader said he believed there would be agreement on three proposals – the first of which is to take ‘some’ of excess profits from energy suppliers and ‘recycle’ that money to help households to pay their energy bills.

The second proposal is that a portion of the “unearned” profits from gas markets should be used to help households through a cap on international gas sales and the third proposal is to reduce peak demand.

Asked about the possibility of a price cap similar to that proposed in Britain, Mr Ryan stressed that ultimately ‘someone’ would have to pay for the cap, either through taxation or borrowing .


Risk of power outages ‘slightly worse’ than…

He said how the excess profits of energy companies were treated was important because they were due to the war. This profit was to be returned to households and businesses, he said.

On the lack of liquefied natural gas storage facilities in Ireland, Mr Ryan said the green approach was the best solution and any action must be in the interest of the Irish people, not just one developer .

The minister said he believed there would be storage and that Ireland would have energy security despite the narrow gap between supply and demand. It had been the same last year and the country had come out of it.

But he warned “we can’t guarantee anything”.

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