Energy security and affordability a key challenge for business
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has said that while Ireland is not as acutely exposed to gas rationing as some of our European counterparts, energy security and affordability is rapidly emerging as a key major challenge for industries.
The call comes as the European Commission this week announced a proposed voluntary target for EU countries to cut their gas use by 15% until March 2023. However, such a target could be made mandatory in the event of Russia cutting off gas supplies to Europe or if the voluntary target is not met.
Ibec said that its members recognise and support the need to show solidarity with EU Member States that are most exposed, and the need for all sectors including industry to play their part and conserve energy where they can.
Ibec Senior Executive of Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Policy, Conor Minogue said: “Energy security and affordability is a major challenge for industry, particularly looking ahead to winter 2022/’23.
“For Europe, the risk of rationing is significant. In Ireland, while we are not without risk, we are less exposed as a result of the diverse supply of gas we import through the UK, coupled with our own Corrib supply, and emergency cooperation agreements and planning between Ireland and the UK.
“The real issue for businesses this winter will be affordability. Prices are going to continue to increase, especially if Russian gas supply drops, which could lead to self-rationing, operational, and liquidity issues.
“Over recent months, Ibec has been lobbying and engaging with Government on the need for a grant support scheme to help businesses through this challenging period. Other EU countries are already doing this. We need to follow suit as soon as possible to protect our enterprise base and our capacity to compete internationally. While we understand Government is developing such a scheme, it must be delivered in a timely manner and help the businesses that require it the most.”