'Industry can play a key role in tackling Ireland’s energy crisis,' says Cork entrepreneur

'Industry can play a key role in tackling Ireland’s energy crisis,' says Cork entrepreneur

Clonakilty native Norman Crowley was responding to news that the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has proposed a hike in energy charges between 5pm and 7pm in a bid to avoid blackouts.

CORK entrepreneur and chairman of CoolPlanet, a group of companies dedicated to decarbonising global industry, has said industry can play a key role in tackling Ireland’s energy crisis.

Clonakilty native Norman Crowley was responding to news that the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has proposed a hike in energy charges between 5pm and 7pm in a bid to avoid blackouts.

The energy regulator also told high energy businesses that it will introduce new tariffs designed to reduce demand and ensure the security of electricity supply.

“High electricity prices, energy use by data centres, and warnings of blackouts are dominating discussion around the energy crisis, but more of a focus needs to be on strategies for getting energy consumption down,” Mr Crowley said.

Energy efficiency, he said, is “the most powerful and quickest way to cut the energy consumption of buildings and industry” adding that an increase in efficiency will “reduce energy consumption and thus pressure on the National Grid”.

Mr Crowley said more companies need to participate in demand response programmes to alleviate pressure on the grid.

“The programmes financially incentivise companies and factories to reduce their electricity usage, by making use of on-site generators, battery storage or temporarily switching off certain machines and processes, but more need to sign up,” he explained.

The demand response scheme was set up to help provide Eirgrid with system capacity at times when the country’s energy demand outstrips supply, and the grid comes under pressure.

Large energy users such as data centres, factories and commercial buildings can participate in the scheme by agreeing to reduce energy use when the grid comes under pressure, by switching to on-site generators or battery storage or by temporarily switching off certain machines and processes.

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