Fianna Fáil TD in Laois/Offaly Barry Cowen.

Offaly TD meets EU Commissioner on electricity market concerns

Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen and MEP for Ireland South, Billy Kelleher today met with the European Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson to outline their serious concerns about the functioning of the wholesale energy market in Ireland.

Speaking after the meeting in Strasbourg, France, Deputy Cowen said, “During our meeting, we outlined the serious concerns we have about the market and how its dysfunctionality will impede Ireland’s ability to meet its renewable energy targets.

“The dominant electricity provider in the country, ESB, has an effective monopoly in the wholesale sector. Their actions as a company have, I believe, the ability to artificially keep electricity prices high and shut out other renewable electricity suppliers in the country.

“The Commissioner understood the Irish market very well and listened to our concerns. The official complaints process has been commenced from an energy point of view through the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

Commenting on the meeting, Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher added, “Ireland’s ability to meet its future renewables targets is being jeopardised. We need a full, independent investigation at national and EU level.

“As well as engaging with the Energy Commissioner, we will also be seeking to meet with the Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager. There can be no toleration of anti-competitive practices in a sector that affects citizens so much. Hard-pressed families cannot afford to keep paying artificially high electricity prices to maintain ESB’s profit margins,” concluded Kelleher