‘We are living in extraordinary times’ – EirGrid chief

EirGrid CEO Mark Foley has indicated that Ireland is currently witnessing one of the greatest climate change movements of this century and, that, what has happened here over the past six months is “simply extraordinary”.

Foley was speaking this morning, Thursday, May 16, during his address to the Irish Wind Farmers’ Association’s (IWFA’s) annual workshop which is taking place in Killenard, Co. Laois today.

He said that much of the refocus on climate change was down to the work of the Citizens’ Assembly; Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change; and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar whom, the CEO added, “had the courage to describe Ireland as the laggards in Europe”.

Meanwhile, during his address, EirGrid’s chief described Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton as “a man with a vision; a man who wants to take action”.

It is an extraordinary change from where we were 12 months ago and we may be witnessing one of the greatest movements of this century.

He continued: “We are in extraordinary times. The Government really gets it and seems to be up for creating the right vision and the right policy content.”

Foley went on to say that while domestically the Government is now focused on securing 70% of all electricity from renewables by 2030 “nowhere else is doing that in the world”.

Nobody else has that ambition. This will be a world-leading ambition and this is what we need to see from our politicians.

He continued: “For wind to continue to play its part in reducing carbon emissions, collaboration is critical and we have to make communities part of the energy transformation in a way we have never done before.

“We have to make them want the wind solution. We need to show them they are collaborating with us. That is arguably the largest challenge as we look to the future.”