De­mand for en­ergy in prov­ince ‘to re­main sta­ble’

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY PAUL MELIA

DE­MAND for en­ergy in North­ern Ire­land is ex­pected to re­main sta­ble over the next nine years, ac­cord­ing to grid op­er­a­tor Eir­grid.

But Eir­grid, which also owns SONI, the grid op­er­a­tor in North­ern Ire­land SONI, warned that de­mand in the Repub­lic would rise by 57% in less than a decade as more data cen­tres come on stream.

The Ir­ish grid op­er­a­tor has warned that new power plants or re­new­able en­ergy projects will have to be in place no later than 2026, or there will not be suf­fi­cient gen­er­a­tion in place to meet na­tional de­mand.

It said while de­mand in North­ern Ire­land is ex­pected to re­main sta­ble out to 2027, it is fore­cast to “sig­nif­i­cantly” in­crease in the Repub­lic due to the ex­pected ex­pan­sion of large en­ergy users, which are pri­mar­ily data cen­tres operated by tech giants in­clud­ing Face­book, Google and Ama­zon.

Un­der a medium-de­mand sce­nario, by 2027 data cen­tres could ac­count for 31% of all elec­tric­ity de­mand. Eir­grid said un­der a low­growth sce­nario, new gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity will be needed by 2026.

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