Haulers are demanding more support in the face of rising costs and possible fuel shortages

“Demand management” will be part of the government’s plan to avoid fuel shortages this winter, Transport Minister Hildegarde Naughton said.

We’re planning for all contingencies and we’re optimistic, but we also have a contingency plan for fuel shortages,” she told reporters in Killarney this weekend. “We don’t know what’s coming onto the tracks and every country is in the same position.”

She said the government is reviewing “our energy supply, energy sources, the cost of that and how we need to approach demand management from a domestic and commercial perspective” to prepare for the winter.

“No one says it’s going to be easy. What we have to ensure is, I assume, that we have the security of supply [that] the lights stay on and business can function.”

Her comments come as the EU considers capping generator revenue and urging governments to subsidize reduced energy use this winter.

Energy ministers, including Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, will hold an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday to discuss the plan.

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities – which sets the rules for Ireland’s energy and water markets – last month proposed charging an extra €100m in peak tariffs to reduce electricity demand. While the move focuses on the biggest consumers of electricity, such as data centers, it will affect smaller businesses and homes.

Gas generated the majority of Ireland’s electricity from January to July this year, according to SEAI, as weak winds hampered renewable energy. Coal-fired generation also increased.

Meanwhile, Eugene Drennan, head of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), warned of possible oil shortages later this year and into 2023 when the Chinese economy restarts after successive Covid-19 lockdowns.

“It’s going to create a lot of demand for oil again,” he told the IRHA annual general meeting in Killarney over the weekend. “And there’s no sign that next year will be any better.”

Ireland’s National Oil Reserves Agency is responsible for maintaining 90-day supplies of oil – mainly petrol, diesel, gasoil, kerosene and jet fuel – for emergency supplies in Ireland or other EU member states.

IRHA is asking for support to help haulers deal with rising energy costs, including an extension of temporary diesel excise tax cuts and fuel rebates, as well as subsidies to ease the transition to cleaner engines.

The group is also demanding upfront payments from the €1bn Brexit Adjustment Fund to deal with the rising cost of sending goods to Europe on direct ferries rather than via the UK land bridge.

Ms Naughton told hauliers this week that new agreements with Argentina, North Macedonia and for Ukrainian refugees with lorry licenses should come into force soon to alleviate driver shortages in the industry.

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/hauliers-call-for-greater-support-in-face-of-rising-costs-and-possible-fuel-shortages-41960752.html Haulers are demanding more support in the face of rising costs and possible fuel shortages

Fry Electronics Team

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