The move to block Russian oil could come in days, says Eamon Ryan

MEASURES to reduce oil purchases from Russia could be agreed at an emergency meeting of EU energy ministers next Monday, Minister Eamon Ryan said.

It comes after Russia cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria for not paying for it in rubles.

Mr Ryan said reducing gas purchases was extremely difficult.

“If you turn off the gas, a lot of industrial applications will be jeopardized,” he said.

“I assume one of the things we could take away from the meeting is the restrictions on oil.”

The government has set up an Energy Security Emergency Response Group to monitor the situation.

Officials are also preparing plans for fuel rationing should the need arise.

The fuel sector and the government have downplayed the risk of rationing, but Mr Ryan said the move to replace oil and gas with renewable energy needs to be accelerated.

“It is the peace project of our time – the way to respond to ransom demands, blackmail and the use of fossils as a geopolitical weapon.”

He spoke as he conducted the official commissioning of the country’s first solar farm.

Located in Milltown near Ashford, Co. Wicklow, the 150-acre farm feeds electricity into the national grid and provides enough electricity for 3,600 homes.

Developed by French company Neoen, the park, with a generation capacity of 8 to 15 megawatts (MW), is the first of dozens planned or under construction across the country.

It is part of a national strategy to generate 2,500 MW of electricity from solar energy by 2030.

The turn-on comes at the end of a tumultuous week for Mr Ryan, who has been embroiled in a bitter row over attempts to restrict turf sales as part of broader moves to end the use of smoky fuels.

The minister, who is to draft compromise rules, said there had been a lot of “terrifying people and misinformation” during the week.

“But I think the debate was useful in clarifying the issues and making it clear that we’re not trying to get at households or leave anyone with a cold home.

“It’s not a divisive political issue in terms of goal setting. The split occurs when it comes to political action.

“I think we all want to get to the same place and that consensus is very important.” The move to block Russian oil could come in days, says Eamon Ryan

Fry Electronics Team

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