Tackling the ongoing energy crisis requires a ‘whole-of-government’ response, which threatens some sectors and could lead to business closures and job losses, according to business group Ibec
Fergal O’Brien, the group’s head of lobbying and influence, told RTÉ Radio’s News at One that rising energy costs are a real threat to some businesses, such as engineering and manufacturing building materials. He said it would be a challenge.
Some companies are looking at energy bills that have increased by a factor of four or five, he said, which is a significant cost, billing tens of thousands of euros for small businesses and tens of millions of euros for large companies. He added that the amount could increase.
“Governments will need to intervene in companies vulnerable to the energy crisis,” O’Brien warned.
He added that other countries have had more state support and that Irish companies are already looking to “scale back” their energy use.
Mr O’Brien said higher energy tariffs were not the solution and warned that they would make the situation “much worse”.
This is a supply and generation challenge, he explained, adding that early investment in backup plans was necessary. He said it had long been known that such measures would be necessary, but no action had taken place.
O’Brien said spending extra money on small businesses isn’t a viable option, saying rising energy costs could mean some firms have to cut production. I warned you.
The government needs to address issues with long-term and short-term planning, particularly in the area of energy storage, he said, as this is something Ireland has yet to implement.