Dairy Industry Ireland (DII) is closely monitoring but “not overly worried” about the prospect of power outages this winter, DII director Conor Mulvihill has said.

The prospect of power outages has come into focus after it was announced this week that emergency plans to bring in power generators to cope with electricity demand were cancelled.

Mulvihill said that almost all of the dairy processing sites currently run off their own supply the majority of which is natural gas, growing as the grid extends, and a number on oil, which are not on the grid.

“We actually are continually looking at ways to both decarbonise and lower energy consumption, so you will be aware of projects such as Project Clover which is looking at the feasibility of biomethane to power processing.

“Like any industry, any impact on electricity capacity is a concern, but seasonality [of milk processing] and current energy configuration means that it is something we are monitoring closely but not overly worried about yet.

“But it might be something that may become critical in the future as we look at electrification options in processing as the technologies develop and we look to decarbonise Irish dairy and specialised nutrition processing,” he said.