Eamon Ryan expects energy prices to fall significantly in first half of 2024

Green Party leader says while prices won’t return to the lowest levels, they would not be ‘at the exceptional prices of the last two years’

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said he expects energy prices to fall quite significantly in the first half of 2024.

Mr Ryan, who is also the Minister for Energy, said prices were unlikely to return to the low prices they were for a decade but that they would be much lower than the spikes experienced over the past two years.

He said that the forward price for gas sourced from the UK for the next month was 81 pence Sterling per unit, known as a therm, which is substantially lower that is has been for the past two years where it has wavered between 100p a therm and 140p a therm.

“It is still above the historical average which is 50p a therm. But it’s on the way down. Interconnection is killing gas on the UK market. All the interconnection coming from Danish wind, Norwegian hydro and French nuclear is going to keep driving that price down,” he said.


“So my expectation for householders is we are going to see prices fall quite significantly in the first half of the year.”

Mr Ryan said the wholesale price for energy had also fallen. He said it was €68 per megawatt hour at present which is considerably down. He said that Ireland has had a very windy winter and wind power will force the price down on the wholesale market and will also drive the retail price down next year.

He said that while prices wil not return to the lowest levels, they would not be “at the exceptional prices of the last two years”.

Speaking at a round-table interview with the media, Mr Ryan pointed out thee were considerable capital costs involved in transitioning to a new system of energy delivery. “We have to build a new grid. We have to build new interconnectors. We are building a new interconnector with the UK at the moment. We are building one with France.

“They bring huge benefits but you do have to pay up front, it’s a capital investment in advance.”

He also said the State had to invest in new electric vehicle charging points.

He said that renewable energy backed up by battery storage and interconnection would run the Irish energy system in the future.

“You can’t promise it will be a low cost but it will be a hell of a lot lower than the fossil fuel alternative,” he said.

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Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times