A major row has erupted this evening, with the country's grid operator describing the system to bring new generation onto the grid as "not fit for purpose".

In a robust criticism of the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Eirgrid has detailed how - since 2018 - some 650 megawatts of new power generation capacity has "withdrawn and has failed to deliver capacity to the electricity grid".

The grid operator goes on to state that it had "highlighted to the CRU the failure of the market mechanism to deliver" and had asked the regulator "to urgently amend the mechanism to ensure security of supply".

Eirgrid was responding to the publication of a review carried out by consultants EY on behalf of the regulator into the system, known as the Capacity Remuneration Mechanism.

In a statement, the grid operator said it had initially co-operated with the EY review, but had withdrawn that cooperation due to what it described as "fundamental aspects of the report with which we disagree".

"If we cannot successfully procure and, more critically, deliver on the procurement of conventional generation we cannot support social and economic growth, ensure the security of our electricity supply or secure the very necessary transition to renewable energy in line with the Government’s Climate Action Plan," it continued.

Eirgrid will now consider the EY report and respond further "in due course".

Another review headed by former government Secretary General Dermot McCarthy is ongoing, and Eirgrid said it will not publish a report which it has compiled while that process is in train.

In a statement this evening, the CRU said it had noted Eirgrid's comments and "...will take them on board in the context of the consultation."

The regulator also said that it has begun to implement some of the recommendations of the EY report.