The Government is working legislation through the Oireachtas to provide emergency electricity generation for Dublin in the event of a supply shortage.

The Department of the Environment said amendments to the Planning & Development Act have been approved, "which are currently being considered by the Oireachtas, to ensure temporary generation could be permitted in a timely manner if required".

It also warned that electricity generation capacity "compared to demand is reducing due to decreased levels of availability of some power stations, high-emission power stations closing, a limited amount of replacement dispatchable generation capacity being constructed and growing electricity demand".

It is understood that the ESB plans to install temporary generators on a brownfield site at North Wall in Dublin.

The move to ensure a back-up temporary electricity supply comes as two key gas-fired power stations in Dublin and Cork are out of operation and are not due to be back online until the October or November.

EirGrid, which operates the national electricity grid, said that "simultaneous outages of two large generators increase the risk of tight margins this winter, if these do not return as planned by November".

It added that it is working with the Department of the Environment and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities "to proactively explore a variety of options, including potential temporary generation and other measures, to mitigate any issues and manage the demand and supply balance in order to maintain system security".

The Department of the Environment chairs a group that includes the Commission for Regulation of Utilities and EirGrid, which is monitoring progress on actions being taken to ensure secure supplies of electricity.

These actions include increasing the availability of existing generators, the development of new generation capacity, including for the coming winter, and changes to the grid connection of data centres.

The Government is currently carrying out a review of the security of energy supply in Ireland up to 2030, with a technical analysis expected to be published and the public consultation undertaken later this year.