Ireland is "the least prepared for a gas crisis this winter" of the countries on the European gas grid, according to former managing director of ESB International Don Moore.

Mr Moore, who is also chair of the Energy and Climate Action Committee of Irish Academy of Engineering, warned that there is a crisis in electricity generation.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said that other countries in Europe are "busily filling their gas storage" during the summer to "even out the peak demand in the winter".

Mr Moore said that there was an opportunity to do the same in Ireland, adding that when the Kinsale gas field was depleted, it could have been used as a store.

This could have been done by pumping gas into it during the summer, when demand is low and prices are lower, he said.

"We decided not to exercise that option," he said.

"Ireland, the country at the end of the European gas grid, is the least prepared for a gas crisis this winter."

When asked if Ireland is taking the right steps to be prepared as winter approaches, Mr Moore said that this is "not a new situation".

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"I would say there's been a failure in system planning. There's always been growth in demand for electricity and the population has grown as well. It's now over 5 million people," he said.

"Power generation is not something you can conjure up in a number of months. It takes a number of years, and this could have been anticipated and it obviously wasn't, so we have a short-term problem."

He added: "But there is a bigger crisis and it's about electricity generation in the widest possible sense. We are dependent largely on gas fired generation in Ireland and the crisis this winter, I would say, is more likely to be driven by a shortage of gas.

"We're importing over 70% of our gas from the UK or through the UK and for some reason, again, this is a failure in planning, we have no gas storage in Ireland."

His comments come as an EU plan to cut gas consumption across the bloc by 15% comes into effect tomorrow.

The move was passed to cope with an energy price crisis spurred by Russia's war in Ukraine.

The EU regulation enshrining the plan agreed two weeks ago by the 27-nation bloc was published in the European Union's official administrative gazette, with the stipulation it would take force from tomorrow.

Meanwhile, CEO of Fuels for Ireland Kevin McPartlan said there is no intention to sue the Government over its climate action plans.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Philip Boucher-Hayes, Mr McPartlan said there is a real need to reduce the energy consumed in the transport sector and there is also a need to reduce emissions "but what isn't fair is to expect oil consumers to pay the bill for the Government failing to meet its obligations".

He said that if the goal is to reduce energy consumption from transport, this can be done by increasing reliable, safe public transport and make it available more broadly.