IT wasn't a sporting event, political moment or even the final episode of 'Love/Hate' that made us all down tools and stop using the vast bulk of our electrical appliances last year.
The election of Pope Francis as head of the world's 1.2 billion
Catholics on March 13 generated the biggest drop in electricity demand
recorded in 2013.
Meanwhile, the national grid operator reported
that a record amount of Ireland's electricity need was generated by wind
turbines in the blustery weather before Christmas.
such was the interest in the election of the Catholic church's 266th
pontiff last March that enough power for 90,000 homes dropped off the
In all, demand for power fell by 142MW (megawatts), 3pc of total demand at the time, an EirGrid spokesman said.
reduction began at 6.07pm, Irish time, when white smoke appeared above
the Vatican indicating a new pope had been chosen. With the news
broadcast around the world on radio, television and on internet sites,
people began flocking to their TVs.
Just over an hour later at
7.12pm, as electricity demand plummeted across the country, Cardinal
Protodeacon Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran appeared on the balcony of St
Peter's Square to announce that the little-known Jorge Mario Bergoglio
of Buenos Aires would become the first ever Jesuit pope.