Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Electricity Development.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether, in view of the constant shortage of electricity output, he will request the Electricity Supply Board to revise their development programme so as to ensure that the output of electricity will be adequate to meet the continually increasing demand for current and whether he will inform the Dáil of the steps it is proposed to take to overtake the continually mounting demand for current.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he will request Bord na Móna and the Electricity Supply Board jointly to prepare plans for the construction of turfburning generating stations, in addition to those that have been decided upon, and to make every effort to speed up the implementation of existing schemes for the production of electricity from turf.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 and 7 together.

On the 26th June, 1951, I discussed with the Electricity Supply Board the urgent need for the preparation of plans in consultation with Bord na Móna for the construction of additional turf-fired generating stations and the necessity to push forward with all possible speed, the completion of the schemes at Allenwood and Ferbane which have already been approved. I have also asked the board to prepare immediately for submission to me a programme for increased generating capacity based on water power. The general programme of the board for increasing the generating capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand has been examined and I am in communication with the board on the subject. I will take an early opportunity to make a statement on the matter.

I think the Minister agrees that, generally speaking, the output of electricity has fallen below requirements?

The existing generating capacity of the board is well below requirements.

Would the Minister consider the suitability of harnessing the River Moy in County Mayo?

I have asked the board to prepare plans for the utilisation of water power.

Does the Minister consider that the Electricity Supply Board itself is the most competent and best technically-equipped body to carry out a proper and complete study in this connection? Would the Minister not think it advisable to have an independent body?

I should prefer to have notice of that question.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is prepared to urge the Electricity Supply Board to proceed as rapidly as possible with the development of the Clauddy River scheme in County Donegal and the erection of a hydro-electric generating station there.

The Electricity Supply Board has had under examination since 1944 the question of erecting a hydro-electric generating station on the River Clauddy. This station is not, however, in the board's present programme.

The position now is that a period of from ten months to 16 months would probably be required to finish the necessary surveys on the site and a further 12 months to prepare final drawings.

The whole question of the board's present and future generation programme is at present under examination.