Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (156)

John Halligan

Question:

156. Deputy John Halligan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the input his Department has had in the choosing of the areas where EirGrid are currently proposing to erect pylons within Ireland; if other options were considered, that is underground lines or lines at sea; the agreements that have been made between his Department and EirGrid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45475/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

While several of the issues raised in the Question are matters for Eirgrid, and not ones in which I, as Minister, have any role or function, I will respond to the issues that fall within the ambit of my Department and Government policy in this area.

Neither the Government nor I seek to direct the energy infrastructure developers to particular sites or routes or technologies as was made clear in the July 2012 Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure. That statement emphasises that these are matters for the developers and for the forward planning process through regional and local development plans and at project level through the development management process. In this context, energy infrastructure developers are encouraged to work with the forward planning processes at regional and local levels to set clear contexts for assessment of individual applications for planning consent and to facilitate as wide a degree of consensus as possible regarding how and where to meet grid development needs.

The Government, as detailed in the July 2012 Policy Statement, expects the companies in making their choices of project specific technologies and routing, as well as mitigation measures, to take account of all relevant national and international standards, to follow best practice and ensure value for money and be informed by detailed consultation at local level.