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Grid extension in breach of convention

Recently, on Prime Time, former Energy Minister, Eamonn Ryan, said the proposed grid extensions arose from the need to connect renewable energy — which in Ireland means wind generation — to consuming areas, including the UK.

Why else would a massive, high-tension grid extend to rural Mayo? The wind-generators require invasive pylons to be erected. The subsidies for the construction of the wind generators are provided in Renewable Energy Feed In Tariffs (REFIT), which are available on foot of Ireland’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP). Ireland’s NREAP was enacted in breach of an international treaty, the Aarhus Convention.

The Aarhus Convention compliance committee ruled that the NREAP was in breach because it was enacted without the public having access to the relevant environmental information, because there was no public participation, and because there had not been an any environmental analysis demonstrating that the benefits were commensurate with the cost and damage.

As the pylons are a consequence of the wind generators, the public should have been provided with the information on plans to extend the grid, and been able to participate in the decision — thus the grid extension plans breach the Aarhus convention.

David Whitehead


Co Galway


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