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Minister is very condescending

Energy Minster Pat Rabbitte’s defence of Eirgrid’s plans to upgrade the grid has become strident.

He is condescending to people who question the rationale behind Grid25, and condescending to the community groups calling for underground cabling. Most people would not question the need to upgrade infrastructure. But the debate is who stands to benefit from this project and whether the costs, both economic and human, are necessary or justifiable.

Minister Rabbitte repeatedly says the Grid25 project has nothing to do with large-scale windfarm developments and that people who are against the siting of pylons and high-voltage, overhead transmissions lines are conflating the two.

Minister Rabbitte would do well to read the Eirgrid’s Grid25 Stage 1 report, which contradicts his conclusions.

Two of the four reasons for the project are due in part to the needs of privately owned windfarms: “Maximising Ireland’s natural renewable sources of energy (eg wind, wave and tidal); and reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions by transmitting renewable energy. A key driver is the need to provide access for renewable generation up to the levels required to meet Ireland’s renewable target of 40%” (Section 1.4).

Further, Eirgrid also say in the report, under the section (2.2) entitled “The need for the Grid Link Project”, that one of the three key drivers (their words) includes: 3. The facilitation of possible future interconnections with either Great Britain or France.

Perhaps the biggest blow to Minister Rabbitte’s plans has been the EU’s move to drop the mandatory renewable targets for countries after 2020.

Where does this leave the Government’s ridiculous devotion to targets that will likely leave much of our beautiful countryside scarred by mega windfarms and pylons? A new property bubble? I hope, and believe, that the will of the people, and the destruction of our natural heritage, which we hold in trust for future generations, are not worth any price.

Allan Mee

Kilmallock

Co Limerick


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