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PMB: Fianna Fail: Motion re Electricity Infrastructure

Vote from 04/12/2013


The PMB motion was moved by Deputy Michael Moynihan on Tuesday, 03 December 2013. The motion was amended by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte and was agreed as amended 67:47


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Background information


The following motion was moved by Deputy Michael Moynihan on Tuesday, 03 December 2013:

That Dáil Éireann:

agrees that Ireland’s electricity infrastructure and transmission capability be modernised, as well as expanded, to allow for a clean, sustainable and affordable supply to the public and to support all future economic and societal development; accepts that Fáilte Ireland has raised concerns about erecting overhead pylons in certain areas, and there is considerable concern amongst the public about the lack of consultation, as well as health and visual concerns on the proposals being put forward by EirGrid, that involve high voltage lines to a height of 135 feet being erected in many regions throughout the country; and calls for an independent international assessment of the EirGrid proposals to take place, so that the health and visual concerns held by the public are fully addressed, the cost and placing underground of the transmission cables are fully examined and a report on these matters to be published by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.


To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:

      “acknowledges the Government’s commitment to retain the electricity transmission and distribution networks in public ownership as strategic infrastructure and to ensure they are developed and maintained in the national interest;

recognises that investment in the national grid is vital to ensuring a secure, reliable and safe supply of electricity and is critical to economic recovery;

supports a grid investment strategy that reduces our dependence on imported fossil fuels, helps us create less carbon waste and enables us to reach our 40 per cent renewables targets by 2020;

recognises legitimate concerns about the impact of new transmission lines and other infrastructure on the landscape, the environment and on local communities;

notes the request of the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications to extend the period of public consultation;

confirms, as set out in the Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure of the 17th July, 2012, that EirGrid must take account of all relevant national and international standards and follow best practice and that, in particular, grid development must:

        - be taken forward on the basis of the best available knowledge and informed consultation and engagement on the impacts and costs of different engineering solutions;

        - comply with every applicable national and international standard – on health,environment, biodiversity, landscape and safety;

        - be based on the best available advice and expertise and must address and mitigate any human, environmental or landscape impact; and

          - be delivered in the most cost efficient and timely way possible;

welcomes the decision to extend the current public consultation to the 7th January, 2014 and, acknowledging that the consultation should proceed without disruption, notes that the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will, after that date, respond on behalf of the Government to the issues raised;

      calls on EirGrid:

        - to fully engage with potentially affected communities
        - to examine impartially the case for all achievable engineering solutions;
        - to undertake and communicate a well-informed, objective and authoritative analysis, impact assessment and pre-planning consultation; 
      - to build community gain considerations into its project budgeting and planning; and

    encourages the public to participate fully in the consultation process.”

- (Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy Pat Rabbitte).


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