Wednesday 13 December 2017

Kenny: People will not be prepared to pay higher electricity bills for underground power lines

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that people will not be prepared to pay higher electricity bills to put controversial power lines underground rather than overground.

He said that a study had stated it would be three times more expensive to put them underground rather than overground.

And he said that modern power lines were part of the infrastructure that was needed to create jobs around the country.

"We can't leave our country bereft of infrastructure. We need power to attract investment," he said.

At Leader's Questions in the Dail, he rejected a call from Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin for an independent international assessment of the cost of putting pylons underground. He said this study had already been carried out on the Meath-Tyrone power line.

But Mr Martin said that there had been no comprehensive consultation with the public on power lines. He said that Transport Minister Leo Varadkar had endorsed the concerns of Failte Ireland about the potential risks to scenic landscapes and cultural heritage from overhead power lines.

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