Massive pylon upgrade project 'could be avoided' - report
Converting Ireland's largest power station from coal to biomass could see the country meet its target for renewables and avoid the need for a massive pylon upgrade project, it has been claimed.
A review of energy needs for opponents of EirGrid's Grid25 electricity transmission scheme claims Moneypoint in Co Clare should be switched to greener sources to reduce reliance on new windfarms.
Consultants Dr Anthony White and Malcolm Brown of BW Energy said the conversion could be done for €380 million - a tenth of the cost of new high voltage pylon routes around the country between now and 2025.
The experts said Moneypoint's 915 megawatt generation capacity could be converted gradually from coal to biomass bringing an additional 25pc of renewable energy onto the Irish power system.
On top of the 19.6pc green energy created in 2012 Ireland would meet its 40pc target for electricity from renewable sources by 2020, the report said.
ReThink Pylons, a group opposed to Grid25, said the reliance on new wind farms and the Government's focus on onshore turbines linked to the grid by high voltage lines and pylons must be reviewed.
Spokesman for the group Paddy Massey said: "Today's report makes it clear that wind is not the only way and the envisaged pylon blight is not a necessity. Technology has moved on.
"This report is a positive contribution to the debate which demands proper investigation by the Government."