Thursday 14 December 2017

Cabinet cynicism means crucial energy upgrade will be left to next government

Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates

Cabinet cynicism plunged to new depths this week. The decision to establish an independent review panel to assess EirGrid's Grid25 pylon plan will result in sufficient deferrals to ensure no decisions are made until after the local/European elections in May and no rollout activity occurs on the ground before the spring general election of 2016. Enda Kenny's remarks about a stark choice between "pylons or emigration" have melted in the face of backbench heat.

Crass cuteness underpins the inevitable reality that no material change is likely to ultimately accrue other than would otherwise happen under normal planning/Bord Pleanala processes.

A reality price check, as of May 2013, from Eurostat's domestic electricity costs reveals Irish consumers pay €22.90 per100kWh – as against an EU average of €19.70 and a mere €17.90 in the UK and Northern Ireland. Ireland's power prices rose by 10pc last year, only surpassed in the EU by laggards Cyprus, Greece and Italy.

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