15 November 2019 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

As the national debate continues on ways of tackling the major problem of climate change, EirGrid is continuing to promote the development of wind energy as it seeks to develop an increasingly carbon- free electricity system over the next twenty years (see page 30). The government has also appointed a new Chairman to the semi-state company. Brendan Tuohy is a former senior civil servant who headed the Department responsible for energy policy.

He has recently been a non-executive director of an Irish company that installs wind turbines on the sites of large users and focuses on renewable energy. Meanwhile it was announced that two peat-burning power stations in the Midlands are to be closed by the ESB at the end of next year. The plants, which are located at Shannonbridge in west Offaly and Lanesboro on Lough Ree, currently burn two million tonnes of peat per year, supplied by Bord na Móna.

The Minister for Climate Action and the Environment Richard Bruton TD was among four government Ministers to visit the region on Monday. He said the government is determined to ensure alternative employment is provided for hundreds of people affected by the closure decision. Former Environment Minister and now Independent Deputy for Roscommon Galway Denis Naughten said the decision to close the plants would have a substantial impact on the local economy, with a very short window to try to put alternatives in place.

As Minister, Mr Naughten confirmed that Eir- Grid, through ESB Networks, had put out to tender the design, test and supply of over 400 pylons for the controversial North South interconnector. This was in the absence of planning permission for the project in Northern Ireland, which had been found to be unlawful because it had not been signed off by a local Minister owing to the collapse of the power-sharing administration nearly…

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