Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications

EU Energy Policy: European Commission

12:35 pm

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the witnesses for the presentations. It is logical to set targets. Renewable energy is self-explanatory and although fossil fuels will not disappear in this or the next generation, I would like to think we can plan for the future. It was indicated that it is no longer proposed to set member state targets but if something is not mandatory, people may not put in the same effort. Are there any provisions in place if member states do not commit fully to this process? What if everybody decides not to bother?

The Chairman mentioned wind turbines and pylons. Unlike Deputy Colreavy, there are no proposals for fracking in my area but there is a proposal for 400 kV lines and wind turbines two to three times as high as any we have yet seen in the country. Many members of the public are against this but what is the European opinion on this? The figure was mentioned of €1 billion per day spent on energy imports. Does that relate mainly to renewable or non-renewable energy? If Ireland is to reach the 2020 targets, will we see much of a saving in that cost? Will the money to be spent on infrastructure cancel out such savings in the long run?


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