Dáil debates

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

8:00 pm

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South, Green Party)

That is all very well but if we want to create jobs, we also need an AC transmission line in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal. There is an increasing correlation between a good electricity system and good employment. It is not only a matter of tapping into resources but also bringing jobs to the counties in question. For this reason, we must ensure a transmission system is built as quickly as possible.

I concur with Deputy Doyle that the Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security has done good work on electric vehicles. The reality is that by dint of the agreements we have made with car companies from around the world, the work being done by the ESB and the support given by the Government, we are now placed to be one of the first countries to roll out a national EV network and get many of the economic benefits that come from that.

There has also been an increase in investment in information and communications technology and energy efficiency. The IBM smart grid centre is coming here rather than elsewhere, and that is real and is happening. The bio-fuels obligation system is fitting within the European system, and this shows we are doing it.

We should be openly critical of each other. I picked up the "NewERA" document and while I agree with Deputy Coveney's aspiration of where we need to go, I fundamentally disagree with the document's approach. I do not agree that we will improve our energy security by selling the ESB and Bord Gáis. If anything, I have seen the benefits that accrue from having certain control.

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