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Seanad: Transport Matters: Statements (4 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: What about the road-----

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (3 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: I fully support the call by my colleague, Senator Paddy Burke, for a debate on the strategy for our railway services. It is timely that we would have that debate now. As Senator Lombard pointed out, last week we launched our climate action report after seven months of hearing witnesses and deliberations. It will chart our way forward to decarbonise our economy. A key issue in that is...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (3 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Hear, hear.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Are copies of the presentation available?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: I have not had the benefit of hearing everything our guests have said because I was required for a vote in the Seanad. Another vote has just been called. Are they stating that, because the wet matter comes in and is dried and will be fed back in to generate electricity, this is an issue for the commission and that was not the position previously?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Mr. Mulvey is saying that the previous proposition was that they were importing dried biomass and the necessary moisture had been taken out. Is he stating that was the format in which it was coming in? It was not going to be dried in the-----

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Is Mr. Melvin saying that, by virtue of the model or proposition that is now before the commission, this is going to cost the Exchequer more or is he saying that the applicant is basically burning a more valuable resource? I assume the applicant will get a certain amount per megawatt up to the level that the commission gives certification for, which is 45 MW. Surely the duty and need is on...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Mayo Renewable Limited is going to contract with somebody to use this heat and will make wood chip out of this, etc. The issue is that it is going to feed back, not into the drier but-----

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: My next question follows on from what Ms MacEvilly has said, if Deputy Bríd Smith would allow me to continue.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Before I left the room, somebody made the point that in recent years since the original decision, the CRU has learned lessons. What exactly has been learned, and what comparable projects are there? Are there other large-scale combustion operations? It is my understanding that there are a number of countries where there are similar types of system but they are certified at 100%. I refer to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: It is quite bizarre that when we have renewable heat and electricity targets, on which we have been told we will fall short and for which we face fines, the CRU is concerned about what it costs the company. The CRU stated it will not pay the company any more per megawatt, but it is concerned about the cost for the company of the raw material or the biomass that it uses. The CRU is not...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Is it not a luxury for the CRU to learn after MRL has spent €100 million? Notwithstanding what the CRU has stated, that is the reality. There is the economic reality and the national reality of our targets, which brings me to my final question. I acknowledge that the witnesses have shown forbearance and I thank Deputy Bríd Smith. Was the CRU's judgment affected by the...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: In what ways?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Did the commission take legal advice before it made this decision?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Considering it could be argued that the developer had a legitimate expectation and spent quite a considerable amount of private moneys, was legal advice sought on abuse of process, property rights and other issues and if the commission could be exposing the State to a law suit?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Can Ms MacEvilly give me the dates for that?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Ms MacEvilly is not referring to drier efficiency. She is stating that it goes back to what is being fed into the CHP plant. Going back to the 2012 certification, the plant had been almost half built. Approximately €100 million had been spent and, on foot of a financial hiccup, the company involved went into liquidation. I assume that the witnesses is aware that the EPA, ESB...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: We rely on the private sector because that is how we have progressed our energy market. We have private generators and we do not want to have a dominant supplier, as was the case with the ESB. We have moved away from that in the retail and wholesale markets and apparently that is progress. However, as has been stated, some degree of certainty is needed if we are to attract private...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Then the CRU did know.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Energy Plant Certification: Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (2 Apr 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: I had asked about the renewable heat incentive scheme, which is proposed but has not come into being. If that created more demand for heat from a facility like this one, is Mr. Melvin saying that the State would subsidise not only that, but also the generation? Is that how it will work out? If there is suddenly an increase in the market for woodchips and a facility does not use its 70% by...

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