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EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: The best way to reduce our emissions is not to allow them to grow in the first place. There should have been some demand management when it came to this growth. The CRU published its security of supply information note on 29 September last year. It states that "450MW of emergency generation would represent an increase in the Transmission System Operator tariffs and electricity transmission...

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: That is a separate one?

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: No. That was for 200 MW. This one states that 400 MW in additional temporary emergency generation should be sought to address the remainder of this gap. This was last September. It states that the 200 MW had already been procured, that an additional 450 MW would need to be procured and that the cost of that would be €40.

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: Will the Minister clarify that? He did say it was around last September that he began negotiations with the CRU on the shortfall. Coincidentally, the shortfall specified in this document is 450 MW, so it seems coincidental that we are discussing a shortfall of 450 MW for this Bill and that the CRU had mentioned a shortfall of 450 MW. If that 450 MW resulted in a €40 increase, one...

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: I ask that the Minister seek clarity on this because it does say here it was to deal with the generation gap for winter 2023-24, which is what we are discussing at the moment. The one question, therefore, is whether the 450 MW and the €40 relates to this Bill. If not, then there was another 450 MW procured that resulted in a €40 that is additional to this. These questions are...

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: Why?

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: It is costing families. The €40 charge is for the 450 MW. This is not the cost that will go on to people's bills because of the €7 or €8 billion that will be required in grid infrastructure so that data centres can access electricity. We are relying on the fact that we will have all this renewable energy, therefore, it does not matter where that energy is used....

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: I cannot find the detail now but the CRU has stated that the 400 MW will result in a €40 domestic charge. I will find that specific reference and relay it to the Minister. The Minister stated it is true that large companies will wish to have their data centres close to where they have a density of staff located. It is also true that data centres see us as a soft touch and have...

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: I, too, speak in support of this amendment. The Social Democrats had an amendment on data centres as well but, unfortunately, it was ruled out of order. The key thing, however, is the principle of the amendment and I hope the Minister will take on board these discussions. I was disappointed in the Chairman of the committee and his comments yesterday because a brief Google search or a review...

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: On that point on the €40, I asked the Minister of State yesterday and it would appear the CRU has also undertaken to procure an additional 200 MW, which it has already done. Two questions arise. Will that 200 MW equate to approximately €20 on each domestic bill as well? How was that 200 MW procured in the absence of this legislation?

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (29 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: I would also like to have that information. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities, CRU, has estimated that as a result of the measure of providing 450 MW of energy, the actual cost on domestic bills will be €40 per bill. Yesterday in the Chamber I asked the Minister to indicate whether that 450 MW was the total of what will be supplied. What is the potential full cost that...

EirGrid, Electricity and Turf (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: We have a very long two and a half years ahead if we must continue to face this Punch and Judy show between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin. There is an issue in regard to pre-legislative scrutiny and the processes behind it in respect of this Bill. It is not acceptable that most of us are standing up with questions for the Minister of State rather than being able to debate from a position of...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: The Joint Committee on International Surrogacy is due to complete its work over the coming weeks. I have been contacted by a number of concerned families, including some in my constituency, who are worried about recent comments by the Minister for Health in which he stated that it was agreed there would be amendments to the Health (Assisted Human Reproduction) Bill 2022 ready to go within 12...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: The Minister said he would bring forward amendments. Obviously, the committee cannot draw up amendments.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: That was not specified by the Minister.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: I thank the Taoiseach.

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Climate Action Plan (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: 161. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when he plans to issue directions and further information to local authorities regarding their preparation of a Climate Action Plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34360/22]

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Driver Licences (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: 208. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will take steps regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34423/22]

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Local Authorities (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: 280. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government when he will confirm that Wicklow County Council has been successful in getting funding for a biodiversity officer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34359/22]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Schools Building Projects (28 Jun 2022)

Jennifer Whitmore: 627. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when the additional temporary school building will be available for use by a school (details supplied);; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34357/22]

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