Putting Power Lines Underground

0 Aufrufe
Direkt zur ersten ungelesenen Nachricht


30.12.2008, 11:32:0130.12.08
an omeg...@googlegroups.com
Am sending you along this recently published letter on the cross-border
powerlines controversy and pasted in a report of the large demonstration
that took place on this issue, earlier in 2008.

Minister Eamon Ryan (Green Party) is minister for Communications, Energy
and Natural Resources. ESB stands for [Irish] Electricity Supply Board.

Best, Imelda, Cork


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Putting power lines underground


- I was astonished at Minister Eamon Ryan's reported declaration that
independent consultants told him that proposed cross-Border underground
power lines were not technically feasible ( The Irish Times , December

I represented an appellant at an oral planning appeal in Cavan Town in
April 2008 in which applicant-developer ESB was represented by solicitor
and senior counsel and in which independent consultants and in-house
consultants were called to give oral and written evidence.

One independent consultant - whose credentials ran to two pages - was
called from New York to rebut arguments advanced by me concerning EMF
(electro-magnetic fields). A second independent consultant from Wales on
behalf of the ESB gave a slide- show presentation showing how power
lines can and are placed underground.

All nine witnesses who appeared on the ESB's behalf were questioned by
me and all acknowledged that
(a) it was technically feasible to place power lines underground and
(b) that all risks, whether real or imagined, concerning EMF would be
eliminated by placing power lines underground. An Bord Pleanála has a
full recorded transcript of the entire two days' oral evidence and a
full record of all written submissions in its offices on public file
ref. PL 02.224726.

It is my view that Minister Ryan is burying his head in the ground -
where instead he ought to be burying the power lines. -

Yours, etc,
Chartered Architect,
Convent Road,

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times


Protests pile pressure on Ryan

Sunday, February 03, 2008 -

Energy minister Eamon Ryan has found himself caught up in a bitter row,
as pressure grows to put pylons underground, writes Niamh Connolly,
Political Reporter.

A ‘blitz’ of ten underage teams organised by Meath County GAA will
gather today at an all-weather pitch in Dunganny to protest against
national grid operator, EirGrid’s high power electric lines in the region.

A growing campaign against the power lines and pylons running from the
Republic to the North was boosted last week when the Meath County Board
of the GAA joined a chorus of opinion pitted against the state company.

At least 19 clubs in county Meath have playing facilities directly under
one of the proposed pylon routes, according to the campaign group North
East Pylon Pressure.

Few politicians would risk crossing the all-powerful GAA. But
councillors across all parties on Meath County Council were pushing to
have the power lines put underground, even before the GAA joined the

The dispute has arisen because EirGrid must carry out a critical grid
reinforcement from the Republic to the North to shore up the country’s
transmission infrastructure for the all-island trading market, and to
allow more renewable energy onto the system.

Eamon Ryan, green energy minister, now finds himself in a tricky
position, caught up in an increasingly bitter row between EirGrid and
local communities who are concerned about the health and environmental
effects of electromagnetic fields.

There are just two high power lines from Moneypoint in the west to the
North East which were installed back in 1985 but this is all set to change.

The Green’s vision of more renewable energy will mean far more high
power lines spanning the west coast - where the bulk of wind farms will
be located - to the east coast to link up with a planned interconnector
between Ireland and Britain.

Ryan is pushing for an ambitious 42 per cent of the country’s
electricity to come from wind energy in the next 12 years and for this a
national upgrade is required. Plans for the North East could prove a
landmark test case that will set the terms of debate for how EirGrid
goes about its work.

The North East upgrade involves a 400 kV powerline running overhead for
58 kilometres from Woodland, Co Meath to Kingscourt in Cavan. A second
400 kV line which is 80 kilometres in length will run from Cavan to Tyrone.

The North East Pylon Pressure group points to the ‘Draper report’ in
Britain which found electromagnetic fields from high power lines was
associated with cancer and childhood leukaemia.

Radiation experts, such as Professor Denis Henshaw of Bristol
University, have linked these fields to birth defects and miscarriages
and believe the current World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, used
as a standard by grid companies throughout Europe, should be changed.

But the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of
the WHO, subsequently decided that Henshaw’s evidence was "inadequate".

EirGrid’s information meetings in Meath and Cavan have been tense and at
times acrimonious as farmers, teachers and householders insist that the
three route options advanced by EirGrid should be moved from populated
areas - and if possible, go underground.

But the cost of going underground in the North East would put the cost
up by between six and 10 times the current €180 million price tag,
according to EirGrid, which insists that the overhead lines are standard
in 97 per cent of cases all over Europe.

If forced to go underground, the national grid reinforcement would jump
from €650 million to €6 billion for the state energy companies, EirGrid
and ESB - with taxpayers and electricity consumers to pick up the bill.

"I’m not going to impose a €6 billion cost on the Irish taxpayer to end
up with a less reliable power system,” Dermot Byrne, EirGrid chief
executive told The Sunday Business Post this weekend.

He said his remit was to deliver a project that is "safe, reliable and
affordable”. Furthermore, industry strongly favours overhead cables that
can be fixed for faults in a matter of hours, compared to days for
underground cables.

"We know a potential €650 million is coming down the tracks in terms of
transmission development. Even if it were technically feasible to
develop all of that underground, the incremental cost would be in the
order of €6 billion and even then we have a far less reliable system,”
said Byrne.

"It is really important that what we do in this particular project does
not set a precedence for the future development of the grid that would
put us totally offside in relation to competitiveness.”

Byrne said hundreds of studies on high power lines were examined by WHO
which found no conclusive causative link with childhood leukaemia and
cancer. However, WHO advised regulatory bodies to take a precautionary
approach which EirGrid is adopting in the North East.

"WHO said the overwhelming body of evidence found no risk to human
health and no requirement to change the guidelines. W e are taking a
precautionary approach and are not seeking to go closer than 50metres
from any dwelling, in most cases we will be in excess of that,” said Byrne.

He said there was no evidence of any AC transmission line of a similar
length being put underground anywhere. In one case in Britain, an AC
line went underground in a visually sensitive area for almost six
kilometres. “We’re proposing 100 per cent overhead in this case.”

Locally, however, feelings are running high. Up to 2,500 people gathered
at Bective Abbey, near Navan, last month in a protest at the spectre of
140 foot high pylons being strung close to the site of the Cistercian
Abbey. The site was built in 1150 and used as the location for the Mel
Gibson film Braveheart.

The campaign has been running for months in the regional papers of the
North East. But this week it will go national after the minister
referred the matter to the Oireachtas energy committee, chaired by
Fianna Fail TD John Cregan.

Ryan said: "While this is an operational matter for EirGrid itself, we
all need accurate information on the type and effects of such
development in the wider public domain.”

EirGrid will set out its case on Wednesday, while internationally
renowned experts will also be invited to present their findings at a
later date. The North East Pylon Pressure group is likely to make its
presentation in two weeks’ time.

Simon Coveney, Fine Gael energy spokesman and his Labour counterpart Liz
McManus want an ‘independent’ review on the costs of going underground.
Fine Gael’s Cavan senator Liam O’Reilly, Meath deputy Shane McEntee and
Monaghan TD Seymour Crawford also joined in this call.

According to Coveney, Ryan, as minister with responsibility for EirGrid,
can influence the outcome of this dispute and the company’s future policy.

Ryan has so far fended off the call for an independent review of the
costs, noting that EirGrid has the relevant expertise in this area.

The state company had a duty to act in the wider public interest as well
as protect taxpayers money and EirGrid should not be "undermined’’, he

O’Reilly warned there was a "potential rush of litigation’’ from
potential health risks that should be factored into the overall costs of
not going underground.” Where the jury was out on the health issue, it
is best to opt for the precautionary principle - when I was young it was
considered perfectly acceptable to smoke cigarettes,” O’Reilly told last
weeks’ Oireachtas committee on energy.

The North East Pylon Pressure campaign scored an early victory last week
in the High Court which ordered EirGrid to give a local Meath resident
reports and documents it used in selecting three route options for the
power lines. The case is up for mention in the High Court on February

Tom Madden, a local resident of Kilmessan used an EU regulation, the
European Community Access to Information on the Environment Regulation
2007, to support his case.

"It’s been seen as a shot across the bough of EirGrid as it’s the first
time the company has had to stop and consider how it is going about
things,” said Liam Cahill, spokesman for the North East Pylon Pressure

Cahill said that Ireland is one of the few countries that has not
complied with an EU regulation that would greatly restrict where such
power lines are allowed.

However Byrne said he will be stressing the country’s need for
cost-efficient power lines to boost Ireland’s competitiveness.

The upgrade will increase the country’s security of supply which is so
important for industry, and the North East as a location for high tech

If Monaghan TDs’ opinions of EirGrid’s information campaign reflects the
prevailing wind in Meath, a solution to this row is not expected in the
short-term. Crawford said Eirgrid "has failed dismally’’ in how it went
about informing the public of the upgrade.

Despite Fine Gael’s calls for Ryan to intervene, EirGrid’s view is that
a decision on planning will be a matter for An Bord Pleanala, under the
Strategic Infrastructure Act.

"There is a process and we are allowing this to take its course and see
the outcome - then we will know what we have to do.I f we have approval
then we go ahead, if conditions are attached then we have to assess
those conditions,” said Byrne.

[ http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Eamon+Ryan
http://omega.twoday.net/topics/Power+Lines/ ]

Allen antworten
Antwort an Autor
0 neue Nachrichten