Pylon guidelines promise cautiously welcomed
THE Wexford Energy Action group (WEAG) has cautiously welcomed a commitment by Environment Minister Alan Kelly to introduce national planning guidelines for the construction of pylons.
Minister Kelly said that he would start the process following the publication of the government-commissioned review of the health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) which is due at the end of March.
The Minister made the announcement at a meeting with the Kildare-based GridLink Action group.
Mary O'Neill from WEAG echoed the sentiments of Gridlink by saying that a clear timeline for the guidelines is necessary as is a detailed public consultation process and a moratorium on any Eirgrid submissions to An Bord Pleanala until their introduction.
On a related but separate issue, WEAG said that while Energy Minister Alex White's white paper is very good in that it addresses the issue of the cost of energy and the importance of retrofitting and helping those in energy poverty. It does not, however, address the issue of the additional cost to the bill payer of wind energy, over and above the electricity used, which is imposed in the name of wind energy being green and neither does it address the fact that wind energy does not significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels.
County Wexford Energy Action Group represents 20,000 people potentially affected by proposed pylons in County Wexford,