An Taisce this week called on the Government to produce a national energy policy that clearly outlines how the energy requirements of future generations can be met in the face of climate change. Further, the lack of national legislation, policy, or guidelines for the European Landscape Convention means there is no basis on which to assess the impact of the project on the landscape.
According to the trust it is only possible to assess the requirements for projects such as Eirgrid’s Gridlink against a national energy policy that outlines how the energy requirements of the future generations can be met in the face of climate change. In order to meet climate change commitments, Ireland must reduce energy demand through increased efficiency and must decarbonise its power production. A national energy savings scheme to reduce demand and move away from coal and peat use will alter the parameters of the Grid Link project and could reduce the requirement for pylons.
An Taisce has called for a number of key elements to be included in the national energy policy such as reducing primary energy demand; retrofitting the national building stock for energy efficiency with an annual target of 100,000 homes to be upgraded to best achievable international standards; eliminating the most carbon intensive energy sources; ending the use of coal and peat for electricity generation and domestic heating and reducing fossil fuel import dependence; progressively reducing the current level of Irish fossil and biofuel import bill of €6.5 billion per annum; and integrating any future wind renewable energy export with this objective.