Residents seek to halt oral hearing on EirGrid pylons plan: The Irish Times, 18 March 2016

Group claims North-South connector poses health risks and will damage the environment.

A group opposed to overhead pylons as part of the proposed North-South electricity interconnector project wants permission to bring a High Court action aimed at halting an oral hearing of EirGrid plc’s application to erect 300 pylons across three counties.

The North East Pylon Pressure Campaign (NEPPC) Ltd, representing almost 200 landowners in Counties Cavan, Meath and Monaghan, wants the court to give it permission to bring proceedings against An Bord Pleanála over its decision to hold an oral hearing as part of the planning process.

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Climate change: ‘Effective strategy’ for farmers if Moneypoint goes biomass: Farmers Journal, 16 March 2016

A new report suggests that converting Moneypoint power station to sustainable biomass would be an ‘effective strategy’ for Irish agriculture to fight climate change.
Converting Moneypoint coal-fired power station to sustainable biomass by converting 8% of Irish agricultural land to energy crops would offer a “more stable income for farmers and forestry”, according to a new report commissioned by the anti-wind group RethinkPylons.
The group commissioned UK-based BW Energy to carry out a report called ‘Unlocking Ireland’s biomass potential – converting Moneypoint coal fired power station to sustainable biomass’.
If Moneypoint were to convert, energy crops (especially miscanthus) and residue materials such as straw and grain husks could be used as the main source of ‘‘green energy’’, as well as forestry thinnings, the report suggests.
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A real effort to do something to combat the greatest threat facing us all: Irish Examiner, 16 March 2016

Disturbing data released by Nasa, earlier this week, showed that, last month, global temperatures smashed records. The figures brought a new urgency to warnings of a climate emergency, but whether they provoke the change needed to slow this escalation remains to be seen.

One response was outlined in a report launched yesterday, which suggested that by using the island’s biomass potential to generate energy, we could reduce carbon emissions and “save the landscape from a blight of wind turbines and pylons”.

That report, launched by racing’s Annemarie O’Brien, argues that if the coal-fired, Moneypoint power station was converted to biomass, Ireland could meet its renewable energy 2020 targets in one fell swoop — and at around a tenth of the cost of Eirgrid’s €3.5bn GRID25 programme.

Like nearly every proposal in this area, it will be challenged by those of a different view, but it is a real effort to do something to combat the greatest threat facing us all.

Our efforts have been piecemeal and are in no way equal to the challenge science has predicted — a challenge that will become very real in our children’s lifetime.

Those unmoved by these warnings argue that a small country like Ireland cannot turn the tide on climate change, and they are correct.

But what we can do is begin realistic preparations, which will protect this country’s citizens from a new and far less comfortable world. We hardly have a day to waste.

An Ill Wind For Horses: The Sun, 16 March 2016

Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien’s wife told yesterday how the couple’s world-famous stud farm faced ruin from power pylons and wind turbines.

Annemarie O’Brien, herself a top trainer was speaking out in support of a report urging the conversion of the country’s biggest power station into a green energy plant.

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Horse trainer’s wife Annemarie O’Brien backs converting electricity station from coal to biomass: Irish Examiner, 16 March 2016

The wife of the horse trainer, Aidan O’Brien, said converting Moneypoint powerstation in Co Clare to sustainable biomass could save the landscape from a blight of wind turbines and pylons.

Ms O’Brien said plans to double wind power were not the way forward, saying it was too expensive and would scar the country’s landscape.

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Court rules in favour of order to dismantle three wind turbines: The Irish Times, 16 March 2016

Appeal granted as turbines built in ‘material’ deviation from the planning permission.

The Court of Appeal has ruled a local man is entitled to orders requiring the dismantling of three wind turbines at Kilvinane, Co Cork, due to their being built in “material” deviation from planning permission.

A stay applies on those orders, and other orders restraining operation of the turbines, pending a decision by An Bord Pleanála shortly on an application by Kilvinane Wind Farm Ltd, made in May 2014, for substituted consent for the development as constructed.

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Report suggests biomass could be way for Ireland to reach renewable energy targets: Irish Independent, Tuesday 15 March 2016

A leading figure in Irish horse racing Annemarie O’Brien today launched a new report which aims to unlock Ireland’s biomass potential.
Annemarie, wife of legendary trainer Aidan, says wind power is not the way to meet our EU ‘green energy’ targets by 2020 – and that biomass, or burning wood pellets, is a viable alternative.
She says: “Doubling wind power is simply not the way forward. It is too expensive to build, too scarring on our beautiful landscape.

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Unlocking Ireland’s Biomass Potential – Opening Speech by AnneMarie O’Brien at Buswells, 15 March 2016

A question I get asked a lot is how did I become interested in this whole area of renewable energy in the first place – I suppose it really started a few years ago when we became aware that Eirgrid was proposing to build a line of massive pylons stretching from Dublin to Cork and part of that line was scheduled to go straight through our stud farm where Aidan and I breed and raise bloodstock.

Should such a project have been given the go-ahead it would have rendered that land totally unfit for the purposes for which it was being used. One then invariably starts to ask the questions – Why was such a large infrastructure project being considered? ….Was it something that was necessary? and … Were there any alternatives that should be given due consideration?

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Unlocking Ireland’s biomass potential – converting Moneypoint by Dr Anthony White and Malcolm Brown, BW Energy: 15 March 2016

Deliver Ireland’s 2020 renewable electricity targets more cheaply than doubling onshore wind power:

  • – Only limited modifications required to existing plant.
  • – No change required to the Irish transmission system unlike doubling onshore wind that necessitates up to €3.5 billion transmission upgrade.
  • – No threat to rural heartland industries of bloodstock and tourism

Unlock Ireland’s major potential to supply cost competitive sustainable biomass.

Moneypoint’s biomass needs could be totally met by converting 8% of Irish agricultural land to energy crops.

Guarantee secure, long term demand for Irish biomass creating:

  • – More stable income for farmers and forestry.  Long term, fixed price contracts for energy crops and forestry offer more stable income than more volatile, traditional sectors.
  • – More positive investment in the Irish rural economy than more onshore wind which threatens bloodstock and tourism.
  • – A credible, economically effective strategy for Irish agriculture to fight climate change.

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Lets stick to facts and evidence: February 2016

A Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland report launched in February this year, estimated that wind was saving Ireland 2.3 % from total fuel imports per annum, of the €6.5 billion spent on fuel imports. This 2.3% saving did not include any fuel used in spinning reserve which is likely to have reduced that estimated saving to well below 2% and possibly even less than 1%.

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