Ryan, Eamon

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 669 No. 2

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Priority Questions - Energy Resources.

Was asked: the purchase of electric cars by the public; the Government actions and the timescale associated with those actions, resulting from his recently announced initiative; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

Electrical vehicles offer an increasingly realistic solution in terms of reducing the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions and Ireland’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. There has been ver...More Button

The membership of the taskforce will include persons from the Departments of Transport, Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Finance, from Enterprise Irelan...More Button

The key driver in this is also energy security. The reason Israel is promoting the move to electric vehicles is that it is concerned about the availability of oil coming from the Middle East——More Button

——and therefore energy security is a key driver. When it comes to emissions the Deputy is absolutely right. This helps us to reduce our emissions and that is a crucial second motivation and it is wh...More Button

By being ahead of the countries I have mentioned, in terms of the work we are doing in deployment of smart grids and smart networks, we have a competitive advantage which makes Ireland a country that ...More Button

Priority Questions - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the evidence he has that the preferred tender for the national broadband scheme will provide high quality broadband; the way he will ensure that his Department’s map is an accurate reflection of the ...More Button

Was asked: the timeframe for delivery of broadband through the national broadband scheme now that the contract has been awarded to a company (details supplied); the bandwidth and download speeds that will be pr...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 and 76 together. The preferred tenderer for the national broadband scheme, NBS, was appointed following an open tender process using the competitive dialogue procu...More Button

I am reluctant to give this information until the contracts are signed, which will be within the week. It is better and proper to have that hurdle overcome, and then we may provide the more detailed ...More Button

I used the term “mobile” in the way it is commonly used, as in “not fixed” line.More Button

This means it is connected to one’s computer or to whatever hand-held device one wants.More Button

I am not restricting people in terms of how they access the Internet. However, we need broadband access. In this case, we will have speeds of over 1 megabit download and over 200 kilobits on the upl...More Button

It has the ability to cater for increased speeds over time. The 22-month period mentioned is the time it will take for the infrastructure to be put in place to cover all the districts to be covered. ...More Button

Last week I returned from the European Council meeting where I heard Ministers wonder how they could devise a way to cover those areas of the country that currently do not have broadband services. I ...More Button

Was asked: the number of the 66 metropolitan area networks, constructed under MANs phase 2 which are in use, generating income and providing a broadband infrastructure for service providers; and if he will make...More Button

Under phase 1 of the metropolitan area networks, MANs, 27 MANs are available to customers from eNet which is operating, managing and maintaining the networks on behalf of the State under a 15-year con...More Button

While the Deputy opposite might have me signing contracts left, right and centre, I must be cognisant of the public interest and the taxpayers’ interests in how we manage the development of our infras...More Button

No, those assets are available. They are available through the Magnum Opus contract arrangements that are in place, which allows any operator access to them.More Button

It is not nonsense. It is the absolute truth.More Button

I am working beyond that towards——More Button

There is no——More Button

——restriction of access to those metropolitan area networks and, pending the completion of the contract arrangements for the management service entity, this was the correct process to keep it open.More Button

One clear issue that emerged in the value for money report is that there was easier and more immediate take-up in larger towns. Most of the first phase MANS were constructed in large cities, such as ...More Button

However, the various other measures in train that my Department is enacting and on which it is working in respect of next generation broadband policy will use them effectively on a proper planned basi...More Button

Priority Questions - Housing Grants.

Was asked: if he has new plans to extend a grant or incentive to improve the energy efficiency of existing properties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The home energy saving scheme implemented by Sustainable Energy Ireland, SEI, will make grant assistance generally available from next year to householders to install energy efficiency measures. The ...More Button

As no one has finished up the greener home scheme, that point does not stand. In order to get this right, our approach was correct, namely, to start with a pilot and test it out because this is highl...More Button

The banks were very enthusiastic about the scheme because they saw the sense of it. This scheme is different. It is changing from a long tradition of just throwing a grant at a particular material th...More Button

Other Questions - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the bio-fuel strategy with specific reference to liquid bio-fuels to be used in the transport sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps he will take following the completion of the public consultation on the bio-fuels obligation scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 111 together. The planned introduction of a bio-fuels obligation will require all fuel suppliers to ensure that bio-fuels represent a certain percentage of thei...More Button

To answer that question on what are sustainable bio-fuels, first, it is taking what are currently waste products and environmental problems such as tallow or vegetable oil from existing processing ind...More Button

In the absence of a European Union agreement I do not believe it is not possible for any country in Europe——More Button

In listening to what every European Government has to say, they are agreed that it is through European sustainability criteria that one is able to trace and monitor, under World Trade Organisation rul...More Button

I thank the Deputy for reminding me that the definition of sustainable transport fuels should include electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells and bio-methane. I was pleased earlier this year to provid...More Button

Other Questions - Electricity Generation.

Was asked: the consultations he has had with EirGrid on the viability of putting a new electricity grid structure underground as an alternative to overhead transmission lines; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Was asked: his views on the progress of the North-South interconnector; his further views on the findings of the ASKON report on undergrounding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 78 and 117 together. The Government’s energy policy framework 2007–20 underlines the importance of ensuring the continued availability of reliable, secure and competit...More Button

The Deputy misquoted me. I did not say I have no role but that I have no direct role in regard to routes and planning applications for transmission lines. The Department retains a policy role on how...More Button

Yes. For the Deputy’s information, I travelled to Denmark earlier this year, where I met the engineers responsible for the development of that country’s transmission line. They had every interest in...More Button

At this time of economic difficulty, we must recognise that the option of not proceeding with the transmission connections is to condemn certain areas of the country to being ignored for future employ...More Button

I will finish this point if I may. More Button

We will not be able to develop such systems in the absence of an electricity system that works.More Button

I apologise.More Button

It is not disdain at all and I listen to and read any information provided by them.More Button

I go back to where I started — I do not have a direct role in routes or planning.More Button

It would be disingenuous for a Minister in each individual case where contention arises to pretend he or she can come in like a white knight and solve a problem. There are contentious issues regardin...More Button

As I stated in my response, I fully understand the concerns of the pressure group and have listened to the issues with no vested interest or in wanting to do them down——More Button

——or not meet any of the particular aspirations.More Button

As I understand it, that pressure group has had a series of meetings with EirGrid and I hope some common ground can be realised where possible to achieve the aims of the group and EirGrid. There are ...More Button

With regard to Deputy Crawford’s comments, I support a discussion of the ASKON report at the relevant committee as suggested. One must recognise at the same time that it is a difficult, complex and t...More Button

The Government is not blind or insensitive to people’s concerns. We will always listen to such issues. In the first instance, it is appropriate for the group to engage with EirGrid, as it has done. ...More Button

I prefer to support that process and wish both sides the best of fortune.More Button

It is important we get some agreement so we can deliver what we all agree is a crucial economic infrastructure for the stimulation of the country’s economy.More Button

The Deputies opposite are always talking about economic stimulus packages.More Button

One of the most crucial economic——More Button

——stimulus packages is in this area.More Button

Deputy Gilmore has talked about economic stimulus and might see it in action.More Button

Order of Business.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 7 be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes.

Was asked: the progress made to the roll out smart metering in homes and business across the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the progress made in the pilot scheme for smart electronic metres; the initial timeframe given for delivery of the pilot scheme; the number of people approached to take part in the pilot scheme; the ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 79 and 89 together. The rollout of a national smart meter programme is progressing in line with the commitment in the Government’s Energy Policy Framework and in the P...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Prices.

Was asked: his views on instructing the energy regulator to set a price ceiling for electricity and gas instead of an absolute price in order to encourage cheaper gas and electricity; and if he will make a stat...More Button

The regulation of ESB electricity tariffs and Bord Gáis Éireann (BGÉ) gas tariffs is the statutory responsibility of the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). I also note that the CER made the decis...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the cost of maintaining the Power of One and the Change websites; his views on the merit of merging the two websites to reduce costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Power of One electronic campaign consists of a suite of three complementary websites — PowerOfOne.ie, PowerOfOneStreet.ie and PowerOfOneAtWork.ie — each targeting a specific segment of society. I...More Button

Written Answers - Windfall Profits.

Was asked: his views in terms of whether or not windfall profits earned by energy companies, due to the price of carbon being factored into the price of electricity, should be recouped to the Exchequer; and if ...More Button

The Single Electricity Market Committee, which is statutorily responsible for the operation of the all-island electricity market on the island of Ireland, have determined that all electricity generato...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 114 of 29 October 2008 if he has the recommendations from the working group; if so, if he will provide details of same; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

I published a consultation paper on Next Generation Broadband in July 2008. The introduction of a regulation to require the installation of open access fibre connection in new premises, where practic...More Button

Was asked: when he expects to publish a report into the recommendations of the International Broadband Advisory Forum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The International Advisory Forum met on the 26th and 27th February 2008 to advise me on the optimum role for Government in the development of Next Generation Broadband in Ireland. The members of this ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the amount his Department has spent on consultants, forums, working groups and consultation documents in 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The expenditure on consultancy in my Department to date in 2008 amounts to €6,921,989. This amount includes major spends of €1.4m in respect of the Power of One Energy Efficiency advertising campaign...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: further to a previous parliamentary question the progress made on the provision of access to ducting to improve infrastructure here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The consultation paper on Next Generation Broadband committed to providing access by private operators to public sector broadband assets. In particular access will be facilitated to ducting that alre...More Button

Written Answers - Postal Services.

Was asked: if he will publish details of the cost benefit analysis on the introduction of post codes; the initial cost and the ongoing cost of this project; the amount of this which will be financed by the taxp...More Button

Following the Government decision in May 2007 that further evidence and evaluation was required of the monetary benefits that would arise from the implementation of a national postcode, my Department ...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the timeframe under which he expects to see commercial energy generation coming from wave energy projects onto the national grid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Earlier this year I launched the Ocean Energy Initiative to ensure Ireland is well positioned in the development of ocean energy technologies. Ireland’s ocean energy resource offers significant poten...More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Generation.

Was asked: if the consultation process has been completed on the creation of a tariff that would allow micro generation facilities in homes and businesses to sell power back onto the grid; when a conclusion to ...More Button

The Renewable Energy Feed In Tariff (REFIT) support scheme operated by my Department supports the construction of new renewable energy powered plants with sufficient generating capacity, typically at ...More Button

Written Answers - Broadcasting Services.

Was asked: the position regarding arrangements agreed with RTE for the provision of RTE broadcasting in Great Britain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on RTE’s announcement that the promised diaspora channel is to be postponed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 91 and 102 together. Section 3(1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act 2007 requires RTÉ to establish and maintain a television broadcasting service and a sound broadcasting ser...More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Generation.

Was asked: the percentage of the energy used in his Department that comes from renewable sources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

40% of all energy used in my Department is from renewable sources. All of the electricity supplied to my Department’s main buildings at Adelaide Road and Tom Johnson House, Beggars Bush, and the stor...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: the number of studies and reviews carried out in his Department in 2007 and to date in 2008; the cost of these studies and reviews; the number which are ongoing; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

In the time available, it has not been possible to identify and assemble the information requested. My Department is in the process of identifying and assembling the information and I will revert to t...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the percentage of the electricity market made up from sustainable energy sources; if he is working towards the indicative sustainable energy source penetration targets for the electricity market of 1...More Button

The share of electricity from renewable energy in 2007, the latest year for which published data is available, was 9.4%. This is a significant increase, which more than doubles the contribution from ...More Button

Written Answers - Corrib Gas Terminal.

Was asked: the progress of his initiative to facilitate a dialogue between local residents and those proposing to bring gas ashore from the Corrib gas field; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the Corrib gas terminal and the proposed routes; if the proposed forum has had its first meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 119 together. On 6th November I, together with the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaelteacht Affairs, announced the establishment of the North West Mayo Foru...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the position regarding the development of a grid connected wave energy test site at Annagh-French Point near Belmullet, County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Marine Institute was engaged to survey the sea area during last summer, in preparation for a detailed engineering and technical design for the facility. The final survey requirement, the near sho...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: if, due to the Taoiseach’s request, he has investigated semi-State bodies under the control of his Department, to ensure they have not abused public funds in relation to expenditure on expenses or tr...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware expenditure by the State Agencies on travel and subsistence in relation to the conduct of their business is, subject to application of the various Department of Finance reg...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: his views in relation to a proposed peat and bio-fuel energy plant in County Mayo; if he has a problem in principle with the use of peat as a fuel for energy generation in the context of it being par...More Button

The Government’s policy in relation to energy is set out in the White Paper, “Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland — The Energy Policy Framework 2007 — 2020”. The three pillars of Gover...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Prices.

Was asked: if he will instruct the energy regulator to put a new structure in place around the consultation process for making a decision on energy prices, that will give the consumer and those affected by fuel...More Button

The regulation of ESB electricity tariffs and Bord Gáis Éireann (BGÉ) gas tariffs is the statutory responsibility of the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) under the Electricity Regulation Act and...More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Interconnector.

Was asked: the progress being made on the construction of an east-west interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The East-West Interconnector is a 500 MegaWatt High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) interconnector, which will link the electricity grids of Ireland and Britain. This project is of vital strategic impo...More Button

Written Answers - Greener Homes Scheme.

Was asked: the position regarding the greener homes schemes; the number of applicants waiting to receive grants; the budget for this scheme in 2008 and 2009; the reasoning behind the drop in budget; and if he w...More Button

The Greener Homes Scheme, since its launch in March 2006, has provided support for home owners investing in renewable energy heating technologies. The scheme has been modified over that period, suppo...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: his views on doubts over the accuracy of the broadband coverage map and therefore the area to be addressed by the national broadband scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

“3”, a Hutchison Whampoa company, was appointed as the Preferred Tenderer for the National Broadband Scheme (NBS) on 25 November 2008, following an open tender process using the “competitive dialogue”...More Button

Written Answers - Broadcasting Services.

Was asked: the steps he will take to ease the effects of the close down of analogue television in Wales on Counties Wexford, Waterford, Wicklow and Dublin; the timescale of this impact; his views on the consequ...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding digital terrestrial television; his views on whether preparations for the switch over in 2012 will be complete; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 and 114 together. The Broadcasting (Amendment) Act, 2007 puts in place a flexible framework for the licensing of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) into the futu...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the number of metropolitan area networks that have been constructed around towns here under the most recent MANs roll-out programme but which are not currently functioning as part of the counties inf...More Button

Under phase I of the Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) 27 MANs are available to customers from eNet which is operating, managing and maintaining the networks on behalf of the State under a 15 year con...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Schemes.

Was asked: the details of the way a person can apply and benefit from the warmer homes scheme or the home energy saving scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Warmer Homes Scheme is overseen by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), and is targeted at households on low incomes, such as those in receipt of fuel allowance, invalidity or disability benefit. Th...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Prices.

Was asked: the steps he has taken at national or European level to ensure that consumers here gain full benefit from the lower energy prices on world markets with particular reference to the fact that oil price...More Button

The Irish oil industry is fully privatised, liberalised and deregulated and there is no price control on petroleum products in Ireland. There is free entry to the market. Prices at the pump reflect ...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: if he has considered the repurchase of Eircom infrastructure as part of the telecommunications infrastructure strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government has not considered the issue of possible purchase of eircom infrastructure. The issue of whether this infrastructure would be offered for sale is a matter for eircom, under the Governm...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the amount and percentage of wind power with access to the national grid; the number of applications awaiting access to the grid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of wind farms currently contributing to the national electricity grid; the number of such farms in respect of which planning permission has been granted but not admitted or cleared for adm...More Button

Was asked: the amount of electricity currently provided through wind energy; his preferred options for future development in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the extent to which alternative energy currently contributes to the national electricity grid; the various components in this contribution; when it is expected to reduce dependency on imports; and if...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 385 to 387, inclusive, together. In 2007, the latest year for which published dated is available, electricity from renewable energy resources contributed 9.4% ...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: his views on findings that show that broadband connections here are among the most expensive in the OECD; his further views on the poor performance with regard to broadband speeds by Ireland in the O...More Button

The provision of telecommunications services including broadband services is, in the first instance, a matter for the private sector. The relevant service providers operate in a fully liberalised mar...More Button

Written Answers - Electric Car Industry.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 240 of 3 July 2008, if he has received reports on the success to date of the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council pilot project for plug in parking-charging fac...More Button

Was asked: if he has met with the Department of Transport with regard to the potential growth of the electric car industry; the position regarding the potential for electric cars here; the current and projected...More Button

Was asked: the way he will stimulate uptake here of hybrid electrical and battery electric vehicles to reach the 10% target set for 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112, 113 and 378 together. Following on from the recent Government decision to establish an inter-departmental/agency group to look at deployment of electric vehicles ...More Button

Written Answers - Seirbhísí Poist.

Was asked: cén fáth go bhfuil an Roinn Cumarsáide, Fuinnimh agus Acmhainní Nádúrtha ag beartú ar chóras cód poist ina bhfuil meascán litreacha agus uimhreacha bunaithe ar an gcóras Sasanach agus ar leaganacha B...More Button

Mhol an Bord um Thionscnamh na bPostchód Náisiúnta i 2006 go dtabharfaí isteach cineál postchód bunaithe ar litreacha agus uimhreacha le haghaidh earnáil na bpost ach ní bunaithe ar an gcóras Sasanach...More Button

Written Answers - Offshore Exploration.

Was asked: the number of locations at which oil and gas exploration is taking place on or offshore; if there are any positive indications arising from such activity in the past 12 months; the number of new lice...More Button

Was asked: the amount of revenue collected to date under the new tax rates announced in January 2008 in view of the announcement of the opening of the 2009 Rockall licensing round; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

Was asked: the number of exploration wells drilled off the coast to date in 2008; the locations of the drilling operations; the names of the exploration companies in question; the revenue which will be gained f...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 116, 122 and 125 together. Exploration for oil and gas, both onshore and offshore, is carried out under licence by my Department. Details of authorisations in place a...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the number of Cabinet Sub-committee on Climate Change meetings that he has attended. More Button

I have attended six meetings of the Cabinet Sub Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security.More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: his views on calls for a functional separation of Eircom’s business rather that a full structural split of its networks and its retail arms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The corporate structure of eircom, which is a private company, is a matter for that company subject to appropriate engagement taking place with the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) on...More Button

Written Answers - Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Was asked: the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from Moneypoint power station; the steps being taken to pursue the option of carbon capture and storage; the legislation required to advance this method of addres...More Button

While the issue of emissions levels at Moneypoint Generating Station is, in the first instance, a day-to-day management matter for the company, I have included with this reply, at Table 1, details of ...More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Generation.

Was asked: his views on a call from Eirgrid for more to be done to construct the 250MW per annum needed to reach the Government’s renewables targets; if, in view of the increased target for renewables to 40%, t...More Button

EirGrid, as the State body responsible for the national transmission system, is working to deliver the necessary upgrading and expansion of the transmission grid in the interests of the economy and re...More Button

Written Answers - Consumer Protection.

Was asked: his views on the fuelwatch website in Australia which is a government fuel monitoring service; if he envisages a role for a similar initiative here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Irish oil industry is fully privatised, liberalised and deregulated and there is no price control on petroleum products in Ireland. Retail prices reflect global market price, transportation costs...More Button

Written Answers - Fuel Poverty.

Was asked: if the fuel poverty action research project has completed its report; if this report will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Fuel Poverty Action Research Project was established by Combat Poverty and Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) to inform public policy on the merits of domestic energy efficiency programmes. The pr...More Button

Written Answers - Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Was asked: the position regarding his Department’s target as part of the programme for Government’s target of a 3% cut in carbon emissions; the way he will meet that target; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

The Programme for Government target refers to a 3% reduction per year on average in greenhouse gas emissions. The energy sector for which I have policy responsibility will make a leading contribution ...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the position regarding the progress made on the implementation of the new tariff scheme in respect of offshore wind; when this tariff scheme for offshore wind was announced by him; and if he will mak...More Button

In February of this year I announced a tariff of €140 per megawatt hour of power produced for offshore wind energy projects within the Renewable Energy Feed In Tariff (REFIT) support scheme. This ann...More Button

Written Answers - Geothermal Heat.

Was asked: the position regarding the potential of the deep geothermal heat source on the Newcastle Blackrock geological fault line; when he expects the geothermal working group to report on its findings; if he...More Button

The publication of the Geothermal Resource Map of Ireland by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) in July 2004 highlighted the potential of deep geothermal energy. The report recommended that support be ...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: if he has plans for extra provision of storage facilities similar to Turlough Hill; his views on whether additional storage would permit higher levels of generation from renewable sources; if he will...More Button

The Government targets are to increase the contribution from renewable energy sources to electricity consumed to a minimum 15% by 2010 and 40% by 2020. The provision of back up capacity to ensure secu...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the position regarding the national broadband scheme; his views on whether the 1MB service that it offers is sufficient and competitive; the most up to date cost of this project; the timeframe for th...More Button

On the 25 November 2008 I announced that 3, a Hutchison Whampoa company, has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the National Broadband Scheme (NBS) following the conclusion of a comprehensive...More Button

Was asked: the action, in view of the difficulties experienced accessing broadband in Kilmacanogue, County Wicklow, he is taking to deal with this problem; if he will confirm if Kilmacanogue appears as being co...More Button

The provision of telecommunications services, including broadband, is a matter for the private sector. Broadband service providers operate in a fully liberalised market, regulated, where appropriate,...More Button

Written Answers - Semi-State Bodies.

Was asked: his views on growing speculation regarding the privatisation of the ESB; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As I have stated consistently the Government has no plans to privatise any part of the ESB. Government policy in relation to the ownership of the electricity transmission and distributions networks i...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Prices.

Was asked: his views on the findings from the Sustainable Energy Ireland 2008 report Understanding Electricity and Gas Prices in Ireland that found that gas and electricity prices were higher here than the EU a...More Button

Encouraging a competitive, least-cost energy supply is a key policy objective for the Government. Rising energy costs are a major concern for all sectors of the economy and for consumers. It is a ma...More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Interconnector.

Was asked: the plans for an interconnector to France; if this would have implications for policy in relation to nuclear power; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under the Energy Policy Framework and the Programme for Government, we are committed to the progressive development of a regional electricity market with the UK and North West Europe underpinned by ne...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: his views on the growing digital divide across rural and urban Ireland as outlined in a report of the Central Statistics Office; the steps he is taking to combat the growth of a digital divide; and i...More Button

Broadband services are crucial in bridging digital divide. The provision of telecommunications services including broadband is, in the first instance, a matter for the private sector. Broadband serv...More Button

Written Answers - Building Regulations.

Was asked: the process whereby he will enforce the legislation in respect of the energy performance of buildings S.I. No. 662 of 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am assuming the Deputy is referring to the European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations (S.I. No. 666 of 2006). The regulations in question are made by the Minister for the En...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 147 of 29 October 2008 the number of submissions his Department received on the recent public consultation document on a proposed bio-fuels obligation; and if he...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has incentivised or proposes to incentivise plant oil production for energy purpose; his future intentions in this regard with a view to maximising home production and reducing...More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 379 and 384 together. The public consultation process in relation to the Biofuels Obligation Scheme has recently been completed and there were over 30 submissions re...More Button

Written Answers - Health and Safety Issues.

Was asked: his views on whether monitoring the operation of coal mines by his Department failed in the past to address the working conditions of miners; if in view of same, he has had discussions with the Depar...More Button

Written Answers - Environmental Policy.

Was asked: the extent to which he has evaluated the economic impact of national and EU climate change measures; the provision he will make to offset such negatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

The Government has established a Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and energy security to ensure that a comprehensive and cohesive policy is in place to deliver in these critical policy areas. The ...More Button

Written Answers - Offshore Exploration.

Was asked: the number of oil, gas or other mineral exploration licences sought and issued in the past year; the number activated in that period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Broadcasting Services.

Was asked: the extent and nature of discussions he has had with the public and private broadcasting sectors in the context of the future development of the broadcasting services here; if he has discussed broadc...More Button

In the context of the development of broadcasting policy my officials and I have cause, on a regular basis, to meet with the various interests that comprise the broadcasting sector including, but not ...More Button

Written Answers - Information and Communications Technology.

Was asked: if he has received or issued advice or instructions nationally or in conjunction with his EU colleagues in the matter of the prevention of spam, computer hacking or the use of the Internet for child ...More Button

My Department, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the authorities in Northern Ireland, private sector companies and not-for-profit organisations recently conducted...More Button

Written Answers - Postal Services.

Was asked: his preferred options in regard to the future operation of parcel and letter delivery services here on a next day all week basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he has had discussions directly or indirectly with current or potential service providers in regard to the future letter and parcel delivery services nationwide; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Was asked: if he has had discussions with his EU colleagues or An Post in the context of the future development of the postal services here and throughout Europe; if he has discussed how best it is intended to ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 389 to 391, inclusive, together. The Government’s policy with regard to the future development of the postal service is to ensure Irish customers, both business and re...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: if he is satisfied regarding the availability of broadband here; if previous and recent efforts for the provision of such services have been successful; if efforts to date compare favourably or other...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has taken initiatives nationally or in conjunction with his EU colleagues to advance the cause and provision of state of the art communications technology; the degree to which ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 392 and 393 together. The provision of telecommunications services, including broadband, is a matter for the private sector. Broadband service providers operate in a ...More Button

Written Answers - Information and Communications Technology.

Was asked: the position in regard to the development of the digital hub and the benefits accruing there from; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA) continues to develop and grow the Digital Hub. There are now 857 employees working in 101 companies located in the Digital Hub. When contract employees are ...More Button


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