Ryan, Eamon

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 707 No. 3

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Priority Questions - Information and Communications Technology.

Was asked: when the proposed one-stop shop for State-owned broadband will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The objective of the one-stop shop commitment in the next generation broadband policy paper “Gateway to a Knowledge Ireland” is to facilitate telecommunications network operators in gaining access to ...More Button

No. It is a case of evolving what is being done in the NRA and applying it to other suitable infrastructure. The NRA and the roads network is the most extensive network for rolling out open access f...More Button

The one-stop shop will apply in the case of the RPA ducting. I have been informed by the head of the RPA that a commercial case has not yet been made.More Button

This is the difficulty. At this point and subject to ongoing negotiation with TIF, it would not be appropriate for us to bring every single piece of State ducting infrastructure together but in cases...More Button

Ducting is important. The deployment of fibre is the crucial piece of infrastructure we wish to facilitate——More Button

Our job is to ensure that the State infrastructure such as the canals, railway lines, roads, is capable of carrying fibre and typically in ducts. We have had discussions with other bodies such as the...More Button

The concept of a one-stop shop is to have a central location within the State in which expertise is concentrated and is made available in a way that will support the commercial market. This is what w...More Button

Priority Questions - Postal Services.

Was asked: the reason the tender process for a postcode system has been suspended; if he has read the report on postcodes of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; if he...More Button

An invitation to tender was issued on 29 January 2010 for consultants to assist in selecting a body to implement and maintain a postcode system. The tender competition closed on 12 March 2010. Subse...More Button

I am very pleased the Deputy opposite is now supporting the post and location codes proposals.More Button

My understanding in earlier statements was that there was opposition. I welcome political support across the House for a post code and a location code. I have consistently said we must have both. I...More Button

The expert advice I received said it is absolutely possible.More Button

There are real benefits to having a postcode system that works on the basis recommended by the postcode board.More Button

There are real benefits with memorability and being able to apply geodirectory codes and the root network systems in place to a postcode network. Crucially, I insisted at all times on a facility with...More Button

I prefer the route we have chosen which will employ consultants to assess this and put it out to a tendering competition which will meet the criteria we have set. As long as it meets the criteria of ...More Button

It is very possible and I believe it is the right thing to do.More Button

Priority Questions - Broadcasting Legislation.

Was asked: the plans he has in place to facilitate the roll out of commercial digital terrestrial television, DTT, should the consortium (details supplied) fail to reach agreement with RTE and the broadcasting ...More Button

Part 8 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 provides for RTE to develop a free-to-view digital broadcasting service as a replacement for the national analogue television service offering access to RTE 1, RTE ...More Button

The legislation passed by this House gives the BAI that task. Yes, I would like to go back to 2006 and change the legislation——More Button

——but one cannot undo legislation is such a manner. It is not appropriate for the Minister to ignore the legislation and the authority the BAI has to implement the task set out for it. When it is un...More Button

It was set up by the previous Government.More Button

I have had a series of meetings with all parties involved on the State side including the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the Networks company and ComReg, which has had a role in this on the spectr...More Button

I am deeply unsatisfied with the delays that occurred but that is the difficult commercial world we live in and I would not make that any easier by stepping inside——More Button

Priority Questions - Electric Vehicles.

Was asked: the initiatives he plans to take to encourage mutable providers of electric transport charging infrastructure to facilitate competing solutions and implementation; the progress that has been made on ...More Button

The Government has set a target of 10% of all vehicles to be powered by electricity by 2020, which equates to around 225,000 vehicles. Electric vehicles are an increasingly realistic option to the cha...More Button

On the two questions, first, our intention is to bring in a number of different motor car companies to provide vehicles for this market as it evolves. I believe further agreements will be signed with...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. I met with Shai Agassi of Better Place, one of the companies the Deputy mentioned, and said that we are open in that regard. This is new technology but we are at the frontie...More Button

The agreements with the leading international car companies are in effect exactly that. What we are seeing, with other companies such as IBM and its smart cities network coming in to work on the back...More Button

Priority Questions - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that Gate 3 can adequately deal with new wind farm proposals to get grid connection in a timely manner. More Button

The Commission for Energy Regulation, CER, has statutory responsibility for grid connection offers and for oversight of EirGrid’s grid connection process, including the Gate process for renewable ener...More Button

We must constantly review procedures to ensure we are delivering on our target to provide more secure, cheap and clean energy supplies. I take the point that we must constantly review the process. W...More Button

I disagree with the Deputy that the process is not working. If we are building 500 MW a year, which we will, I am told, do this year, that to my mind is what we need to be doing. Deputy Coonan impli...More Button

It is appropriate in a regulated market that the regulator and transmission grid company apply the proper planning constraints around the grid, which is the big constraint, and that the regulated mark...More Button

I do not have any time or interest in a speculative model. By and large, what we are seeing is a series of companies engaged in a proper market. The ones of which I am aware are reputable and are of...More Button

Other Questions - Electric Vehicles.

Was asked: his plans to promote electric transport apart from the capital grant of €5,000 recently announced. More Button

Was asked: the percentage of the electricity used at the recently unveiled electric car charge points that comes from sustainable resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for grants equivalent to those proposed for full electric vehicles; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51, 63 and 75 together. The progressive introduction of electric vehicles into the road transport fleet is being promoted and supported in a number of ways in line wit...More Button

I expect serious numbers in the second half of this decade. As I have stated all along, we are deliberately placing ourselves at the forefront of what is happening. There is an element of experiment...More Button

Britain, for example, is developing the idea in five cities. However, there is a world of a difference when one is only considering short runs in and out of a city.More Button

Yes, but it is not providing a national network. We must consider the proportion or the scale of the country. I am satisfied that we will have approximately 2,000 vehicles next year. At that stage,...More Button

I suggest the Deputy stops for coffee half way.More Button

I refer to the use of bus lanes by electric vehicles. I take the view “No, nay, never”. Bus lanes are for buses.More Button

Taxis and buses are identifiable. There is very good, disciplined use of bus lanes. If one started to break that by having vehicles that are not taxis or buses——More Button

——or Ministers’ cars, it would break the cohesion around our use of bus lanes. As Deputy Coveney stated earlier, these electric vehicles will look like ordinary cars. They will look no different exc...More Button

That would do it. I was at the SEAI energy show and I was very encouraged. I believe a new economy is growing and more people are coming along. The Deputy is correct; several companies from Wicklow...More Button

The difference between Ireland and other countries is that we are considering this as a national infrastructure. I refer to the way I envisage it would work. In Schull, Goleen or half way between th...More Button

I am very familiar. Let us consider the Altar restaurant, which is half way between the two. The Deputy could stop there.More Button

We will get it open again. His mobile telephone could inform him that there is a space available and he could call in for a cup of coffee as well. The opportunity comes from this combination of comm...More Button

It is there already, but it is here. It is actually happening here on the back of what we are doing. This is the economic benefit we have.More Button

As part of the detailed agreements, there is a mechanism within which the grant is paid via the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, through the dealership network. It is based on new cars rather...More Button

I agree that the use of electric transport by public fleets would be a good way of getting this system up and running. We have to take risks to get the public to buy vehicles and have faith and confi...More Button

Yes it is, in a number of different ways. Last year, we provided grants to a number of companies through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Celtic Linen in County Wexford, for example, was...More Button

I am glad to say I do not have to think back to my days of athletic youth, as I was in Goleen for my Easter holidays just two weeks ago.More Button

There is a petrol station beside the lovely pub in the centre of the village.More Button

I would love to provide for a plug to be located beside that pump. It could be done on a very simple basis. This new technology would allow me to get 80% of the power back over the course of 20 or 3...More Button

This system will connect Goleen with the rest of the country. It is as important to me to get Goleen right as it is to get anywhere in Dublin right. That is what we are doing.More Button

Written Answers - Postal Services.

Was asked: if he has changed his approach to the roll out of the postcode system here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have not changed my philosophy or my approach to the roll out of a national postcode system in Ireland. I continue to believe a smart economy requires that the underlying infrastructure supports en...More Button

Written Answers - Offshore Exploration.

Was asked: the detail of all new finds of oil, gas or coal off the Irish coast or offshore. More Button

Written Answers - Energy Resources.

Was asked: the details of plans to develop a natural marine energy research centre in Cork Harbour adjacent to the National Maritime College. More Button

The Government is giving high priority to supporting the development of Ireland’s ocean energy potential. Not only will ocean energy contribute to Ireland’s renewable energy targets, it has considera...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Prices.

Was asked: his policy in relation to ensuring competition in the gas market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Irish gas market has been fully opened up to competition since July 2007. Experience in other markets has shown that there is a time lag between full market opening and the emergence of fully via...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Conservation.

Was asked: the position regarding the smart metering project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Smart Metering Programme is a central component of the Government’s strategy to radically enhance management of energy demand, deliver smart networks and enable greater energy efficiency through t...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the financial assistance provided by his Department to support ocean energy for the past three years; and the financial commitment for 2010. More Button

In line with the Government’s ambitious Ocean Energy Strategy, the Ocean Energy Development Unit (OEDU) was established in Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) in 2008 and full roll out of t...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Resources.

Was asked: if he is actively pursuing the need to put in place an energy supply and security treaty with the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Currently around 96% of Ireland’s gas needs are met by imports from the UK via the two subsea interconnectors with Scotland. This infrastructure also supplies the gas needs of Northern Ireland, throug...More Button

Written Answers - Fuel Poverty.

Was asked: his views on the recent finding of the fuel poverty action research report on the effectiveness of domestic energy efficient programmes that the warmer homes scheme has had no noticeable effect on fu...More Button

The Fuel Poverty Action Research Report involved an ex-post assessment of the energy, environmental, thermal comfort and health benefits of the Warmer Homes Scheme, which retrofits low income private ...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Conservation.

Was asked: when the national energy efficient retrofit programme will be launched in view of the difficulties there have been with expenditure in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Home Energy Saving (HES) Scheme, which is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), was launched in March 2009. The scheme provides grant assistance to homeowners for en...More Button

Written Answers - Broadcasting Services.

Was asked: the implications of the broadcasting levy; his views on whether it will impact adversely on staffing levels of the independent radio sector, with jobs already having been lost due to the current econ...More Button

Section 33 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 provides for the making of a levy order by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for the purposes of meeting the expenses of the Authority and its Committ...More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Generation.

Was asked: if he plans to introduce a carbon windfall profits tax on energy generation here; if so, when he will take action on same. More Button

My Department in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General has been working to progress a scheme to provide for the recovery of carbon windfall gains from electricity generators to the end ...More Button

Written Answers - Fuel Poverty.

Was asked: the timeframe for the energy affordability strategy; the form that this strategy will take; the way he plans to address the problem of fuel poverty here; the number of homes that were part of the war...More Button

Was asked: his plans to develop a national fuel poverty strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 100 together. I am working closely with the Minister for Social Protection and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, to ensure a full...More Button

Written Answers - Broadcasting Services.

Was asked: if he will provide an update on digital terrestrial television here; when he expects the signing of the contract with a consortium (details supplied); the concerns he may have if the delays in implem...More Button

Was asked: his plans to facilitate the roll-out of commercial digital terrestrial television services should a consortium (details supplied) fail to reach agreement with RTE and the regulator. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 65 and 67 together. Part 8 of the Broadcasting Act, 2009 provides for RTÉ to develop a “free-to-view” digital broadcasting service as a replacement for the national an...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: if his Department will be financially supporting a new biogas anaerobic digester in conjunction with Bord Gáis, University College Cork and Cork City Council at the Kinsale Road landfill site in the ...More Button

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) administers the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Deployment Programme. The programme was expanded in 2008 to include dedicated support for Biomass and A...More Button

Written Answers - Broadcasting Services.

Was asked: the amount that has been spent on digital audio broadcasting radio here; if he will give details of the position regarding this project; his views on criticisms that DAB radio is outdated; and if he ...More Button

The Broadcasting Act 2009 provides for the development of digital radio in Ireland. Under this Act, RTÉ is given the right to operate a multiplex for the purposes of providing a digital sound broadca...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Prices.

Was asked: the discussions he has had with the regulator with a view to ensuring that electricity consumers can directly avail of the full benefit of competition; the action required to bring this about having ...More Button

The Government is firmly committed to increasing competition as the best means of exerting downward pressure on electricity prices and also to ensuring diversity of energy supplies, with a particular ...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Resources.

Was asked: his views on Ireland’s use of liquefied natural gas; if he will address concerns that risks associated with LNG include political instability of exporting nations, price volatility and security of tr...More Button

The International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2009 notes that the unexpected boom in North American unconventional gas production, together with the current recession’s depressive impact ...More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Generation.

Was asked: the position regarding the co-firing targets including the three peat burning stations in the midlands and the likelihood of reaching the 30% target set out by him by 2015; if he will give assurances...More Button

The Government’s Energy Policy Framework 2007 sets out a target for co-firing in peat stations of 30% by 2015. Both ESB and Bord na Móna have been conducting a programme of research and development, ...More Button

Written Answers - Offshore Exploration.

Was asked: if, in view of the invitations for oil and gas prospectors to apply for licences to drill in the north west and the Clare Basin, these licences will fall under the 2007 legislation; if the State will...More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Generation.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 108 of 2 March 2010, the total number of customers who have signed up to the microgeneration programme being operated by the Electricity Supply Board; the number...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 108 of 2 March 2010, the details of the further progress between his Department and the Electricity Supply Board in relation to the review of the microgeneration...More Button

Was asked: his views on a feed-in tariff for microgeneration here; if he envisages a role for microgeneration in reducing our emissions and improving our energy mix; and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 73, 87 and 96 together. The Micro Generation Programme is being operated by ESB Customer Supply and supported by ESB Networks. The programme has the potential to prov...More Button

Was asked: when he expects the ESB market share of domestic household electricity supply to be below 60%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The recently published decision by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) on the road map for electricity price deregulation is an important step on the path to developing a fully competitive elec...More Button

Written Answers - Postal Services.

Was asked: the reason the tender process for a postcode system has been suspended; his views on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources report on postcodes; and if he will...More Button

An invitation to tender was issued on 29th January, 2010 for consultants to assist in selecting a body to implement and maintain a postcode system. The tender competition closed on the 12th March, 20...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: his plans to introduce legislation to facilitate the development of offshore wind energy; the timeframe for the legislation; the position regarding offshore wind here; and if he will make a statement...More Button

The Foreshore and Dumping at Sea (Amendment) Act 2009, provided for the transfer of certain functions relating to the foreshore from the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to the Minister f...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the number of the metropolitan area networks around the country that remain unconnected to the backbone broadband infrastructure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under Phase I of the Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) Programme there were 27 MANs constructed in conjunction with the Local and Regional Authorities. These have been managed by e|net under a conces...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Prices.

Was asked: the new measures he will take to ensure Ireland’s cost of energy is tackled in view of concerns expressed by the commercial sector about the high cost of energy here; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

The Government recognises that the cost of energy in Ireland is a serious competitiveness issue facing the enterprise sector during this difficult period for the economy. The provision of secure, sus...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: his plans to roll out combined heat and power plants fuelled by biomass in public buildings across the country. More Button

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is a highly efficient way of generating on-site heat and electricity simultaneously. It can offer significantly reduced energy bills for the end user and is a particular...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the development of wind energy here; the progress the ocean energy development unit in Sustainable Energy Ireland has made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

EirGrid publishes comprehensive and regularly updated lists of connected wind farms and contracted wind farms throughout the country on its website. EirGrid’s most recent report of 8 February advises...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the way he plans to combat the digital divide; if he is satisfied that persons who wish to learn to use the Internet across the broad sections of society have an opportunity to learn; the numbers of ...More Button

Was asked: the way he proposes to deal with the digital divide; the measures that he has put in place so far; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Transmission Network.

Was asked: the position regarding the North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Meath-Tyrone 400 kV Interconnection Development Project comprises an 80km, 400kV Interconnector between Cavan and Tyrone, and a 58km, 400kV Power Line between Meath and Cavan. This project will d...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: when it is expected to see the proposed one-stop-shop for State owned broadband; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the position regarding his commitment to establish a one-stop-shop to provide service providers with open access to existing ducting infrastructure; the further position regarding the implementation ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 89 together. The objective of the one-stop-shop commitment in the Next Generation Broadband policy paper “Gateway to a Knowledge Ireland”, is to facilitate tele...More Button

Was asked: his views on the claims that although there are up to 12,000 homes and businesses that cannot access broadband of any kind they are not covered by the national broadband scheme; the provision he will...More Button

Was asked: his views on his commitment that there will be universal access to broadband by the end of 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 86 and 91 together. It is this Government’s policy that telecommunications and broadband services should be provided in the first instance by electronic communications...More Button

Written Answers - Electricity Generation.

Was asked: his views on proposals on a European supergrid; the implications that this would have for Ireland; the work that his Department has done on this at European level; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

The European Union has set ambitious renewable energy targets as part of its overall Climate Change and Energy policies with the objective of achieving 20% of all energy in the EU to be from renewable...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies.

Was asked: if the annual accounts for 2008 of the Central Fisheries Board have been published and laid before Dáil Éireann; if not, the reason for the delay; the timeframe for publication; and if he will make a...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the extent to which high speed broadband coverage is currently available throughout the country; the areas deficient in such services; the reason for such deficiency or lack of cover; the service pro...More Button

There has been significant progress in broadband roll out and broadband quality over recent years. According to ComReg’s latest Quarterly Report for Q4/2009, 68% of residential subscriptions in Irela...More Button

Written Answers - Mobile Telephony.

Was asked: the responsibilities retained by him as opposed to those exercised by ComReg regarding mobile telephones; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department sets policy for the communications sector generally and establishes the appropriate regulatory framework. The main objective of communications policy is that it contributes to sustaina...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the position regarding the national broadband scheme; the cost of the scheme to date and the overall expected cost; if the project is set for completion in September 2010; the maximum and minimum spe...More Button

My Department entered into a contract with “3”, a Hutchison Whampoa company, for the delivery of the National Broadband Scheme (“NBS”) in late December 2008. Since then, 3 has progressed its network ...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Resources.

Was asked: the position regarding the fuel mix here; the percentage of fossil fuels that were imported in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The energy balance figures for 2009 are not yet available. The latest figures available were published by Sustainable Energy Ireland in December 2009 and refer to 2008. The figures show that Ireland...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Conservation.

Was asked: the recommendation that has been implemented from the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan published in 2009; the position regarding the target of 20% energy efficiency savings across the economy b...More Button

The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) sets out 90 actions that Government is either already taking or will take in the period to 2020 to achieve the national energy efficiency targets of ...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the position regarding legislation for geothermal energy here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: the number of businesses connected to each metropolitan area network by town; the cost of each connection; his views on whether the usage of this network is satisfactory; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Service providers are deemed as “customers” of the MANs. In other words, a service provider, as a customer of a MAN, uses the MAN to offer services on to the service provider’s own customers. 35 ser...More Button

Was asked: his views regarding the OECD figures that rank Ireland 20th out of a table of 30 OECD nations for households with broadband access in 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The OECD report is one in a series of periodic reports on electronic communications markets. The broadband market is a fast moving one and international tables do not always capture the full extent o...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the position regarding combined heat and power and the soon to be introduced carbon tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There will be no carbon tax liability for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plants which are powered by biomass. Plants within the European Emissions Trading System (ETS), which are typically over 20MW i...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Conservation.

Was asked: if his Department or its agencies are considering introducing a pay as you save scheme for energy efficiency; when he expects to roll out this scheme; his views on whether speculation about such a sc...More Button

My Department and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland are developing proposals for implementation of the retrofit programme, announced on Budget Day, which will further reduce energy costs and...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Resources.

Was asked: the percentage of bio-fuels in the market here; the percentage that is imported; the locations from which they are imported; the way he envisages that the sustainability criteria will be implemented ...More Button

The National Biofuel Obligation will underpin delivery of the national biofuel target and will take full account of EU biofuels policy, including the sustainability criteria. The legislative basis fo...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Conservation.

Was asked: the amount of money allocated for home insulation grants and the greener home schemes in the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and to date in 2010 in tabular form; the amount allocated in grants under eac...More Button

The following table sets out the relevant figures for the Greener Homes Scheme (GHS) from its inception in 2006 to date, and also sets out the figures for the Home Energy Savings scheme (HES) for 2008...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: when broadband will be available in an area (details supplied) in County Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Broadband services are provided by private service providers over various platforms including DSL (i.e over telephone lines), fixed wireless, mobile, cable, satellite and fibre. I understand that bro...More Button

Written Answers - Electric Vehicles.

Was asked: if he will report on the first stage of the roll out of the charging points for electric cars; when the nationwide network will be in operation; the amount of same that will be dispersed throughout t...More Button

Was asked: if he has made any contribution to the EU discussions on new and electric and hybrid car standards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 334 and 335 together. Electric vehicles offer an increasingly realistic solution to the challenge of reducing the transport sector’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions and reduc...More Button

Written Answers - Energy Conservation.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 912 of 19 January 2010, if he will review the matter on further evidence submitted confirming the applicant was living in the house for more than one year; if he...More Button

The Greener Homes Scheme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) on behalf of my Department and any decisions regarding applications under the scheme are a matter for det...More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: when a full broadband service will be available in Kinnitty, County Offaly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The provision of broadband services is in the first instance a matter for private sector service providers operating in Ireland’s fully liberalised telecommunications market. Broadband services are p...More Button

Written Answers - Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Was asked: if the national emission targets are likely to be achieved on time without a detrimental economic impact; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The reporting on and forecasting of greenhouse gas emissions is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government and for the Environmental Protection Agency.More Button

Written Answers - Digital Hub.

Was asked: the extent to which the digital hub project is progressing with original intentions and objectives, costs or investments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA) is continuing to work towards its development objectives to grow the Digital Hub. As of early 2010 there were 98 companies operating in the Digital Hub with ...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: if he will indicate the number of companies or individuals involved in the production of ethanol or bio-diesel; the number of such companies not included in the excise related incentive scheme; and i...More Button

The Biofuels Mineral Oil Tax Relief Schemes have resulted in 18 projects being awarded excise relief between 2005 and 2010. Of these projects, four are in the biodiesel category, five are in the pure...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which alternative energy now supplies the national electricity grid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There are currently approximately 1,540 megawatts (MWS) of renewable powered electricity generating plants accessing the electricity grid. Wind powered technology is the dominant renewable technology...More Button

Written Answers - Postal Services.

Was asked: the cost of the introduction of post codes; the way in which this will be funded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Estimates of the costs of the introduction of postcodes are contained in the Report of the Postcode Project Board, which was published in 2006 and a Cost Benefit analysis published in 2008. Copies of...More Button

Written Answers - Television Licence Fee.

Was asked: the extent of the TV licence fund reserve; the annual income from TV licences; the way in which it is spent; the way in which this compares with established practices over the years; and if he will m...More Button

Television licence revenue is generated from the sales of television licences and the recoupment of the cost of free television licences from the Department of Social and Family Affairs. There is no ...More Button

Written Answers - Alternative Energy Projects.

Was asked: the number of wind farms contributing to the national grid; the amount of electricity generated thereby; the number, if any, of such farms seeking access to the national grid; their capacity to produ...More Button

EirGrid’s most recent report of 8 February advises that there are just over 100 wind farms connected to the grid with an installed wind capacity 1264MW. There are an additional 100 wind farms with a ...More Button

Written Answers - Postal Services.

Was asked: if he will outline his preferred options for the future development of the postal services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government’s core policy goal for the postal sector is to ensure that Irish customers, both business and residential, enjoy competitively priced, high quality postal services. Legislation is curr...More Button

Written Answers - Prospecting Licences.

Was asked: the number of oil, gas or other mineral exploration licences issued on an annual basis from 2005 to date in 2010; the number that have been activated; the number that have been deemed to be commercia...More Button

Written Answers - Natural Gas Grid.

Was asked: when products from the Corrib gas field will become available to Irish consumers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: if he has had discussions at EU level on the matter of the future development of the telecommunications sector with particular reference to a high quality of service in respect of landline or mobile ...More Button

The provision of telecommunications services including fixed line and mobile telephony is, in the first instance, a matter for the private sector. The relevant service providers operate in a fully li...More Button

Was asked: the areas throughout County Kildare that are in receipt of modern high-speed broadband services; the areas in which no such service is available; the reason for this deficiency; if he expects that a ...More Button

The provision of broadband services is in the first instance a matter for private sector service providers operating in Ireland’s fully liberalised telecommunications market. Broadband services are p...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Bodies.

Was asked: the number of complaints received or submitted to the various regulators associated with his Department in each of the past five years to date in 2010; the extent of resolution or satisfaction achiev...More Button

The management and recording of complaints received by the regulators operating under the aegis of my Department are day to day operational matters for them in the context of their operations. As my ...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the various regulatory procedures operating within the ambit of his Department are adequate and responsive in every respect having particular regard to the experiences in othe...More Button

The legal, policy and operational frameworks applying to the regulatory procedures operating within the ambit of my Department are subject to ongoing review. This is to ensure that, insofar as is pos...More Button

Written Answers - Broadcasting Services.

Was asked: his preferred options for the future development of the public and private broadcasting sectors; the degree, if any, to which the economic situation is expected to affect the development of the indus...More Button

Under the provisions of the Broadcasting Act 2009 the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is charged with, inter alia, providing a regulatory environment that is stable and predictable and that wi...More Button

Was asked: the number of occasions he has met representatives of both the private and public broadcasting sectors since June 2007; the context of such meetings; the issues under discussion; if he received submi...More Button

In the context of the development of broadcasting policy in the past three years my officials and I have had cause, on a regular basis, to meet with the various interests that comprise the broadcastin...More Button


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