Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
451. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide an update on the progress of the geothermal Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23332/10]
Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Conor Lenihan): Considerable progress has been made in the preparation of a draft legislative scheme to permit exploration for and exploitation of geothermal energy and I have been considering an initial proposal for Heads of the Bill. My aim is to have technical legal drafting completed in time to have a publication of a Bill later this year and I will be bringing proposals to Government for this purpose within the next four to six weeks.
Geothermal energy can be a potentially important source of indigenous energy in specific areas, but it is also a new area of legislative endeavour in this jurisdiction and so the Bill will be substantial, dealing with a range of matters such as ownership of the resource, regulation and licensing of exploration and development, ancillary rights and protection of third party interests. I would add that I have engaged closely with industry and interested parties in a public consultation process and in a series of meetings and workshops to ensure that the legislative proposals have the benefit of their input.
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