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    Dundalk TD says Ireland could be a ‘renewables superpower’


    December 5, 2022 - Olivia Ryan

     

      Climate change and the problems at Carlinn Hall in Dundalk were highlighted by Louth TD Ruairí Ó Murchú in the Dáil this week.

      Deputy Ó Murchú’s comments about the ongoing situation at Carlinn Hall, where residents are paying huge sums for their communal heating because the system uses gas and not biofuel or geothermal, came during debates in the Dáil about the recent climate summit, COP27.

      Deputy Ó Murchú said: “Many have spoken about the difficulties surrounding COP27 and about what the people have not signed up for. We want to make whatever moves we can away from fossil fuels. District heating can be one of those solutions.”

      “I once again bring up the issue of communal heating systems that are now being powered by gas. A feasibility study has already started around geothermal in respect of Carlinn Hall, Dundalk.”

      “None of this will work in this shift, however, unless we have a grant scheme in place to facilitate this communities, for example in the areas of geothermal or woodchip.”

      “Beyond that, we will need mitigations. I thought the temporary business energy support scheme, TBESS, could have been a means by which we facilitated those residents who are under severe pressure.”

      “That is an opportunity that has been missed. We need a bespoke solution to get people through this winter. Thereafter, we can help them to switch to a better system and we can get that all-round improvement.”

      He added that Ireland could be “a renewables superpower.”

      “We could be the renewables superpower or the offshore wind superpower, but we know we are behind where we need to be on the basis of our planning infrastructure that is not fit for purpose.”

      “At this point, we know we do not have ports that are fit to deliver the sort of infrastructure we will need. We just have to do all this better and faster. We have absolutely no choice. In that regard, the Government needs to show the ins and outs of how we are going to deliver the wins as regards solar energy, farming and anaerobic digestion, and green hydrogen across the board; whatever is needed. We have seen some wins in respect of public transport, some of which relates to financial incentives and the idea of reducing fares, but, as I said, it needs to be faster and better’.

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