Report on energy transmission infrastructure welcome - IBEC


IBEC, the group which represents Irish business, has welcomed the publication of an independent report - initiated by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources - on the comparative merits of overhead electricity transmission lines versus underground cables (Click Here).

IBEC again stressed the business imperative for energy to be delivered to consumers, using the most economic and reliable infrastructure options available.

IBEC Senior Policy Executive, Erik O’Donovan said - “Transmission and distribution costs form 30% of large energy consumers’ electricity bills. Given rising global energy costs, the key business concern is that energy is delivered to consumers in an economic and reliable manner.”

The study, which was carried out by the consultancy, Ecofys, found that underground cables currently do not compare to overhead lines in terms of reliability and security of electricity supply. Underground cables have a likelihood of unplanned breakdowns that is 10 times higher than overhead lines, which is a significant issue when maintaining a reliable electricity supply to consumers.

The study also indicates that the capital costs of underground cables would be five times that of overhead lines. However, it notes that the cost of underground cable proposals could be even higher still.

Mr. O’Donovan concluded - “A reliable and cost-effective energy supply network is crucial to our economic prosperity in terms of attracting inward investment and promoting regional economic development. IBEC hopes that the findings of the Ecofys report will encourage policy decisions that prioritise the timely delivery of cost-effective and reliable energy supply infrastructure.”