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Climate Plan reveals nothing new on Moneypoint – Harty

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“No new information” is included in the Government’s Climate Action Plan on Moneypoint’s future which is “worrying” according to Clare TD, Dr. Michael Harty.

Published by the Government on Monday, the Climate Action Plan stated discussions will continue regarding the future of the West Clare power plant. “We have committed to end the burning of coal in ESB’s Moneypoint generation plant by 2025, and to the replacement of coal-fired generation with low-carbon and renewable technologies. Facilitating this is the recent reform of the EU ETS and changes to the electricity market in Ireland, along with the resulting price signals. The ESB is engaging with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment regarding the future of Moneypoint”.

Dr. Harty felt the plan “merely reiterates the commitment to end the burning of coal there by 2025, and to the replacement of coal-fired generation with low-carbon and renewable technologies”. Contractors have been let go from Moneypoint with fears that redundancies will be announced in the next month, subsequently the Independent TD said the silence from Government and ESB’s inability to produce plans for post 2025 was “deeply regrettable”.

“What is the plan for the future of Moneypoint or is there any plan at all? Roche departed Clare and the Government failed to find a replacement. Is Moneypoint to go the same way with negative implications for the people and economy of West Clare? Moneypoint is completely different from Roche in that it is State owned and the ESB is answerable to the Government. So far, the current Minister Richard Bruton with responsible for energy has been less than forthright in his response to questions on Moneypoint’s future.

“We are facing a perfect storm in Co Clare with Roche gone, Moneypoint under threat and Shannon Airport facing a crisis of falling numbers. The maintenance of good quality employment and a vibrant economy in rural Clare is vital. So, I call on Minister Richard Bruton and Minister of State Pat Breen to immediately clarity the situation on Moneypoint. Is there a plan and if so, what is,” Harty concluded.

Also on Monday, a meeting scheduled to take place to discuss cost-cutting measures at Moneypoint was not held. It has since been rescheduled for Monday July 8th.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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