NEPPC welcomes statements made at Marian Harkin meeting in Brussels.

November 22, 2015

 22 November 2015

Undergrounding becoming more available and affordable .

NEPPC welcomes the initiative taken by Marian Harkin to host a meeting in Brussels on the costs and affordability of undergrounding (Appendix 1). Members from the European underground cable industry participated in the discussion. The key message is that undergrounding is now more widely available and affordable, costing potentially as little as €3-€9 per year on an electricity bill.

The drafting of legislation in Germany to prioritise undergrounding of a 700 Km underground line and 16 other pilot projects is a strong reflection of the growing importance of this technology in advancing the electricity transmission grid across Europe.

EirGrid has conceded that undergrounding the North-South interconnector is feasible. It has stated that it will underground the project if directed to do so by Government. It can no longer use the argument of cost being prohibitive.

Ends –

Further information:

NEPPC  087 – 680 36 66



Undergrounding High-Voltage Cables Can Be Justified Says MEP

At a breakfast discussion in the European Parliament organised by Independent MEP Marian Harkin yesterday, Wednesday, November 18th, it was indicated that the undergrounding of high-voltage electricity transmission cables could be more affordable than previously thought.

In a statement following the discussion, which included representatives of the European cable manufacturing industry, the European Commission and MEPs, Marian Harkin said that new information, especially from Germany, indicated that undergrounding of interconnectors and other planned overhead transmission lines could cost the end consumer from as little €3.40 to €9.10 extra per annum. “This compares very favourably with the exaggerated claims of those who have dismissed the possibility of undergrounding high-voltage cables on the basis that the capital cost would be unaffordable” she said.

She continued: “eliminating fears about health risks associated with high-voltage overhead cables, and avoiding the huge controversy around land acquisition and landscape infringement would be major benefits that would derive from undergrounding, or partial undergrounding of projects such as the cross border interconnector or Grid West. It would also help to ensure a speedy process because of the avoidance of planning appeals, and court cases, and it would allay people’s health concerns.

“The cost factor in undergrounding would also be positively affected by the employment created and the taxes derived from the construction of projects. Today’s meeting made it very clear – the technology is there and it is affordable. In the past four years alone, 3,000 high voltage direct current cables (HVDC) and 5,000 high voltage alternating current cables (HVAC) have been installed globally.

“An example of the growing importance of undergrounding is the draft legislation in Germany which will give priority to undergrounding a 700 km direct current (DC) line from northern to southern Germany as well as sixteen pilot projects where approximately 20km of alternating current (AC) cables will be undergrounded. Ireland can no longer bury its head in the sand and neglect the real concerns of citizens and communities. We should be following Germany’s lead as well as that of the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark and indeed many European countries. If we want the North – South Interconnector or Grid West to proceed in a timely and efficient way then undergrounding must be integral to the process”, Marian Harkin concluded.



Filed under: Press Releases 2015

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NEPP is the overall representative group for the people of Ireland's North East who advocate that high power electric cables should go underground.

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