Mick Wallace Despite the usual 'nice' rhetoric from the #Democrats , the #US and #Saudi Coalition are continuing with their Coll… https://t.co/PDSQJJwylD
Mick Wallace Would be good if #mainstreammedia held #FiannaFail + #FineGael to account for voting for a terrible #CAP that aband… https://t.co/RFUXVmKnea
Mick Wallace The #EU needs to do more to stop the Collective Punishment of the people of #Tigray - This is a form of Genocide b… https://t.co/G5c6hiCa2q
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: The lack of concern shown by the #EU for the people of #Venezuela has been shocking and says much about their so called 'E…

PQ - Communications

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide an update on the development of wave power here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 17th July, 2014.

REPLY

The ocean energy sector in Ireland, as in other countries, is at the pre-commercial stage. As identified in the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP), which was published earlier this year, the ocean energy sector holds real potential for growth in the green economy and jobs in our coastal communities. The OREDP sets out policy actions and enablers to realise this ambition.

Supporting developers in bringing their devices from prototype to full scale commercial viability requires a broad range of policies. To that end, the ocean energy development budget, administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), provides support to developers in various ways. €6.5 million is available from the budget during 2014. Initial device development and testing is supported through the Prototype Fund. Developers must satisfy a range of technical criteria to indicate potential viability in order to receive funding. The €6.5m also includes funding for the development of the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS) off County Mayo. From 2016, this facility will provide a grid connected test site with some of the best conditions for wave energy development in the world. Currently SEAI and the Marine Institute provide quarter size test facilities off the Galway coast.

The Irish Maritime and Energy Research Centre (IMERC) provides initial device testing facilities and critical research and development capacity. My Department is contributing €3 million in co-funding to the IMERC between 2013 and 2016. In total, my Department has allocated €26.3 million for ocean energy in the period 2013 to 2016. This funding, which will benefit from increased cross government coordination through the implementation of the OREDP, is vital if the ocean energy sector is to reach its full potential in Ireland. The fact that this level of funding has been retained for ocean energy despite the budgetary constraints of recent years indicates the level of Government commitment to realising the potential of our abundant, indigenous, offshore energy resources.

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in view of the warning of the international panel on climate change, the reason Ireland is not following their recommendation to leave all fossil fuels in the ground; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 17th July, 2014.

REPLY

Security of energy supply is crucial to every society and economy. A well balanced fuel mix that provides reliable energy, minimises costs, and protects against supply disruptions and price volatility, is essential to Irish consumers and businesses.

The SEAI publication, Renewable Energy in Ireland 2012, noted the that oil and gas are a critical component of our energy mix, providing 76% of primary energy requirement in 2012. While Ireland has made considerable progress with regard to the use of renewable energy, it is the case that fossil fuels will continue to provide the lion's share of the energy mix well into the future.

The contribution of renewable energy to overall energy demand is rising steadily. It rose from 2.3% to 7.1% between 1990 and 2012, with renewable electricity contributing 4.1% to the overall energy demand in 2012. Ireland has committed to a target of 16% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020, through 40% from renewable electricity, 12% from renewable heat, and 10% from renewable transport. The ambition to have 40% of electricity consumed from renewable sources by 2020 is one of the most demanding in the world.

The Government is continuing to develop policies and actions aimed at increasing our security of supply, addressing our dependence on imported fossil fuels and achieving a more secure energy mix, while capitalising on indigenous renewable and conventional energy sources. The exploitation of indigenous gas supplies, and possible oil supplies, are important components of these policies.

The SEAI publication ‘Energy Forecasts for Ireland to 2020’ projects annual primary fuel requirement through to 2020, assuming that Ireland meets current renewable energy and energy efficiency targets set by the EU. These projections, which are available on the SEAI website, show that Ireland will remain dependent on fossil fuels well into the future. Oil and gas will remain central to the economy, particularly in the heating and transport sectors, until affordable, secure and viable alternatives become available.  

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To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources when he expects all citizens will have access to high speed broadband; and if he will make a statement on the matter. - Mick Wallace. For ORAL answer on Thursday, 12th June, 2014.     REPLY The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which I published in August 2012, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed broadband is available to all citizens and businesses. This will be achieved by providing:- -  a policy and regulatory framework that assists in accelerating and incentivising commercial investment; and - a State-led intervention for areas where it is not commercial for the market to invest. Since publication of the Plan, investments by the commercial sector are underway and in some instances have been accelerated in both fixed line and wireless high speed broadband services. Commercial operators combined have either invested, or committed to invest, over €2 billion in their Irish networks, delivering high speed broadband to homes and businesses. As a result of this accelerated investment the addressable area required by the State-led intervention has been reduced by 30% since the National Broadband Plan was launched. While these commercial developments are welcome the acceleration of investment is largely contained to cities and towns. Consequently, the speeds that are available in these areas are demonstrably better than those that are available in more rural areas. On 25 April last, I signalled the Government's commitment to a major telecommunications network build-out to rural Ireland, with fibre as the foundation of its investment, as part of the State-led intervention under the National Broadband Plan. This commitment is a clear expression of Government’s determination to address the connectivity challenge in rural Ireland in a meaningful and sustainable way. Central to the strategy will be a fibre build-out to locations in every county in the State identified as having no existing or planned enabling fibre network. It is intended that the fibre will be delivered directly to access points for homes and businesses, where service providers can utilise the fibre to provide high speed services to end users. The fibre build out will be part of an end-to-end strategy that will address all parts of Ireland that cannot access commercial high speed broadband services. A comprehensive mapping exercise is underway in my Department which will identify those areas that will require a State intervention. I have published a county-by-county list of towns and villages which have already been identified for a fibre build-out. This list is available on my Department's website www.dcenr.gov.ie. Currently a total of 78 areas in County Donegal, 84 areas in County Galway and 48 areas in Co Limerick have been identified as requiring an intervention. This is an indicative list and is subject to the completion of the mapping exercise. Further locations may be identified as this process continues. Similarly, it may be determined that some locations on the list will be addressed by the commercial sector and will therefore not require State intervention. I expect that this mapping exercise will be concluded in the autumn. I would point out that the EU Commission's guidelines on State aid for high speed broadband infrastructure preclude Member States from intervening in regions in which private investors have demonstrated plans to roll out infrastructure within the following three years. In tandem with the completion of the mapping exercise, intensive design and planning work is ongoing in my Department with a view to producing a detailed end to end implementation strategy for the State led intervention. It is my intention to conduct a full public consultation on the outcome of the mapping process and the proposed implementation strategy. EU State aid clearance will also be required for the intervention once finalised. This will be followed by a detailed procurement process with a view to commencing construction of the fibre network and provision of services in identified areas as quickly as possible. Government is determined to ensure that all citizens and businesses have access to quality and reliable broadband, as well as the skills to maximise the benefits such access brings. The proposed State led intervention acknowledges that broadband is the key infrastructure of the 21st century and its implementation will allow the full potential of a digitally enabled economy and society to be realised.   To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if his attention has been drawn to the poor quality of broadband services in the Wellingtonbridge/Bannow area of Wexford; his plan to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. - Mick Wallace. For ORAL answer on Thursday, 12th June, 2014. REPLY   I propose to take Questions Nos 6 and 11 together. The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which I published in August 2012, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed broadband is available to all citizens and businesses. This will be achieved by providing:- a policy and regulatory framework that assists in accelerating and incentivising commercial investment; and a State-led intervention for areas where it is not commercial for the market to invest. Since publication of the Plan, investments by the commercial sector are underway and in some instances have been accelerated in both fixed line and wireless high speed broadband services. Commercial operators combined have either invested, or committed to invest, over €2 billion in their Irish networks, delivering high speed broadband to homes and businesses. As a result of this accelerated investment the addressable area required by the State-led intervention has reduced by 30% since the National Broadband Plan was launched. While these commercial developments are welcome, investment is largely contained to cities and towns. Consequently, the speeds that are available in these areas are demonstrably better than those that are available in more rural areas. On 25 April last, I signalled the Government's commitment to a major telecommunications network build-out to rural Ireland, with fibre as the foundation of its investment, as part of the State-led intervention under the National Broadband Plan. This commitment is a clear expression of Government’s determination to address the connectivity challenge in rural Ireland in a meaningful and sustainable way. Central to the strategy will be a fibre build-out to locations in every county in the State identified as having no existing or planned enabling fibre network. It is intended that the fibre will be delivered directly to access points for homes and businesses, where service providers can utilise the fibre to provide high speed services to end users. I have published a county-by-county list of towns and villages which have already been identified for a fibre build-out. This is an indicative list and is subject to the completion of the comprehensive mapping exercise currently underway in my Department. Further locations may be identified as this process continues. Similarly, it may be determined that some locations on the list will be addressed by the commercial sector and will therefore not require State intervention. The list is available on my Department's website www.dcenr.gov.ie. I expect that the mapping exercise will be concluded in the autumn. In tandem with the completion of the mapping exercise, intensive design and planning work is ongoing in my Department with a view to producing a detailed end to end implementation strategy for the State led intervention. It is my intention to conduct a full public consultation on the outcome of the mapping process and the proposed implementation strategy. My Department has had initial discussions with the European Commission in relation to the relevant State Aid Guidelines and a formal application for EU State Aid application will be made to the Commission once details of the internvention are finalised. This will be followed by a detailed procurement process with a view to commencing construction of the fibre network and provision of services in identified areas as quickly as possible I would point out that the EU Commission’s guidelines on State aid for high speed broadband infrastructure preclude Member States from intervening in regions in which private investors have demonstrated plans to roll out infrastructure within the following three years. In this regard, I understand that at least one network operator has published a programme to roll out fibre-based broadband networks in County Wexford including the area of Wellingtonbridge by July 2016.

Good heartiness is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are varied. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the unimprovable treatment option for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to keep in mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may switch on erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide an update on the status of the Green Paper on Energy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 6th May, 2014.

REPLY

My Department is finalising an Energy Policy Green Paper which identifies issues that need to be considered in the development of Ireland’s energy policy to meet current and future challenges. Competitiveness, security of supply, and sustainability, as well as energy policy’s potential to support economic growth and job creation, will be the key pillars of the Green Paper which I expect to publish next week.

The energy policy landscape has undergone considerable change since the Energy Policy White Paper was published in 2007. The Green Paper provides a useful overview of the very significant developments that have taken place since then including billions of euro of investment in generation, transmission, distribution, supply, energy efficiency, renewable energy and new technologies. Other important developments including retail market competition, the Single Electricity Market, the development and commissioning of the East West Interconnector, renewable energy investment initiatives, energy efficiency incentives, and key policy documents are also referenced in order to set the scene for public consultation. The paper also points to developments at EU and international level that are having a direct impact on the Irish energy landscape.

The Green Paper sets out six energy policy priorities as follows:

·

Empowering Energy Citizens;

·

Markets and Regulation;

·

Planning and Implementing Essential Energy Infrastructure;

·

Ensuring a Balanced and Secure Energy Mix;

·

Putting the Energy System on a Sustainable Pathway; and

·

Driving Economic Opportunity.

There will be a full public consultation process on the Green Paper during which interested parties will be invited to submit their views which will form a key imput to the development of a new Energy Policy Framework in the form of a White Paper. It is my intention to publish the Energy White Paper around the end of this year.

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will consider initiating new independent research to assess the potential for allowing small commercial fishing for mullet, sea trout, bass and salmon using traditional methods based on best practice and sustainability; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 6th May, 2014.

REPLY

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is the state agency responsible for the protection, management and conservation of Ireland's inland fisheries and sea angling resources. In that role it provides scientific advice to my Department regarding the most up-to-date status of species under its brief.

Sea trout, bass and salmon are all managed as recreational angling species. All three are highly valuable angling species and provide the basis for significant employment and associated revenue generation in the angling tourism sector throughout Ireland.

IFI manages salmon stocks on an individual river basis as each of Ireland’s 143 salmon rivers has its own unique stock of salmon. IFI is supported in its management of salmon stocks by a statutorily based Standing Scientific Committee on Salmon comprising scientists from IFI, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Loughs Agency, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Marine Institute, the

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI- Northern Ireland) other State bodies and third level institutions. IFI carries out extensive monitoring of salmon stock status which feed into the the scientific committee's assessments carried out every year. Sea trout greater than 40cm length are managed under the same regulations as salmon.

The offshore and inshore salmon and sea trout commercial fisheries were closed in 2007 in order to comply with the EU Habitats Directive. A €25M Hardship Scheme was established for fishermen. While the scheme was administered by BIM, I understand that the average payment under the scheme was almost €23,000 and the highest payment was over €195,000. Conditions of the scheme included that nets had to be verifiably decommissioned and those availing of the Scheme would not be entitled to a licence in the future.

Commercial harvest fisheries are currently permitted on individual river stocks which are shown to be meeting their conservation limit. Fisheries in estuaries may also be permitted where the stocks from individual rivers entering the estuaries are each meeting their individual conservation limits. The current management approach allows Ireland to meet its international and national obligations in terms of salmon conservation and operate sustainable harvest fisheries (commercial and recreational) where this is feasible.

The steep decline in bass stocks in Ireland in the mid-1970s resulted in a severe deterioration of the renowned Irish bass angling resource. Ultimately the decline led to the cessation of the commercial fishery in 1990 via the Bass (Conservation of Stocks) Order, 1990. Since then bass, which are at the extremes of its European distribution in Irish coastal waters, have been regarded solely as an angling species and are restrictively managed largely on a catch and release basis.

Since 1990 Ireland has applied the precautionary principle in relation to management of Irish bass stocks and has concentrated on measures to enable the rebuilding of the severely depleted stock. Recent advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is that data are insufficient in the wider Northeast Atlantic Area, which includes Ireland, to evaluate the status of bass and that, on a precautionary basis, catches should not be allowed to increase. The current advice states that Irish bass are slow growing and discrete and the stock is highly dependent on suitable environmental conditions for successful recruitment.

IFI is currently delivering on its bass research programme, which seeks to provide greater insight into the ecology and biology of bass to support long-term bass sustainability. The outputs from this research and associated annual monitoring will, in the future, provide scientific advice to support the future management and conservation of Ireland’s bass stocks. The current Irish management model is regarded as being progressive by many observers and there are no data to warrant any change in the management approach. I am advised that the focus should be to continue observing the precautionary principle and collecting better quality data on stock status as consistently advocated by ICES for all species as a fundamental policy approach.

There are three species of mullet in Irish waters; the most abundant and common is the grey mullet. Grey mullet is also a popular recreational angling species which is sought after by specialist recreational anglers. I am advised that stock status is unknown as there is no formal stock assessment and no evaluation of mullet stocks by ICES in the north east Atlantic. Like bass, mullet are slow-growing, long-lived and late-maturing fish. In the absence of formal assessment I am advised by IFI that the precautionary principle is recommended. Opening up a fishery on stocks with an unknown status presents the possibility of overexploitation without any measure of current sustainability.

Good health is a result of proper supply and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are various. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment option for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to have in mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile disfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his plans to amend the Broadcasting Act 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. - Mick Wallace. For ORAL answer on REPLY   There are a range of legislative proposals currently under consideration in my Department which will require amendment of the Broadcasting Act 2009. The Programme for Government commits to examining the role and collection of the TV Licence fee and to the introduction of a household based Public Service Broadcasting Charge, to be applied to all eligible households and applicable businesses regardless of the device used to access content or services. As the Deputy will appreciate, the introduction of an alternative method of funding for public service broadcasting would require legislative underpinning. In conjunction with this, I am considering possible amendments in relation to certain administrative and operational issues identified in the period since the Act came into effect. While a certain amount of work has been undertaken in this regard, these proposals are still being developed. One such amendment is the proposed amendment to section 39, which I mentioned in the Dáil recently. At present, this section requires every broadcaster to ensure that nothing is broadcast that may reasonably be regarded as causing offence. In my view, this seems to be an unfeasibly rigorous approach. Some people may be easily offended, even where offence was not intended and is not objectively ascertainable. The amendment I am considering would require broadcasters to avoid causing ‘undue offence’, which seems to me to be more objective and more in tune with the realities of public debate. The legislative proposals under consideration also include the requisite legislative measures to implement the Government Decision following the completion of the 5 Year Review of public funding for Public Service Broadcasters last year, including a new system of determining the adequacy of funding for public service broadcasters and a revision of the current governance arrangements for advertising minutage. In addition to the measures outlined above, work is continuing on the New ERA efficiency review of RTE as well as on the economic assessment of the advertising market, currently being conducted by Indecon. The outcomes of both these reviews may potentially lead to additional legislative proposals. Once I have given due consideration to the proposals, and subject to Government consideration, it is my intention to forward the draft Heads of Bill to the Joint Committee for pre-legislative scrutiny.

Good soundness is a result of proper food and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are various. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment variant for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to bear in mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile disfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may turn on erectile disfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

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