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Ireland — Engineer to challenge Government’s Renewable Energy programme

Vincent Ryan — Irish Examiner — December 21, 2012

The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is preparing for a courtroom showdown with a chemical engineer in the new year over the Government’s renewable energy plans.

Pat Swords, a chemical engineer from Dublin, has won the right to seek a judicial review of the Government’s renewable energy programme.

Mr Swords said that he is taking the case because he does not want to see Ireland following the disastrous route that Germany has embarked on which resulted in a tripling of industrial electricity prices and a doubling of domestic prices.

He said he started looking for the legally required documents to show the benefit that Ireland would get from starting large-scale renewable projects.

“As a specialist I could see this coming so I started asking for the legally required information and it was not there,” he said. After discovering the lack of documentation he launched his legal battle.

A spokesperson for the department said that they were aware of the pending case.

“We are aware that Mr Swords has notified the Chief State Solicitor’s office of a judicial review,” they said.

Mr Swords is taking the Government on under a complicated piece of international law called the Aarhus Convention, that Ireland only adopted in September.

Dr Áine Ryall, a law lecturer at University College Cork, said Mr Swords has already won a similar case in Geneva when he took the European Union to the Aarhus Compliance Commission in Geneva.

(To continue reading, click here)

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