Teachta Tully said:
“Next year will see the start of work on the SuedLink electricity cable project in Germany.
“The SuedLink project is 700km in length, which is over five times the length of the north-south interconnector.
“Just like in Ireland, most of the power lines in Germany use alternating current, but this new transmission line between northern and southern Germany will use the more efficient high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology.
“Converter stations will be built at each end of the line to convert the Direct Current to Alternating Current.
“The difference between these two projects is the attitude and political will of the German Government to listen to the communities living along the proposed scheme who have sought it to be placed underground.
“In June 2015, the German government endorsed a draft law to give preference to high-voltage underground cabling instead of stringing miles upon miles of overhead cables on pylons.
“The extra cost of undergrounding the project in Germany were justified because of the costly legal challenges launched by citizens living along the project.
“Sinn Féin have said from the start that the north-south interconnector is likely to be held up for years, if it goes ahead at all, with legal challenges, as the communities along its path of this project are completely opposed to it if it is not placed underground.
“In view of this development the Irish Government must now implement a new consultation process that would include the option of undergrounding the north-south interconnector.”