The authors of a new report into the finacial viability of putting a controvsial electricity interconnector from the North to the South says that the undergrounding cables would be the more expensive option.
However, they say they are not recommending either method.
Since the plans were first unveiled by Eirgrid several years ago, there has been strong opposition in Monaghan to the 140km long interconnector going overground.
Campaigners claim that it could have health implications for people living near the electricity cables and damage the environment and want the project to be put underground.
Eirgrid says that would be too expensive and difficult to maintain.
The report says the overground option would be significantly cheaper and the visual impact could be reduced by increased investment in the design of the associated towers throughout the countryside.
The report’s authors say they did not examine any possible health implications, the potential impact on property value or landscape devaluation.
Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte welcomed the report and said after a brief period of consultation he would be going back to Government with a memorandum on energy security which Eirgrid and the planning process will have to have regard for.