UK to examine green energy import deal with Ireland

Edward Davey, UK Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, together with the Irish Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, have together announced their joint commitment to ensuring security of economic benefits for both countries through the trade of renewable energy.

At the announcement, Rabbitte said:

“Ireland has the potential to generate far more wind energy than we could consume domestically. The opportunity to export this green power presents an opportunity for employment growth and export earnings which we must seize if we can. Today the two Governments are committing themselves to a programme of work.” “We will work closely with the UK government so we are in a position to move towards a formal agreement on energy trading. We will tease out the very complex engineering and market issues so that, subject to their successful resolution and a decision by UK and Irish Ministers to proceed, in a year’s time, we will be in a position to make an intergovernmental agreement providing a formal basis for energy trading.” Davey continued:

“Trading power with Ireland could increase the amount of green power in our energy mix and potentially bring down costs for UK consumers. Making the most of the natural renewable resource available around our islands could benefit the economies of both countries. The Memorandum of Understanding marks the continuation of close working between our Governments on the potential for energy trading.” The Ministers intend to sign a Memorandum of Understanding affirming the commitment of each country to the following:

1. Achieve close integration of electricity markets; 2. Maintain a strong partnership on energy and green issues; and 3. Maximise the sustainable use of low carbon renewable energy resources.

The Ministers will carry out an analysis of the partnership and use of alternative energy sources both onshore and offshore that might assist both the UK and Ireland. Any subsequent trading between them will strive to cut down deployment costs and reduce the dependency on fossil fuels. If the analysis proves to be effective, then the Ministers will seek an inter-governmental agreement for 2014.