Rabbitte sets UK power talks deadline
ENERGY Minister Pat Rabbitte set a 12-month deadline for completion of negotiations with UK on agreement for exporting renewable energy.
"Among the shared long-term challenges to prosperity on our two islands is the need for secure, competitive and sustainable energy," Mr Rabbitte said in a speech yesterday.
"Of course a key objective, from an Irish government perspective, is to realise the potential for investment, jobs and growth."
The two countries are trying to improve co-operation as the European Union introduces legislation on energy market liberalisation, which aims to create single electricity and gas markets in Europe.
Mr Rabbitte and his UK counterpart Edward Davey recently signed a memorandum of understanding on energy co-operation about exporting green energy from Ireland to Britain.
Both Britain and Ireland must reach targets for consuming renewable energy by 2020. Britain is struggling but Ireland's position close to the Atlantic Ocean means we are well positioned to produce wind energy that can then be exported. Britain could count that energy exported from Ireland in her quota.
"Ireland's overarching strategic objective is not just to make renewable energy an increasingly significant component of our domestic energy supply by 2020 but also to make it a significant component of our export sector," Mr Rabbitte said.
"We have in Ireland a rich and abundant wind and ocean energy potential, which I firmly believe can be harvested and exported as a real economic opportunity for this island."
He added that the two governments must still tease out "very complex engineering and market issues" but he wants the detail to be decided by 2014.