Ireland and UK sign wind farm deal
Industry players welcomed the formal commitment by the Irish and British governments to open the door to green electricity exports from the Republic to Britain, but warned yesterday that it was just a first step.
The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, and Edward Davey, British secretary for energy and climate change, yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding that will pave the way for electricity exports to Britain from Irish-based wind farms.
The memorandum should lead to a more detailed agreement that will allow wind farms based in the Republic to hook directly into Britain’s national grid and sell electricity there.
Welcoming the deal, Tim Cowhig, chief executive of Element Power, a US-backed group that is planning to spend €8 billion developing wind farms in the midlands, said it was a critical first step.
However, he added that both governments now need to work on a full agreement. “Trade in renewable energy between the countries will only be possible if facilitated by the required legislative change across a variety of government departments including energy, environment and finance,” he said.
The Irish Wind Energy Association praised the minister for delivering on his commitment to open the door for a deal between the two governments.