Producing more green energy will boost exports – minister

5 Nov 2010

The Minister For Energy, Eamon Ryan, believes Ireland has the potential to produce 10 times its existing electricity demand with little or no bearing on the environment and that the country’s future will rely on exports.

The minister made the announcement as he published the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan for public consultation, which examines offshore wind, wave and tidal energy resources and how they might be utilised in coming years.

The plan, published in conjunction with the ‘Strategic Environment Assessment of Irish Waters’ plan, contends that Ireland could produce up to 10 times its existing electricity demand without significant environmental impact.

Announcing the plan at the Irish International Energy Conference – Pathway to 2050, Ryan said, “We have doubled the amount of renewable energy on our system and we want to go further. Every megawatt of renewable energy that goes onto the Irish national grid reduces our €6bn annual fossil fuel bill, reduces our carbon emissions and creates Irish jobs.

“Today’s study shows that we have a massive potential for renewable energy off our shores. Wind, wave and tidal off the Irish coast can produce 10 times our own electricity needs without adversely affecting the environment.”

“Our recovery will be based on exports. Our capacity to produce this green electricity gives us major export potential. We are working with Scotland and Northern Ireland on the ISLES project to develop interconnection with these close neighbours. Work is advancing with nine countries across Europe on the North Seas initiative to develop a ‘supergrid’ to trade this renewable power. At the end of this month I will travel to London to meet Secretary Huhne to work out a trading agreement with the United Kingdom on renewable energy.”