A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by 10 European countries that sees a consensus reached on the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative and Energy Minister Eamon Ryan believes it is the best policy to take Europe forward.
Formal preparations on the European energy ‘Supergrid‘ project have begun in one of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy projects that will see Ireland, the UK, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the Benelux Countries join forces.
"This is the best policy decision taken in the EU since the 20-20-20 renewable energy and energy-efficiency targets," said Ryan, adding: "Ireland has been driving this agenda since the beginning. We have the best wind and wave resources in Europe, and political will to match."
The aims of the project are to:
- Develop transnational grid infrastructure in the North and North West Seas;
- Facilitate delivery of large-scale offshore wind projects to vastly increase the amount of renewable electricity generated from North Seas wind and waves;
- Further secure European energy supplies and help deliver a market for renewable energy exports.
The minister believes the joint Supergrid scheme will secure Ireland’s position as an exporter of renewable energy.
"This infrastructural project is set to be one of the biggest transnational power structures worldwide. It will ultimately connect offshore wind farms in Northern Europe, allowing countries with surplus energy to export to those with higher demand.
"Ireland will be one of the primary export countries. Today, we move beyond political intent. This is action, it is happening. I am proud of Ireland’s involvement in this project and I look forward to seeing it progress."
Work will focus on the co-ordinated development of offshore and onshore grids to ensure cost-effective and sustainable investment.