The Energy Policy Green Paper for Ireland that marks the beginning of a 10-week public consultation on the future shape of Ireland’s energy policy has been launched today by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, TD.
The Irish Government is aware of the challenges facing the world's energy supplies, spiralling fossil fuel prices, and the effects of climate change on the environment.
As part of its Green Paper, the Government has detailed six priorities if consumers are to gain greater control of their energy usage, costs and generation.
The obvious move now is for an increase in the production of indigenous renewable energies that, in many cases, exist in abundance.
"Over the next decades, Ireland's economy will need to shift from one predominantly dependent on imported fossil fuels to a more indigenous, low-carbon economy based on renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart networks," said the report. "It will also need to fully exploit the major opportunity this presents for job creation and economic growth."
One aspect the paper suggests is empowering Irish citizens to be more energy aware and encouraging them to consider ideas, such as retro-fitting homes for more energy-efficient solutions or renewable energy technologies.
The Government paper also asks whether more work can be done with the authorities in Northern Ireland and other EU states to collaborate on a shared approach to supporting potential investment in building and accessing energy storage capacity in order to better use oil and gas and further exploit available renewable energies.