Midlands energy export project will not go ahead – Rabbitte

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte has announced that further examination of the Renewable Energy Export Project arising from the London Summit has failed to conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement to facilitate green-energy export from the Midlands within the EU’s 2020 timeframe.

The Minister said, “I regret that it has not been possible at this time to conclude an agreement as envisaged. However, I believe that in the context of an European Internal Market and greater integration, greater trade in energy between Britain and Ireland is inevitable in the post 2020 scenario.

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“Economic analysis conducted on the Irish side clearly indicates that under agreed policy and regulatory conditions, renewable energy trading can deliver significant economic benefits to Ireland and the UK, as well as being attractive to developers.”

However, this will not happen automatically. Renewable energy trading has to be designed to work. Following further discussions between the Department and the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change since the Summit between the Taoiseach and Prime Minister Cameron in early March, Rabbitte said he was of the view that – given the economic, policy and regulatory complexities involved and the key decisions yet to be taken by the UK – delivery by 2020 of a Midlands Wind Export Project was not now a realistic proposition.

“I discussed the issue again last week with UK Climate and Energy Minister Ed Davey and then with An Taoiseach and I have confirmed the above outcome to my UK counterpart,” Rabbitte concluded.