Ireland could export as much electricity as we consume ourselves” – Minister Pat Rabbitte

  • Minister Rabbitte launches “Strategy for Renewable Energy 2012-2020” document.
  • Confirms determination that 2020 renewables targets will be met – “good for the environment and good for jobs”.
  • Holding talks on export protocol with UK Government next month

Speaking in Dublin today, Pat Rabbitte T.D, Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources highlighted the scope for Ireland to be an exporter of renewable energy of significance. “Given the scale of our wind resources, in the medium term we could be exporting wind energy on a scale that matches the total electricity consumption of the country. “We use 6 to 7 Gigawatts ourselves each year and I believe we could be exporting the same quantum to the UK and beyond in the coming years.”


“As the European Union moves to decarbonise its energy systems there will be a real demand in Europe for carbon free electricity. Our coastal location gives us a real advantage in having natural resources of real scale and significance. Alongside moves to join together European energy markets, this will give us access to much bigger electricity markets in years to come. Next month I will be meeting the UK Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, for negotiations on an intergovernmental agreement that will mean that those involved in generation of on and offshore renewable energy in Ireland will have an additional market to serve.”


Minister Rabbitte also underlined the imperative to develop wind energy facilities and the bioenergy sector to meet Ireland’s domestic renewables targets for electricity, heat and transport. “By 2020 we aim that 40% of our own electricity consumption will be green. That’s a target that we have agreed with the European Union but it is also a target we should embrace ourselves and aim to surpass if possible. Green energy reduces dependence on fossil fuels, improves security of supply, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions creating environmental benefits while delivering green jobs to the economy, thus contributing to national competitiveness and the jobs and growth agenda.


“We can not afford to allow challenges of grid build out, regulation or permitting to impede us in reaching the 2020 targets. I will personally be chairing a Renewable Energy Development Forum which will track progress closely to ensure we solve any problems that might delay development.”


The Minister was launching a new Government policy document “Strategy for Renewable Energy 2012 – 2020.” The document outlines the strategic goals and 36 specific actions so as to maximise the economic potential of renewables: increasing on and offshore wind, building a sustainable bio energy sector, fostering R&D in renewables such as wave & tidal, growing sustainable transport and building out robust and efficient smart energy networks.

To access the Renewable Energy Strategy please click here.

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