The UK and Irish governments have agreed to develop a "formal" memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will set the stage for the two countries to trade in renewably-generated electricity. The plan is a central plank of Ireland’s strategy to develop its offshore wind resource.
The announcement follows a meeting yesterday between UK secretary of state for energy, Charles Hendry, and Irish energy minister, Pat Rabitte.
As previously reported by Windpower Offshore, the Republic of Ireland’s energy ministry announced earlier this year that it would not introduce an offshore wind feed-in tariff, as previously planned. Instead, it is seeking to strike a deal with the UK government that would allow new offshore wind projects built in Irish waters to supply the UK national grid and to contribute to the UK’s compliance with its 2020 renewable energy targets.
Ireland has just 25MW of offshore wind capacity, despite boasting a number of easy-to-build, shallow-water sites in the Irish Sea. Companies that may be interested in pursuing the right to develop these sites include SSE and Mainstream Renewable Power.
Officials from the two countries’ energy ministries will seek to finalise an MoU on renewable energy trading by the end of the year.