26/07/2005

WWF welcomes all-island renewable energy plans

WWF Northern Ireland has welcomed plans by the British and Irish Government's to secure cost effective, environmentally friendly power sources for the future of Ireland, north and south.

Energy Minister, Angela Smith and her Republic of Ireland counterpart Noel Dempsey, yesterday published a joint preliminary consultation paper setting out proposals for a ‘2020 Vision’ for the integration of renewable energy within the All-island Energy Market.

The Ministers agreed on the need to respond collectively to the common economic and environmental challenges facing Northern Ireland and the Republic, and called for an open debate on how to plan for sustainable energy supplies through to 2020 and beyond.

Commenting on the proposals, Malachy Campbell, Policy Officer for WWF Northern Ireland, said: “WWF Northern Ireland has been calling for a long term energy strategy for quite a while so this development is very welcome.

"The potential for renewable energy in Ireland is amongst the highest in Europe, yet renewable energy currently accounts for a mere 4% of Northern Ireland’s energy consumption. Given the risks associated with climate change, the increasing cost and scarcity of oil and the desire of the people, this figure has to increase.”

The ministerial paper and supporting document ‘All-island Energy Market: Renewable Electricity, a 2020 Vision’ are available on the DETI Energy website at www.detini.gov.uk.’

Cooperation on all-island energy issues is set out in the ‘All-island Energy Market Development Framework’ agreed by Ministers in November 2004, which is also available at the same site.

(MB)

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