Ireland and UK agree to energy trading memorandum

Ireland wind

Officials from the United Kingdom and Ireland have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue trading of renewable energy, according to a U.K. government press release.

The U.K. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey and the Irish Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte have announced a plan to import large amounts of electricity generated from wind energy projects in Ireland to consumers in the UK. The press release stated that both countries have set individual targets for the development of renewable energy in their countries, which must be met by 2020.

By importing wind energy, the United Kingdom may be able to reduce consumers' costs for energy use and lower the nation's output of greenhouse gases, according to Bloomberg. The United Kingdom currently gets 12 percent of its electricity from renewable resources and hopes to increase that percentage amount to 30 percent by 2020. The European Union also has a target of deriving 15 percent of energy from renewables, the article stated. EU rules allow nations to trade energy in order to meet country-specific goals.

Rabbitte said Ireland will work with the United Kingdom to develop a formal agreement on the energy trading.

“Ireland has the potential to generate far more wind energy than we could consume domestically," said Rabbitte. "The opportunity to export this green power presents an opportunity for employment growth and export earnings which we must seize.”

Wind energy in Ireland is explored at PennEnergy's research area.

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