09 November 2010, 07:52 BST
Eamon Ryan, Ireland’s Minister of Communications Energy and Natural Resources, has unveiled a “roadmap” for the development of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy that he claims could result in the nation exporting 10 times the amount of electricity it uses domestically.
Ryan made his comments at the Pathways to 2050 International Energy Conference in Dublin’s convention centre, a conference attended by US Energy Secretary Steven Chu and International Energy Agency Director Nobuo Tanaka, among other notables.
Ryan told conference attendees that renewable on shore energy could almost meet the Government’s target of supplying 40 per cent of Ireland’s electricity by 2020.
But he said as much as 10 times the nation's total electricity requirement of five to six GW, some 50 to 60 GW, could be exported by 2050 if offshore wind and marine resources were exploited.
Ryan said EU energy ministers from nine countries will meet next month to sign a detailed agreement to advance proposals for a new offshore grid involving north western EU countries.
The ministers are from the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, and Ireland. Norway is also expected to be included and become the 10th signatory during the meeting.
The plan for the new grid is then expected to be taken up by an EU heads of government summit on energy in February.
“Every megawatt of renewable energy that goes onto the Irish national grid reduces our €6 billion annual fossil fuel bill, reduces our carbon emissions and creates Irish jobs. Today’s study shows that we have a massive potential for renewable energy off our shores,” Ryan said.
For additional information: Eamon Ryan TD Link
Source: Renewable Energy Magazine
Photo provided by friskyreddog, Flickr.