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Green paper on future energy policy to be published within months

2 Apr 2014

Minister Pat rabbitte.

Green paper on future energy policy to be published within months

Frank McDonald Irish Times

A green paper on future energy policy for Ireland will be published within the next month or so, Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte has told the Oireachtas Environment Committee.


He said yesterday that his department was also preparing a new national planning framework for renewable energy that would "prescribe where wind farms can be built and where they can't be built".


The Minister said both policy documents were being "driven by the goal of decarbonisation" for the electricity sector, especially in view of the "shocking implications" of the UN's latest scientific report on climate change.


He told the committee it was "inevitable that renewables will be a very important element of energy policy" for the future, but admitted it would be "challenging" for Ireland to meet EU targets for 2020.


A review of wind energy planning guidelines is expected to be finalised by the middle of the year while a "bio-energy proposal" would be published in the next few weeks. "Whatever the scarcity is, it's not a scarcity of policy," he said.


Referring to plans to export wind energy to Britain, Mr Rabbitte said a three-month deadline for completing negotiations had been set by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British prime minister David Cameron.


He said problems had arisen because the British side had yet to put in place a regulatory framework to accommodate Irish wind and that a "possible new architecture" would be required if there is to be a deal on the way forward.

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