UK to Import Electricity From Irish Clean Energy Plants

From Bloomberg

By Alex Morales

The U.K. plans to import gigawatts of wind energy from Ireland to cut costs to consumers of lowering the greenhouse gas output of the nation’s power mix.

U.K. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey and his Irish counterpart, Pat Rabbitte, are signing a memorandum of understanding today that will chart how the countries will work together to establish an energy trading program, Davey’s department said in an e-mailed statement.

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

The U.K. aims to get 30 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020 from almost 12 percent now. It’s part of the nation’s effort to meet a European Union target of deriving 15 percent of all energy, including for heat and transportation, from renewables. EU rules say power produced in one nation can be used to meet another’s obligations.

The British government forecast in 2011 that renewable subsidies will add 54 pounds ($85) to a typical annual household bill in 2020, an increase more than offset by EU and U.K. energy efficiency policies.

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