Plans are being discussed between the Scottish and Irish governments for the sharing of electricity between the two countries through a vast network of undersea cables.
The discussion to share energy between Ireland and Scotland, with a second link between Wales and Ireland would allow the sharing of energy between all three Celtic countries and are part of plans being put forward in a feasibility study published in November 2011. The Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) sets out how electricity can be shared between the Celtic countries so that it can be exported at times of excess, or imported if and when the country requires back-up and is part of a European Union backed plan to develop an electricity `super-grid’ throughout Europe.
Following the publication of the Study a conference was organised between Ministers from the Irish and Scottish Parliaments and the Northern Irish Assembly in Glasgow to discuss the plans further. Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney said at the conference:
“The ISLES study shows that, by working together on a shared renewables grid, we could boost jobs, revenue and economic growth – as well as helping secure future renewable energy supplies. These islands have some of the most abundant and powerful offshore renewable energy sources in Europe.”
Scottish Ministers have committed themselves to producing 100% of Scotland’s energy needs by 2020, which would allow excess energy produced from other sources to be used for export. In addition to Ireland, Scotland is also looking to link up its energy sources with Norway. In a move that could mark the beginning of closer ties between Scotland and its Scandinavian neighbours, SNP Member of the UK Parliament, Angus Robertson, stated recently that Scotland’s relationship with the Scandinavian countries had suffered because of England’s `southern’ bias since the 1707 Act of Union. Mr Robertson said:
“Our neighbours to the north and east have already made a good start and work constructively together. We need to join them and play our part. The UK has opted out of a serious approach. We should not.”
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Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:
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M: 0044 (0)7787318666
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