Energy - Policy Advisory: Energy Policy and Economic Opportunity - The Potential for Large Scale Electricity Exports - June 27, 2012

The opportunity to export electricity has arisen because of the difficulty the UK has in meeting its EU renewable energy targets; the commissioning of the East West Interconnector in 2012 between Ireland and Great Britain; the opportunity to offload onshore wind in the Irish system which would otherwise have been curtailed off; and a surplus of conventional generation in Ireland. The report sets out some of the principles and criteria that might be applied in policy formation in this area and seeks to identify the risks and constraints which may be relevant. There have been substantial improvements in competitiveness generally in the economy over the past eighteen months and these are contributing significantly to enhancing the critically important flow of foreign direct investment into the country. The Academy believes that competitiveness considerations must be at the heart of energy policy for the foreseeable future and this view is reflected in the advice suggested in this report. The report is the first in a new series of reports on Energy Policy and Economic Opportunity which will be produced by the Academy this year. This series of reports will also address the role of Oil and Gas, Emerging Transport Technology, and Conservation and Energy Efficiency.