7th June 2016,
On the 6th June 2016, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, signed an energy cooperation declaration with 9 other EU counties focussing on the development of cost effective offshore wind & wave renewable energy.
Commenting on the cooperation declaration, Denis Naughten said "Ireland has the best off shore energy potential in Europe but we need to work with our colleagues across the EU to turn this potential into electricity"
"While we are at the leading edge ocean energy research, we can always benefit from closer cooperation with our EU neighbours, not just in ensuring that we use the most cost effective solutions to produce off shore energy but also to get this green electricity onto the European electricity grid".
Speaking from Luxembourg at the official signing ceremony he said "As the new Minister with responsibility for both for energy and climate action, I want to ensure that we do all in our power to achieve our climate change targets in a sustainable cost effective manner in the shortest timeframe possible".
It is also important that we have access to a balanced suite of renewable energy options and I believe that this declaration with EU countries adjoining the North Sea and Irish Sea will help us as a country develop a range of cost effective renewable energy solutions" concluded Denis Naughten
Minister Naughten was one of 10 signatories to the "Political Declaration on Energy Cooperation between the North Seas Countries." This voluntary declaration, supported by the European Commission, has a particular focus on renewables and smart grid development. The initiative builds on the North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Initiative (NSCOGI) that Ireland has been successfully involved in in the past.
The key objective of this North Seas energy cooperation is to enhance coordination and integration of national efforts of renewables deployment in addition to grid planning. This aims to reduce the costs of renewable energy and grid development and remove barriers to investment, which contributes to achieving our climate goals and the EU-wide target of 27% renewable energy by 2030. Moreover, it strengthens our security of supply and supports the EU's long term competitiveness and energy market integration. The long term goal of the cooperation is to attract private investments in the development of the North Seas as a sustainable and regionally optimised energy system.
The signatories to the Declaration are: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK and the European Commission.