Ireland and the UK will today sign an accord that paves the way for large-scale flow of wind power across the Irish Sea.
At least two major projects have been announced with the specific intention of generating wind power at gigawatt scale in the Irish countryside and exporting it to the UK.
British energy secretary Ed Davey and his Irish counterpart Pat Rabbitte are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that agrees the principle of renewable energy trading, allowing officials to begin detailed investigations ahead of a possible formal treaty.
Irish developer Mainstream Renewable Power is working with China State Grid on plans for Energy Bridge, which aims to export up to 5GW of green power to the UK.
Fellow developer Element Power is working on its own initiative called Greenwire, which aims for about 3GW.
Supporters of the plan in Ireland say it offers the country the chance to create jobs and a major new revenue stream by supplying the UK with clean power, helping its neighbour to meet its renewable energy targets.
The first UK-Ireland power link entered service in October. The 500MW East-West Interconnector – developed by Irish transmission system operator Eirgrid – links Deeside in North Wales with Ireland’s County Meath.