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Ireland reviews wind energy export rules

Aug. 1, 2013 at 10:39 AM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The Irish government expects to develop a policy framework by next year to give wind energy planners a sense of confidence, Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte said.

Rabbitte ordered work to start on a policy framework to guide an independent statutory agency, An Bord Pleanala, guidelines when it considers plans to export energy generated from wind projects.

Rabbitte said the framework would be developed over the next year. It will give local authorities, local leaders and potential project developments an opportunity to weigh in on national wind energy policies.

Ireland since 2003 has installed approximately 150 wind farms with a total electricity capacity of 1,738 megawatts. Irish companies are expected to develop plans to export energy to the United Kingdom.

Rabbitte said a national framework would be integrated with relative requirements in the European Union.

"By the end of this year we hope to make an agreement with the British side," he said in a statement Wednesday. "By this time next year, we will be finalizing a planning framework that will give confidence and certainty to all stakeholders."

Rabbitte in March said Ireland was falling behind in its efforts to meet a 2020 benchmark for 20 percent renewables on its grid.

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