Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (400)

Paudie Coffey

Question:

400. Deputy Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if there are any plans for the development of an electricity interconnector between Ireland and mainland Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9879/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Security of energy supply is a key imperative for Ireland and the European Union. The relatively small size of the Irish electricity market underlines the need for greater interconnection as a means of enhancing security of supply, promoting competition and integrating the Irish electricity market into the wider European market.

The Government is committed to achieving enhanced interconnection on the island of Ireland, as well as with Britain, as evidenced by the launch of the East West Interconnector (EWIC). Greater interconnection is also the way forward envisaged at European level to achieve further electricity and gas market integration and the European internal energy market.

A possible future Ireland/France interconnector is currently being envisaged by EirGrid. While this is currently in the conceptual stage of development by EirGrid and the French Transmission System Operator, RTE, it may be submitted in 2015 as a Project of Common Interest under the EU Energy Infrastructure Package, subject to what emerges from that process.