British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly to Discuss Economic Benefits of Single Renewables Market

British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly to Discuss Economic Benefits of Single Renewables Market

The Co-Chairman of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, Joe McHugh TD, has announced that the 46th plenary of the Assembly will take place in Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Co. Donegal on Monday, 4th March and Tuesday, 5th March, 2013.

The theme of the plenary is Energy across Borders – Delivering the Economic Opportunities.

Over the two days of formal sessions, parliamentarians and industry leaders will concentrate on the issues of energy innovation and the development of renewables with a particular focus on how the British and Irish Governments, along with the devolved regional parliaments, can work together on this increasingly important issue.

An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD, will provide the keynote address on Monday, March 4th.

Other speakers at the plenary will include Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Philip Lowe, Director General for Energy, European Commission; Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB; Fintan Slye, Chief Executive of EirGrid; Tim Cowhig, Chief Executive of Element Power; Sue Barr, Environment and External Affairs Manager of OpenHydro and Eddie OConnor, Chief Executive of Mainstream Renewable Power.

Speaking about the Assembly’s forthcoming plenary, Co-Chairman of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly Joe McHugh TD, said:

“I am delighted to announce that the 46th plenary meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly will take place in the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Co. Donegal on the 4th and 5th of March 2013. This plenary session will be attended by legislators from across Ireland and Britain and by energy industry leaders who will discuss how innovation in the energy sector can deliver economic opportunities for our islands.”

“In the context of the evolving role of the EU and the changing geo-political landscape, it is more important than ever that we continue to build on the strong British-Irish relationship and that members of the Assembly are actively engaged in working together to foster greater economic and cultural links between our islands.”

“We have seen recently how developments in the energy sector have strengthened the relationship between Britain and Ireland while offering the potential of significant employment opportunities here. Although there is an all-island single electricity market, a key focus must now be the development of an ‘East-West’ structure.”

“Ireland is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the international energy market as we can create far more energy than we consume domestically. The recent MOU between Britain and Ireland will help to pave the way for the creation of a significant amount of direct and indirect jobs in the energy sector. The 46th Assembly will explore how Britain and Ireland can build on years of successful cooperation to deliver further progress in this key area which will be mutually advantageous for people living on each of our islands.”

“Letterkenny Institute of Technology, with its strong credentials in innovation and business mentoring, is an appropriate venue to build on the ‘making business easier’ theme of the previous Irish plenary in the Seanad Chamber last May.”

“I am happy that in the year of the Gathering 2013 and Derry City of Culture, policymakers from across these islands will descend on Donegal, an area which is uniquely positioned to host this congregation because of its geographic location and the importance of cross-border co-operation in this region.”


Press release, March 4, 2013; Image: ABB

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