British Irish Chamber puts the ‘Future of Irish Interconnection’ under the spotlight at leading energy seminar

Celtic and Greenlink Interconnectors crucial projects in offsetting risks of Brexit on Ireland’s energy policy

At an event focused on the future of Irish interconnection, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and its generous sponsors Eversheds Sutherland have stressed the critical importance of the Celtic and Greenlink interconnectors in mitigating the risks of Brexit on Ireland’s energy policy.

Leading business leaders, policymakers and regulators from the energy community came together yesterday evening to debate the provision of safe, secure, reliable and affordable energy supply for consumers in a context of significant regional and international uncertainty.

The keynote address was delivered by Michael Manley, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment with responsibility for Energy. Representatives of EirGrid, the main developer behind the Celtic Interconnector project, together with leaders from Element Power, the pioneer behind the Greenlink Interconnector also provided their insights into the future of Ireland’s energy policy.

John McGrane, the Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said: “Having an efficiently functioning energy market is of benefit to all consumers and businesses in Ireland. However, achieving this goal requires investment in securing our future energy supply and enhancing the cost competitiveness of the Irish energy market. The Chamber’s event today puts forward a number of crucial energy infrastructure projects that will strengthen Ireland’s position to maintain and deliver a secure, increasingly decarbonised and affordable flow of energy to consumers across the island.”

Mark Varian, Eversheds Sutherland and the Chair of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce Energy and Environment Committee, said: “Energy policy in Ireland and the UK has been closely aligned owing to our high levels of interconnection and physical proximity. Brexit poses a specific challenge to these close ties and how we provide reliable energy supplies going forward.

“Today’s event offers an opportunity to showcase projects that both protect our energy ties with the UK but also open up new avenues to harness the power of the European energy market. The Celtic Interconnector between Ireland and Wales, and the Greenlink Interconnector between this island and France, are both crucial projects in helping Ireland to offset the risks posed by the UK’s forthcoming withdrawal from the EU. The Chamber stands ready to work with the Irish Government and our nearest neighbours in bringing these critical infrastructure projects to fruition.”   

Speakers at the event in the Chamber’s new premises on 13 Merrion Square North included:

  • Rodney Doyle, Director Markets and GM SEMO EirGrid Group;
  • Mike O’Neill, CEO of Element Power;
  • Peter Lantry, Head of Interconnection at EirGrid; and,
  • Mark Varian, Eversheds Sutherland and Chair of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce Energy and Environment Committee.
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