London, England — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 07 July 2011 – A landmark deal reached this week to tap Irish offshore wind could spur new development while helping Great Britain meet its renewable energy goals.

Ministers from the British Isles, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have signed the “All Islands Approach.” According to a press release issued by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the deal was reached to encourage developers to exploit commercial opportunities for generation and transmission; to facilitate exploitation of the renewable energy resources; and to increase integration into nearby markets.

“There is a massive potential source of clean, green, secure energy that remains untapped in the Irish Sea and onshore in Ireland, as well as around the Channel Islands,” said UK minister of state for energy Charles Hendry. “But because Ireland’s energy demand is only slightly larger than that of Yorkshire and Humberside, there has been little incentive to exploit the resource.

“Optimising the natural renewable resource available around our islands would benefit us all. It makes much more sense to develop and share clean, green, secure energy with our neighbours than to import vast amounts of fossil fuels from far flung parts of the world,” he added.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said more interconnection would enable imports of electricity from Ireland and mainland Europe when required, and would allow Great Britain to export surplus power on occasion.