UK to buy green energy from Ireland

The UK may be importing green electricity from Ireland, in a few years after a contract is signed today to study the potential of cross-border renewable energy trading.

The energy ministers of the two countries would be signing a memorandum of understanding in Dublin, agreeing to assess the costs and benefits of trading renewable energy. They would also look at potential projects and consider sharing renewable energy statistics under the agreement.

"Making the most of the natural renewable resource available around our islands could benefit the economies of both countries," British secretary of state for energy and climate change Edward Davey said in a statement.

The UK has an ambitious target for generation of 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, which could be helped by importing green power from Ireland.

Ministers participated in preliminary discussions about the project in June last year, and companies have since announced plans to build wind farms and power networks for the export of green electricity to the UK.

A project of the kind is the £7 billion scheme for building 500 to 700 wind turbines in the Midlands of Ireland to generate power for export to the UK.

The agreement could see the building of some of the world's largest wind turbines built across the Irish midlands.