Minister Rabbitte Launches Green Paper on Energy Policy

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources today launched the Energy Policy Green Paper for Ireland marking the beginning of a ten week public consultation on the future shape of Ireland’s energy policy.

The Minister’s speech at the launch can be found www.dcenr.gov.ie/greenpaperspeech and the Green Paper Consultation can be accessed www.dcenr.gov.ie/greenpaper.

Ireland faces significant inter-related challenges in relation to climate change, energy sustainability, security, and competitiveness. These can be addressed by transforming Ireland’s economy from one based on a predominantly imported fossil fuel to a more indigenous low carbon economy centred on energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart networks.

The Government is determined to ensure that the needs of the citizens of Ireland are also at the core of this necessary transition. Energy infrastructure must benefit society as a whole and everybody should be able to afford to adequately heat and light their home. Giving consumers more control over their energy choices by providing them with options through efficiency programmes and promoting real and active competition will empower consumers to make decisions that can benefit them.

Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte T.D., today urged members of the public to engage in the public consultation process on our future energy policy before the deadline of 31st July 2014 saying:

“Any discussion on energy takes place within a complicated framework of competing and interconnected energy priorities but also across all sectors of the economy. It is timely to take stock and question the reasoning behind our energy policy approaches. The Energy Policy Green Paper recognises the complexity of the energy landscape and the importance of pursuing policies beyond competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply that recognise the significance of energy policy’s contribution to promoting economic recovery”.

The Minister added
“A progressive energy agenda is needed. We are embarking on a new avenue of ending our energy island isolation, reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels and strengthening our leadership position in niche areas of energy technology expertise. It is therefore timely to take stock and question the reasoning behind our energy policy approaches, ensuring that we proceed on an evidence-based approach, in order to set a fresh example for meaningful energy policy discussion and on-going dialogue in shaping a new policy framework for the years to come.”

Additional Information
The Energy Policy Green Paper identifies a range of issues that need to be addressed to meet existing and future challenges. The Paper identifies the following six priority areas for discussion:

Priority 1: Empowering Energy Citizens
Priority 2: Markets, Regulation and Prices
Priority 3: Planning and Implementing Essential Energy Infrastructure
Priority 4: Ensuring a Balanced and Secure Energy Mix
Priority 5: Putting the Energy System on a Sustainable Pathway
Priority 6: Driving Economic Opportunity

There will be a full public consultation process as well as a targeted stakeholder consultation on each of the priority areas. All submissions received will be considered and policy options developed with a view to the publication of a new Energy Policy White Paper. The public consultation process, along with the relevant stakeholder engagement, will contribute significantly to the development of the Energy White Paper.

Submissions, in electronic form, may be made to the following dedicated mailbox:
GreenPaper@dcenr.gov.ie
Alternatively, submissions in writing may be made to the
Energy Planning Division,
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources,
29-31 Adelaide Rd.,
Dublin 2.

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 17.30 on 31st July 2014.
Please note that all submissions and comments submitted to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for this purpose may be subject to release under the Freedom of Information Acts 1997–2003 and the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations (2007); and may be placed on the Department’s website.