The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources,
Eamon Ryan TD was the key note speaker at the recent Chambers
Ireland All Island Vision conference in Cavan.
The Minister focused on the economic opportunities that will
accrue on both sides of the border with Northern and Southern
administrations and business working together.
Minister Ryan said - “The political change in the North has
been truly remarkable and affords the opportunity to work
together to achieve further development. Since the re-establishment
of the Assembly in Northern Ireland, there have been some
14 North-South Ministerial meetings. Both administrations
are working together to maximise opportunities and are delivering
real gains both sides of the border."
The Minister added - "My own Department is now at the
centre stage in the development of our economy. Communications,
energy and natural resources hold the key to our continued
economic competitiveness and innovation.
"For the twin reasons of energy security and climate
change, dependence on imported fossil fuels must be reduced.
Increased interconnection between both our jurisdictions brings
with it greater security and economies of scale. The Single
Electricity Market was introduced last November and is a best
practice example of effective North-South cooperation. It
involved two Departments, two transmission system operators,
two energy regulators and was delivered on time and to budget.
"The groundbreaking All-Island Grid Study which I -
and Northern Ireland Minister Nigel Dodds - jointly published
this January, provided a picture of what the future might
be like. The development of renewable energy on the island
of Ireland is very important in this regard. The international
award-winning study pointed to the possibility of achieving
over 40% penetration of renewables on our electricity grids
"The achievement of greater renewable energy penetration
will need significant grid development, including the delivery
of the proposed second North-South electricity interconnector
"Increasingly, in communications, we are seeing the
convergence between the IT industry, telecommunications and
broadcasting. North and South, we will see these changes as
we both switch off analogue and move to Digital Terrestrial
Television by 2012. There are opportunities on an all-island
basis for greater availability and connectivity to our respective
Concluding, Minister Ryan said - "In the development
of our communications, energy and natural resources, we are
stronger when we work together. With even greater connection,
we have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”