The ISLES project has examined the opportunities for a more strategic approach to connecting future offshore wind, wave and tidal generation projects in the partner jurisdictions.
The Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) is a major initiative designed to enable the development of interconnected grid networks to enhance the integration of marine renewable energy between Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Each of the three partner administrations has significant potential for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy generation. However, planning and licensing, market and regulatory complexities between the three jurisdictions act as a potential challenge to joint development. ISLES is designed to smooth the pathway to future development of high-quality, efficient, renewable energy developments.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The ISLES project has been an excellent example of cooperation between Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Between us we have some of the best offshore renewable energy resources anywhere in the world, but market and regulatory challenges have acted as a barrier to development.
“The ISLES II study makes some compelling recommendations for overcoming these barriers and will require wider support at national and EU level to be fully effective. The Scottish Government will continue to promote the findings of the ISLES project to UK and EU authorities, and to do everything we can to realise Scotland’s vast renewable energy potential.
Alex White, Ireland’s Minister for Energy and Natural Resources, added: “This project offers the prospect of minimising the infrastructure required for connecting offshore marine renewable energy projects in our respective waters. It has been an excellent example of effective collaboration.
“The Irish Government will continue its support for this work, which has attracted wide interest across Europe. Its value to citizens, consumers and business will become more and more evident over the coming years.”
The Scottish Government is the lead administrative partner for the ISLES project. The other partners are the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI), Northern Ireland, and the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) in Republic of Ireland
The ISLES projects and consultants comprise:
- ISLES Spatial Plan: AECOM and APBmer
- Network Regulation and Market Alignment Study: Pöyry UK and Energy Link
- ISLES II Business Plan: Baringa, Source Low Carbon LLP and Bellenden.