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All Ireland energy market has potential to deliver real gains

9 November, 2004


Sinn Féin national Chairperson and party economy spokesperson, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has said that the creation of a single all-Ireland energy market has the potential to deliver real gains for small and medium enterprises and industry as well as being an important element in the battle to eradicate fuel poverty.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"The creation of a single all-Ireland Energy market is gathering momentum. Sinn Féin believe that a single All Ireland Energy market has the potential to deliver real gains for small and medium enterprises and industry as well as being an important element in the battle to eradicate fuel poverty.

"The key targets need to prioritise reducing energy costs and the related issues of interconnection and access. These are vital if we are to achieve an energy market that is secure, diverse, efficient and environmentally sustainable and that can deliver real gains by significantly reducing cost.

"The reduction of costs must not be put on the long finger. It is unacceptable that current targets see 'little cost reduction in the next 8 years without some form of administrative intervention' stating that the 'high cost of traditional generation cannot be significantly removed prior to 2010'.

"New realistic targets are needed that reflect the damaging impact of high energy costs. This will require a more proactive intervention from government. Not least in undoing the damage created by the generation contracts negotiated by previous direct rule ministers.

"There is a need for a much more proactive approach to the development of an all-island energy strategy. Particularly to ensure that there is sufficient interconnector capacity within the island to allow access in both directions." ENDS

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