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O'Hagan calls for establishment of all-Ireland energy agency

20 July, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on energy Dr. Dara O'Hagan has welcomed the weekend announcement from NIE, Premier Power and the ESB on energy provision. She said that it is another small step in the right direction but now is the time to set up an all-Ireland energy agency.

Dr. O'Hagan said:

"In recent years we have seen the increased capacity of interconnection between NIE and ESB. This announcement is another small step in the right direction towards the establishment of an all-Ireland energy market.

"There is a pressing need for an all-Ireland energy supply that is affordable, environmentally sustainable and nuclear free. We believe that the best way for this to occur is through the establishment of an all-Ireland energy agency in public hands which should come forward with plans to:

· develop all-Ireland electricity generation plans along with gas distribution proposal

· set up a single transmission operator across the all-Ireland market

· increase energy efficiency

· reduce greenhouse gas emissions

· research into the development of forms of renewable energy

· gas network extensions

· ensure that major infra-structural developments reflect all-Ireland strategy

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