Minister Dempsey said, I very much welcome this decision. I believe that the Corrib Gas Field will benefit the country by having an indigenous and secure supply of gas at a time of price volatility and falling supplies in North West Europe. Irelands current supply from the Kinsale Head Gas Field is depleting, and the onset of the Corrib gas could not be more timely. The gas will mean that Ireland can provide about 60% of its gas requirement from indigenous supplies.
The exploitation of this field will allow for the installation of an important increment to our national gas transmission infrastructure and will undoubtedly provide opportunities for industrial and other developments in terms of energy, investment and employment in the adjacent area.
In his first public engagement in the context of the energy sector, Minister Dempsey also outlined some of the main policy challenges facing the Government and the energy sector as a whole.
Regarding the Renewable Energy sector, Minister Dempsey spoke of his strong personal wish to see the maximisation of deployment of renewable energy, taking account of technical issues, consumers and overall economic competitiveness.
On North/South Energy Cooperation, Minister Dempsey said that he intends to publish a draft Framework document later this month which will set out the blueprint for the achievement of an all-island market. This document is the result of close cooperation between the Ministers Department, the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment and the offices of the two regulators, north and south.
In the area of offshore exploration Minister Dempsey said that he would shortly be giving consideration to further licensing in Atlantic Margin areas in keeping with Government policy of promoting active exploration.
In concluding Minister Dempsey said that he looked forward to working with the various stakeholders and players in meeting the many challenges that confront us all at present in terms of achieving our goals of maintaining secure energy supplies, supporting economic growth and competitiveness and ensuring that energy supply and use is environmentally sustainable.
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