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Rabbitte confirms plans for 1,000 wind turbines is axed

Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte has confirmed that plans for up to 1,000 wind turbines – which were to harness power for export to Britain – have been axed.

The controversial windfarm had been planned for the Midlands.

The decision not to proceed will not affect proposals to build new power lines supported by pylons. That project is currently under review.

“I regret that it has not been possible at this time to conclude an agreement as envisaged, Mr Rabbitte said.

“However I believe that in the context of an European Internal Market and greater integration, greater trade in energy between Britain and Ireland is inevitable in the post 2020 scenario.”

“Economic analysis conducted on the Irish side clearly indicates that under agreed policy and regulatory conditions, renewable energy trading can deliver significant economic benefits to Ireland and the UK, as well as being attractive to developers.”

“However, this will not happen automatically.

“Renewable energy trading has to be designed to work. Following further discussions between my Department and the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK since the Summit between the Taoiseach and Prime Minister Cameron in early March, I am confirmed in the view that given the economic, policy and regulatory complexities involved, and the key decisions yet to be taken by the UK, delivery by 2020 of a Midlands Wind Export Project is not now a realistic proposition.”

It is understood that Britain is more interested in pursing traditional North Sea gas and nuclear energy.