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Solar Energy in Ireland - Learning from the UK Experience

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Minister Alex White addresses Eversheds, Lightsource Renewable Energy & British Irish Chamber of Commerce hosted seminar on solar energy.

Pictured above: Nick Boyle, CEO, Lightsource; Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Alex White, T.D.; Mark Varian, Partner, Eversheds; John McGrane, Director General, British Irish Chamber of Commerce

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Alex White, T.D., was guest of honour at a recent Eversheds / Lightsource sponsored British Irish Chamber of Commerce event hosted in Eversheds’ Dublin office, to discuss the role that solar energy could play in the Irish energy market mix.  The event was chaired by Mark Varian, an Eversheds partner and Chairman of the Energy Committee of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce. Guest speakers included Nick Boyle, CEO of Lightsource Renewable Energy, Europe’s leading solar energy generator, and Stephen Hill, Head of Solar Energy at Eversheds UK, who shared their insights into the UK experience with solar energy and how they could assist Ireland in the advancement of solar energy as part of its energy mix.

Speaking at the event, Minister White said “Ireland’s position as an island nation on the west coast of Europe means that we have an enviable supply of natural, sustainable resources. These include wind – both onshore and offshore – wave and, as the technology has developed, solar potential. Our deployment of renewable resources for electricity generation, and the potential for exploitation of other resources as technologies develop, will enable Ireland to shape its energy future and progress towards a low carbon economy.”

Nick Boyle, CEO of Lightsource, Europes leading solar energy company, said “The timing for rolling out solar in Ireland is opportune, as the country has a strong focus on investing in self-generated electricity. Solar has gone through some monumental changes in pricing and ease of deployment. Therefore there is a prime opportunity for Ireland to piggyback onto this price rationalisation to maximise value for money for the state and consumers alike.” 

Stephen Hill, Head of Solar Energy at Eversheds UK, said “Solar has been a huge success story in the UK in a period of just five years as the technology has one main benefit over other technologies, which is the speed of deployment.  Other energy projects can take a long time to go through planning, sometimes up to seven years, whereas solar in the UK can go through the entire process from planning to roll out in as little as 9 months in some cases. Connection to the grid is usually the biggest obstacle for solar and not planning objections as is the case of other renewable technologies.”

Mark Varian said “Solar energy has a great democratising effect; making each consumer of electricity also a potential generator, thereby putting consumers, both business and domestic, in a better position to manage their costs.”

For further information contact:

Clare O'Neill
Marketing Director
+353 1 6644905


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