The Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) is a major initiative designed to enable the development of interconnected grid networks to enhance the integration of marine renewable energy between Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Each of the three partner administrations has significant potential for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy generation. However, planning and licensing, market and regulatory complexities between the three jurisdictions act as a potential challenge to joint development. ISLES is designed to smooth the pathway to future development of high-quality, efficient, renewable energy developments.
The Scottish Government is lead administrative partner for ISLES in collaboration with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) in Ireland and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in Northern Ireland. The project is part financed under the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme for Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland with the partners providing the match-funding.
The ISLES objectives align closely with the EU ambition of increasing renewable energy generation capacity and interconnection. To this end a significant milestone was acheived in October 2013 when the ISLES Zone was approved as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) by the European Commission.