Isle of Man's potential to play 'key' renewable energy role discussed

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Jane Poole-Wilson (first on the left) attended the British Irish Council summit in Cardiff

The Isle of Man's potential to play a "key" role in renewable electricity generation was recognised at the latest British-Irish Council summit, the deputy chief minister has said.

Climate change was among the issues discussed as Jane Poole-Wilson attended the conference in Cardiff last week.

She said delegates agreed the island's central location meant it could help others "maximise" renewable output.

Other issues discussed included healthcare access and youth justice.

'Key partner'

At the council's 36th summit, hosted by the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, representatives from nations across the British Isles outlined the actions they were taking to tackle climate change.

Ministers had recognised the Isle of Man could be a "key partner" in the generation of renewable electricity, as it was "sitting in the middle" of all the administrations, "surrounded by the sea", Ms Poole-Wilson said.

There were discussions on how the island's own green energy capacity could be developed, after the Welsh delegation spoke about the research its government has done into tidal power, she added.

Ms Poole-Wilson said "contracts for difference", a mechanism used by the UK government to support low-carbon electricity generation, were identified as an issue that would need to be resolved so that the island "could export into energy markets once its offshore wind capacity was up and running".

Returning from her first international conference since taking the role in October, Ms Poole-Wilson said there was "real benefit in going physically to these summits".

"We can learn from other administrations about how they are tackling problems, what solutions are available to them, and all of that is facilitated by the personal relationships built up between politicians", she added.

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