Irish Minister Dermot Ahern T.D, Minister for Communications Marine and Natural Resources (DCMNR), announced details of the consultation process (AER VI) designed to shape and develop future renewable energy policy in Ireland.Dublin, Ireland – January, 27, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] When the Minister launched AER VI he used the competition to introduce some new elements to increase the certainty of new projects being built, adding that he, “…was confident that AER VI would deliver the Government’s 2005 target and that AER VI would close the current chapter of support and that he then plans to set new targets for the coming decade in consultation with the industry. ” The first step of that master plan is a preliminary review of the current program and the environment in which renewable energy sourced electricity operates. In announcing his plans the Minister highlighted the amount of change in less than a decade including: – A timetable for full liberalization of the electricity market is in place. – the green electricity market in Ireland is already fully liberalized. – the Commission for Electricity Regulation was established and expanded into the Commission for Energy Regulation. – Sustainable Energy Ireland has been established. – there is greater experience of alternative support mechanisms for renewable energy. – There is a proposed decision on trading arrangements in the open market. – The promotion of renewable energy has moved center stage at the EU level by the publication of revised guidelines for support and the publication of a Directive on the promotion of renewable energy in the internal electricity market. – The additional costs of supporting green electricity under the AER programme are now passed transparently to final customers. “The next chapter of support must incorporate these changes and more besides,” Ahern said. “The consultation process is open to all, however I particularly encourage industry representatives, potential investors and consumer representatives, to adopt a proactive stance by availing of this opportunity to help shape future policy and set challenging yet realistic targets for the long term development of the renewable energy industry and policy in Ireland.