Chambers Ireland have welcomed Bord Pleanala's approval for a new interconnector linking Ireland to Wales.
Chambers Ireland Deputy Chief Executive Seán Murphy said: "Today’s decision will assure a more diverse electricity supply for our energy needs while also enabling Ireland to export wind energy.
"A vital link underpinning the success of this €600m investment will be the rapid completion of the GRID 25 upgrade programme. This will involve the strengthening of transmission lines across Ireland to enable them to carry and distribute the huge amounts of energy that will pass over this interconnector between Ireland and the UK."
“When GRID 25 is finished, Ireland will be able to source electricity from a wider pool as well as have the potential to earn considerable export income from wind energy being sold to the UK market.
"Crucial to this roll out will be the acceptance that burying heavy power lines is cost-prohibitive and not economically viable. Those who oppose overhead power lines are hindering the possibility of direct investment in those areas where the network is not strengthened."
Mr Murphy said that, in the meantime, Ireland will need more interconnector capacity to the UK and continental Europe.
"Given the lengthy timelines involved in securing planning permission and funding for these projects, preparations should commence now.
"All indications are that UK energy prices will increase significantly in the near future to allow an economically viable rate of return for the considerable amounts of money needed to fund power station upgrades in that market. This reality adds urgency to our need for a more diversified interconnector infrastructure to be put in place via links to mainland Europe."