Sammy Wilson’s rant against renewable energy was irresponsible, because Northern Ireland’s electricity network has fundamentally changed

A letter from Councillor Brian Pope:

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 10:06 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 10:06 am
Letter to the editor

Sammy Wilson’s irresponsible rant on the perils of renewables (September 30, see link below) shows how dysfunctional the DUP’s position is on energy.

Maybe he should speak with his DUP colleague, and Economy Minister, Gordon Lyons, who only this week told the assembly that his department was developing a new energy strategy with the aim of achieving net zero carbon — including small-scale renewable generation, energy efficiency and large-scale renewables.

Mr Wilson’s attempt to roll back the transition to renewables and sustainable affordable energy will fail.

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It will fail because Northern Ireland’s electricity network has fundamentally changed.

In the previous year just over 45% of all electricity was generated from renewable sources and this positive achievement should be celebrated in the fight against climate change.

The unprecedented increase in global energy prices is also putting severe pressure on many customers.

This emphasises the importance of diversity in renewable generation and measures like energy storage.

As the former delivery manager of all large-scale renewable generation projects in the north, I am acutely aware of the hard work undertaken by those working in our energy market.

The uncertainty in wholesale energy costs makes innovation and technological advancement even more urgent. We need a Green New Deal.

As for the security of supply and the single electricity market issues raised by Mr Wilson:

This simply highlights the need to progress the North-South Interconnector as soon as possible to provide a secure and efficient electricity network over the long term for everyone in Northern Ireland.

Councillor Brian Pope, Alliance Party Group Leader, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Craigavon Civic Centre

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