High energy costs have been blamed for the closure of the Michelin factory in Ballymena.
The same energy drives our agriculture and processing, our home heating and lighting our health care, pharmaceuticals and emergency services, pumping water to our taps, transport, waste management and communications.
The Michelin factory is the canary in the mine for our way of life. So we have to re think our economy and politics.
We have a communications and information network (the internet) a similar network is need it to connect all buildings and collect and distribute a digitalised renewable energy infrastructure and re power our economy.
Another innovation, electric vehicles, powered by the same smart grid, will move the economy.
We could be connected with Europe, distribute our excess wind energy and receive southern European solar energy.
This is technically possible and financially valuable with a network of cooperatives receiving green investments, from the business sector.
This will be a safer investment plan than fracking or nuclear, both of which are temporary because underground gas and uranium are finite and will eventually run out.
I believe this is the only way forward, decentralised energy, so, like in Germany, cooperatives members actually get paid for energy, rather than paying increasing bills.
The political will is in our pencils.
Philip Allen. Belfast BT14