Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has welcomed government allowing the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill passing through to committee stage, but has called for it to form part of a comprehensive energy strategy.
Speaking during a debate on the bill at Private Members Business in the Dáil, Deputy Colreavy said:
“Development of renewable energy should be a uniting rather than a dividing venture among Irish people and politicians.
“Most reasonable people will readily agree that it makes sense to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by maximising our use of renewable energy sources.
“Sinn Féin is not in opposition to exporting renewable energy to Britain or to anywhere else, but we must address the facts.
“Of indigenous energy produced in Ireland in 2012, renewable energy accounted for 58%, peat 24% and natural gas for 14%.
“However, of energy consumed in Ireland, 87.5% of this came from fossil fuels while only 11.4% came from renewable sources.
“This indicates that we are still very heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels for energy.
“As we so heavily reliant on imported fossil fuel, the government needs to develop renewable energy for Irish needs.
“Relying too heavily on a resource that can vary so much is worrying. There are other options to wind available
“Ireland is a nation with a strong agricultural sector. The proportion of renewable energy produced from biomass and waste is already below the EU average.
“BW Energy in a report recently published identified Moneypoint PowerStation as an ideal location for conversion into a biomass generation system.
“I hope that this piece of legislation will form part of the wider debate on energy generation and use in Ireland.”