Colreavy calls for community led approach to energy
Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has called for a community centred focus to energy policy.
Speaking at the IWEA Autumn Conference, Deputy Colreavy said:
“Sinn Féin is committed to renewable energy.
“We believe that there must be a positive and comprehensive approach to a national strategy on renewable sources.
“This must provide for a clear understanding that all resources will be managed to best value of those concerned.
“Sinn Féin supports the maximum use of renewable energy sources.
“We must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and our dependence on imported energy sources.
“However, we must ensure that all energy projects (and indeed any critical ones) are carried out in partnership with host communities.
“The day of minimalist “consultation” with communities is has to be left in the past.
“Unless we learn from the mistakes of projects like Corrib Gas we will simply continue to repeat those mistakes.
“The first step the government can take in this refocussing is to rectify the current situation regarding the erection of wind turbines.
“Sinn Féin’s Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2014 should be brought to committee and remaining stages.
“This will see proper regulations regarding the construction of wind turbines implemented and ensure that the government, industry and communities know where they stand.
“We also believe that semi-state bodies must take the lead in developing renewable energy in Ireland.
“The ESB, Bord na Móna and Coillte have all been identified by Sinn Féin as potential leaders in the field of renewable energy production.
“With proper focus from government, there is potential to create jobs, create energy and ensure a balanced and secure energy supply into the future.”