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Regulator must tackle record levels of greenwashing in electricity sector - Senator Lynn Boylan

7 October, 2021 - by Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, today laid bare the rampant greenwashing in the electricity sector in the Seanad.

Senator Boylan said:

“Consumers who sign up to electricity companies marketed as ‘100% renewable' might think they are doing their bit for the climate, but they are unwittingly still supporting fossil fuel companies.

“This is greenwashing on a grand scale and it all comes down to the murky way that energy suppliers can take advantage of loopholes in how they disclose the mix of fuels required to generate electricity.

“Incredibly, ‘100% renewable’ can involve suppliers sourcing electricity from coal-powered Moneypoint but buying paper offset certificates from as far away as Greece. The fact it would be impossible to import electricity from that far away does not seem to enter the equation.

“Playing games with pieces of paper instead of sourcing actual renewable electricity is massively damaging to consumer confidence and the level of investment in renewable energy.

“Trade in these fanciful financial documents is at a record high. According to the CRU’s Annual Fuel Mix Report published on Monday, Ireland imported a record 16.4TWh of these certificates. For scale, that amounts to more than half of the 32.1 TWh of electricity used in the state.

“Customers need to be assured that 100% renewables means what you would expect. We need greater regulation to go above and beyond the minimums required by EU law.”

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