Ferris: Government is playing 'Catch Up' on Bio-Energy
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD, has claimed that the Government’s action plan on bio-energy is a belated recognition of both the deficiencies of policy to date, and the vast potential that exists for Ireland as a producer of alternative energy sources.
Deputy Ferris said: “While I welcome the Government’s decision to prioritise this sector, their belated enthusiasm should not be allowed deflect from the fact that they have neglected this whole area until recently. Indeed it was not too long ago that anyone advocating the widespread use of bio-energy was accused of being some sort of oddball.
“Nor should we overlook the fact that the Government’s target of a 2.2% market share for bio fuels of the transport fuel market by 2008 conceals the fact that they have failed to meet the EU target of 2% by the end of 2005. While Sinn Féin is no slave to following EU directives, the replacement of fossil fuels by alternative sources is a rational objective, and one in which this country has both a massive self interest and many natural advantages.
“In particular, Ireland is well placed to become a major producer and processor of energy crops. Sinn Féin has recently published a detailed discussion paper presenting the case for transforming the Irish sugar industry towards this area and how this could form one step in the process of creating a substantial indigenous source of energy as well as creating thousands of jobs and alternative production systems for Irish farmers. We will continue to develop policy in this area and it will form a major part of our policy for Government throughout the island.”