IFA Renewables Chairman Tom Short has welcomed the clear statement from Energy Minister Denis Naughten at the Energy Ireland 2018 conference today, that community ownership will be a key principle of the new renewable electricity support scheme to be announced in the coming months.
Tom Short said, “As part of the Association’s climate activation programme, IFA has long advocated a community-centred approach to future energy policy. Large scale development companies can no longer plunder our landscape, put in place renewables and associated infrastructure and take the €500m collected from households each year, as part of the electricity levy (PSO)”.
“Irish citizens should be entitled to be part of Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy. At farm level, it means participating in sustainability programmes such as Origin Green and Smart Farming. It also means displacing fossil fuel use in homes and farms through micro energy production and being provided with an opportunity to share in the ownership of renewable projects, which are often imposed on local communities without consultation.”
Concluding he said, “Our carbon efficient livestock sector is all too often the easy target as a response to addressing the climate challenge. However, Teagasc’s recently published blueprint for emission reductions highlights that farming can deliver annual reductions of 2 Mt of carbon dioxide equivalent by displacing fossil fuels with bioenergy crops and renewable energy production. Farming is ready to make its greatest contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the farm-scale renewables space and will work with Minister Naughten and his colleagues in Government to deliver on this.”