Honeyford calls for a comprehensive strategy to speed up transition to renewable energy

Alliance Economy spokesperson David Honeyford MLA has called for the adoption of a comprehensive strategy to chart a faster course away from reliance on fossil fuels and towards a fairer, greener society, powered by renewable energy.

Alliance Green New Deal Climate Change David Honeyford

He identified the need for reform of the planning system as key to the development of sustainable solutions, identifying it as a major problem causing delay in the transition to renewable energy.

The Lagan Valley MLA has said: “We need to invest in diverse renewable sources, be they inshore or offshore wind, solar, tidal or biogas or hydrogen.

“The achievement of Northern Ireland’s climate goals will require planning and determination that can only be brought about through a comprehensive renewables strategy, backed up by a dedicated team that brings together all the Executive departments.

“Everywhere I go and speak to people in the renewables industry, they raise the issue of planning delays. This needs to be addressed urgently by the Minister for Infrastructure. We need to remove the current blockages to development and allow the industry to get on and deliver, reducing the need for fossil fuels much quicker.

“The Energy Strategy must also urgently address the development of storage for renewables, for example how we can store any additional surplus of wind energy for when it’s needed.

“Our future renewable energy system should be designed like an architect’s drawing with an overall design that brings together all these moving parts, and which connects us to Scotland, Wales and to mainland Europe.

“Alliance believes we must work in partnership with those right across this island and beyond, taking a shared approach to guarantee the scale of generation and energy security that is required, and we would look forward to doing so.”