Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd has welcomed the continued progress of his Small Scale Green Energy Bill.
Speaking after the Bill passed its Second Stage in the Assembly, John O’Dowd said it was a victory for families and the environment.
“The Small-Scale Green Energy Bill will make it compulsory for large electricity providers to pay a minimum price for the electricity they get from private, small scale, green generators,” he said.
“It will also require those suppliers to source at least 5% of their energy from such small-scale generators.
“This will mean that homes, farms, small businesses, community groups and co-ops will be able to generate electricity from small-scale generators such as wind turbines or solar panels and receive a guaranteed minimum price when they sell it to the grid.
“Part of tackling climate change is not only changing how we produce energy but who produces it. This bill allows energy consumers to become energy producers, which will incentivise the growth of small-scale energy production, reduce emissions, increase energy democracy and provide people with additional income.
“In the past number of weeks we have seen the erratic and extreme price fluctuations that a reliance on power generated by fossil fuels can cause.
“Our future must be one of renewably generated power. This will not only protect our environment but maintain prices at a stable predictable rate. This bill is a small but practical step in that direction.”