Sinn Féin spokespeople on Climate Action and Climate Justice, Darren O’Rourke TD and Senator Lynn Boylan, today published proposals aiming to speed up the delivery of renewable energy projects and increase the portion of community, state & domestic-owned electricity production.
The party’s ‘Vision for Renewable Energy’ document also proposes reform of the PSO and increased direct state funding through general taxation.
Teachta O’Rourke said:
“Our ‘Vision for Renewable Energy’ document sets out a suite of proposals necessary to ensure the state can achieve 80% renewable electricity by 2030.
“Sinn Féin proposes this by growing the portion of community, state and domestic-owned renewables while reducing household energy bills through a reformed PSO and greater state investment.
“Community-owned renewable energy projects provide significant environmental and socio-economic benefits for local populations.
“The wealth generated from these projects is more likely to be retained, recirculated and reinvested within the community, helping to stimulate local economies and social development.
“Wind energy projects like Templederry show the benefits community-owned renewables can deliver, but too few areas are reaping these rewards.
“Sinn Féin wants to increase the target of community owned renewable energy projects to at least 10% of new capacity by 2030.”
Senator Boylan added:
“In terms of state-owned renewables, we are calling for the dividends policy of our energy sector semi-states to be revised to increase the level of reinvestment into renewable energy in this decade.
“This would enable them to capture a greater share of overall new green energy production, thereby improving our energy security and positioning these companies to return dividends to the taxpayer from green energy generation into the future.
“Sinn Féin will also prioritise harnessing solar energy to generate long-term benefits for workers and families directly. We are proposing that the budget for solar PV be increased, and tiered grants be introduced, to ensure those on lower incomes can have access to and benefit from solar energy.
“Currently it’s taking far too long to get renewable projects through the planning process.
“We need robust, thorough, quality planning procedures for renewable energy projects, but we also need decisions to be made in a timely manner.
“Between 60 and 70 weeks for a project is far too long.
“To help address this, staffing numbers in the marine and climate unit in An Bord Pleanála should be tripled, and an environmental court should be established to help reduce planning delays for renewable projects.
“These are just a number of the constructive proposals contained in our ‘Vision for Renewable Energy’ document.”