Alliance Energy Spokesperson Séan Neeson has launched the party’s latest energy policy document at Carrickfergus Leisure Centre.
Speaking at the event, the East Antrim Assembly member stated: “The key to a successful energy policy is similar in fact to a successful social policy — it must be based on genuine diversity. Problems such as those currently being experienced at Coolkeeragh show that there is no single solution to energy and electricity generation. A mix of sources is the best way forward.”
We also need to make greater efforts for renewables. Here again, we cannot rely on a single solution. Wind power has its merits, but there are other renewable sources. To this end the Alliance Party has already welcomed, at least in principle, the tidal power generator at Strangford.
We chose Carrickfergus Leisure Centre as the ideal venue for this launch, because this building is a fine example of best practice in energy saving devices. Not least among these are the solar panels, which some party colleagues of mine have even had erected on their own private properties.
The practical outcomes of a successful energy policy will be clear for all to see — cheaper, more reliable energy for everyone. The idea that there is a direct opposition between a better environment and better living standards is a myth promoted by those who are not prepared to find practical solutions on these issues.
So we are also calling for fuel poverty to be eliminated through realistic winter payments. The current payments are nothing like appropriate.
Alliance remains committed to action on the really important issues. While others niggle over symbols and technicalities, we will continue to lead the debate on the issues that really count. Energy and a better environment are prime among them.