East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has given a cautious welcome to the news Kilroot power station is to be converted from coal-fired to gas-fired.
Mr Dickson said that while the move would sustain the plant in the medium term, Northern Ireland needs a sustainable green energy plan much more thought needs to be given to the long-term future. We need to end our reliance on fossil fuels.
He said: “This news today will bring comfort to many in the local area who rely on the plant for job security, especially after a sustained period of uncertainty over its future.
“Yet rather than sitting back, we should be working hard now to champion all forms of renewable energy, seeking to cut our carbon emissions through adapting how we use energy.
“We only have to step into our gardens or out for our daily exercise during the current situation to recognise the vast improvement in air quality, due to fewer cars on the roads, planes in the sky and other forms of transport running on limited timetables.
“If we work together this is something we could achieve long term. Achieving a cleaner air quality will be aided by bringing an end to the use of fossil fuels. We must ensure our economy is not reliant on them.”