The Green Party wants to make Ireland self-sufficient in clean energy

The way in which we produce and use energy is at the heart of our collective response to climate change. We want Ireland to produce more of its own energy by investing further in our renewable energy resources. Not only would this provide jobs, but it would also help to eliminate our dependence on imported fossil fuels. Decarbonising energy sources is of the highest priority if we are to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, and we want to promote policies that will enable Ireland to meet and exceed its emissions targets.

Prioritising renewable energy

  • Continue to develop of offshore wind energy, photovoltaic (solar) energy, and biomass energies to achieve a 100% decarbonised power system by 2050.
  • Invest in developing the skills base for renewable energy and associated industries.
  • Plan and develop “smart grids” to integrate distribution of renewable energy sources and develop links to trade energy outputs to the EU.

Ireland’s renewable energy potential is sufficient to meet our energy needs several times over. The Green party want to provide concerted investment and development of renewable energy to take advantage of our abundant clean energy resources. Not only will this provide jobs and reduce our reliance on polluting fuels, it will also lead Ireland to a position of being a net energy producer in Europe.

A just transition from fossil fuels

  • Divest the State entirely from fossil fuel production and ban any further fossil fuel exploration or drilling.
  • Provide jobs for workers from the fossil fuel industry in an expanded renewable energy sector.
  • End state subsidies to peat burning power stations and end the burning of coal for energy production.

In order to mitigate climate change and keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, it is clear that 80% of the world’s remaining fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. Ireland must play its part by removing any state involvement from the fossil fuel industry and by focusing on ending fossil fuel imports. As part of this change, it is important to ensure that there is a fair deal for workers presently in the fossil fuel industry, who can be provided with alternative employment in an expanded renewable energy sector.

Community energy

  • Incentivise community energy cooperatives and give community owned power supplies priority access to the national grid.
  • Introduce district heating schemes in urban areas to make use of heat generated by industry and power generation.
  • Allow homes with rooftop solar panels to sell excess energy to the national grid.

The Green Party believes in a local and community approach to energy policy. Community renewable energy projects give local people a stake in Ireland’s energy transition, and allow communities to directly benefit from the projects their local areas support. District heating schemes have been extremely successful in other European states, and provide an extremely cost effective way to head urban homes.

See our recent campaign for a Community Energy Programme here.