The Green Party today called on the Government to change tack, and back EU proposals that allow householders to generate and sell renewable energy back to the grid. The call comes following the release of documents showing Irish officials are opposing the plans at EU level.
Speaking today, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “One of the reasons why Ireland is now ranking so low in international climate action league tables is because we are seen in Europe as one of the countries which is trying to block new clean energy solutions.
“Last Friday the European Commission shared the amendments the Irish Government want to make to the new Renewables Energy directive. The paper shows how negative we have become, constantly looking to reduce targets and weaken any measures which would compel countries into action.
“The Government is arguing for the removal of a clause which would compel countries to allow householders sell their power back to the grid using 'at least' the wholesale price of electricity. The Citizens’ Assembly called for just such a provision but the Government is ignoring their advice. Similarly the Government is looking to remove a provision which would require countries to favour community ownership of energy in new renewable support schemes. Minister Denis Naughten publicly supports these measures, but when it comes down to reality his Department is working in Brussels to undermine this new ownership model.
“The Irish amendments will be discussed at a meeting of senior officials in Brussels this Friday, before going to the next European council meeting for decision. It is not too late for Minister Naughten to change tack and start promoting Ireland as a leader of the clean energy revolution that is taking hold rather than an obstacle to progress.”
The documents outlining the Irish amendments can be found here.