Down Cllr Cadogan Enright has claimed that the Department of Finance and Personnel are undermining the potential for renewable energy in Northern Ireland by using inaccurate data to influence important policy.
The Green Party Councillor has used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain figures the figures which were used by Minister Robinson and Dodds to block renewables in new houses and to stop the grants for householders installing cheap renewable energy systems.
As Cllr Enright explains, “The figures used by civil servants to influence the Ministers’ decisions were meant to prove that oil was cheap and alternative energies expensive and not cost-effective. The figures I obtained show the civil servants predicted price for a barrel of oil each year until 2020. In the worse case scenario, these figures had a barrel of crude oil at $45 that year. Anyone who listens to the news will know that we are currently seeing oil sell at almost $120 today”.
“They had the price of a litre of home heating oil at 37 pence – whereas most householders in Down are painfully aware that the real cost is 55 pence or worse. Therefore, the argument that oil is cheaper than renewable energy does not stand up and the Ministers current bias against renewables is based on false information”, he said.
Cllr Cadogan Enright continued, “This means that wood-pellet central heating powered by crops grown by local Ulster Farmers has a pay-back of 4 years, whereas oil and gas from Russian and Arab producers has no pay-back at all to the long-suffering householder. I will be calling on Ministers Robinson and Dodds to challenge their civil servants data, and start supporting local renewable energy.”
Cllr Enright has said he will forward this information on to local MLAs and to the Finance and Personnel Committee in Stormont. “It is no wonder that Minister Robinson made the wrong decision in not including micro-generation in the building regulations, if he was receiving false data. I intend to make all those involved aware of these problems he concluded.”
Press Cuttings: ‘Inaccurate’ figures deny potential