Cadogan Enright has been involved in setting up a new trade association representing the renewable energy industry in Ireland, which aims to promote the use of renewable technologies to improve the environment and the economy.
Over one hundred people, representing companies that employ about 1,430 people in the renewable energy sector across Ireland, attended the launch of the Sustainable Energy Association, at Parliament Buildings in Stormont on Thursday 28th February.
The aim of the Sustainable Energy Association is to represent the renewable energy sector, enter meaningful dialogue with government and other agencies and ensure high standards. The SEA has been established to give a voice to the industry in responding to the ending of Reconnect grants and the lack of green building standards in Northern Ireland.
The Association argues that such decisions run contrary to commitments to cut CO2 emissions and will slow growth in the very sector skilled to reduce the region’s carbon.
Down District Cllr Cadogan Enright has helped the Association to get established and is keen to see the use of renewable energy increased. He said, “Back in January,I held a meeting in Downpatrick and invited all the renewable energy installers in County Down. The response to this was enormous and so from this came the establishment of the S.E.A.”
The launch at Stormont was hosted by MLA Brian Wilson, who had also attended the Downpatrick meeting in January at the invitation of Cllr Enright. Brian Wilson, told the newly formed Association to keep the pressure on Minister’s for a change of heart: “I find it ironic that devolved government is responsible for threatening this new N.Irish industry by cutting grants. If such a decision was made by a UK Minister there would be out cry.”
Local Environmentalist and close associate of Cllr Enright has been involved in the organisation of the meeting. He believes that this new group is necessary to emphasise the growth of the industry and the potential for the local party.
He said, “I am very proud to be involved in this new group as I feel that if we are to meet the crisis of climate change we must embrace the opportunities for economic growth which this provides. There are many people in the Down area alone who can and will benefit from an energy policy based on renewables, we have 66 businesses in this sector in County Down alone.”
A number of local businesses involved in this sector were also present and have played a leading role in the campaign for cleaner, cheaper energy. This includes Patrick Flynn of GreenEnergy4u in Castlewellan, Anita Gribben of Greengage in Cabra and Connaire McGreevy from Kilkeel.