We need to move to a low-carbon economy driven by public investment. At present, all electricity customers must pay €38.68 a year on their bills to subsidise private firms making the transition to green energy.
But why go about it in this roundabout way?
Our twin objectives are to reduce emissions and to create a Just Transition for workers, farmers and communities by ambitious public investment. We would:
- Roll out a major retrofit programme on housing to reduce energy usage. Provide state financing and funding for homeowners to retrofit. Establish accredited training schemes for retrofit workers.
- Create publicly-owned companies for solar energy and offshore wind generation.
- Support community co-operatives for local onshore wind enterprises.
- Develop a smart grid for storage and interconnection.
- Introduce payments for farmers to reforest the land: Ireland has one of the lowest levels of forest coverage in Europe and farmers struggle to make an income off the land. We would pay farmers €3,000 per hectare to reforest and tend to new native forestry – drawing down carbon and improving lives in rural Ireland.
- Expand and electrify the rail network and move to a system of free, green and frequent public transport nationwide.