Independent TD Thomas Pringle has published a policy document on the biomass sector in Donegal and the job creation potential involved in the forestry and wood chip industry.
He said. “Wind farming has dominated the renewable energy sector and has benefited the private sector at the cost of rural communities in Donegal. I have consistently called for a moratorium on all on-shore wind farming until all other alternative renewable energy avenues are explored including biomass.
“At the heart of my policy document is a focus on local production and consumption of biomass; promoting rural communities as the drivers of renewable energies and allowing more opportunities for them to produce and consume their own energy at affordable rates.”
Pringle continued, “Biomass has great job creation potential for rural communities as these jobs would be local and sustainable thereby feeding back into the local economy. Secure and sustainable jobs are likely to be created in forestry, engineering, environmental services, construction, manufacturing, maintenance, servicing and in other areas.
“I make eight recommendations in the document for the next Government including: a moratorium on wind farming to prioritise community-friendly renewable energy policy; providing clear and strong incentives for both producers and consumers including financial support for small scale growers and producers; introducing a Renewable Heat Incentive not just for industry but for households; consult and support local energy initiatives in all stages of planning and implementation of energy policies, including the Community Energy Proclamation.
‘This election will be an important one to ensure the next Government prioritises local communities in renewable energy policy alongside rural-friendly job creation for counties like Donegal,” he concluded.
The full policy document can be viewed or downloaded at Biomass Policy.