Manufacturing NI have responded to the Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland.
Manufacturing NI acts as a representative of a sector with £20bn of sales, a quarter of our GVA and directly contributes or supports 1 in 4 of all jobs in NI.
This consultation is deeply disappointing and in parts reckless. History has shown us that those who take from the energy sector win at the expense of the consumer who fund 100% of the market. The Strategy seeks to continue this process but stripping away fundamental protections for consumers making no real attempt to take care of the most important participants in this transaction… those who pay.
The energy trilemma remains true. Balance is required between decarbonisation, security of supply and cost yet this is largely ignored and instead many of the proposals are focused on the development of the energy industry itself. There is a very flimsy attempt to mask this through chapters on protecting consumers and talk of potential economic opportunities, but the thrust of the paper is clearly to support energy interests rather than consumers both domestic and industrial.
Our fear is that the process is either captured by well-resourced energy interests or the direction established right at the start was selected to support those interests. This is most starkly brought in to focus when we read that none of the options under consideration have been cost tested and will not be tested prior to selection. This is unacceptable.
To read our response: click here: Response to the Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland