The Northern Ireland parties’ General Election manifestos have outlines a limited reference to the theme of Community Energy. However, there are some particularly interesting commitments in the Alliance Party and Green Party NI manifestos.
The Alliance Party commit that they would support a ‘body’ to assist with advice and funding regarding small scale community regeneration projects in Northern Ireland as well as backing the development of a Green New Deal to lever resources into improving energy efficiency.
The Green Party manifesto devotes significant attention to energy related issues including a considerable number of pledges. This includes supporting “clean and sustainable energy solutions with an emphasis on small scale, local and co-operative schemes that benefit communities, while ensuring that large scale renewable energy projects engage with and benefit local communities”. The party also supports a Green New Deal for housing.
Both UUP and SDLP manifestos make a number of pledges which can be linked to Community Energy. The UUP refers to the role of the new 11 councils in relations to energy efficient buildings and provision of innovative retrofit schemes. The SDLP manifesto outlines a commitment for a green investment deal for Northern Ireland.
DUP, Sinn Fein and other party manifestos do not significantly focus on pledges in relation to the theme of Community Energy. But, it is important to remember that energy is largely a devolved issue, ergo regarding Community Energy it is expected that there will be much more focus on next year’s Assembly election manifestos. Yet, these General Election manifestos are a barometer of some positions currently.