Investment in renewable energy is working for Belfast.
The establishment of a wind turbines construction site in the city’s docks is set to lead to the creation of 75 construction and 300 permanent jobs.
Ross Campbell, Green Party candidate for the Victoria constituency in May’s election to Belfast City Council, has welcomed the investment and is urging voters to support candidates who will ensure the potential of the green economy is fully exploited.
Ross Campbell said: “The prospect of 300 jobs being created in Belfast is great news at a time of economic hardship, but a drop in the ocean compared to the 33,000 jobs that could be created by a Green New Deal.
“Belfast is a natural location for DONG Energy, which is involved in a number of large scale wind farm developments in England, but to get the maximum benefit for local people we need to take advantage of Northern Ireland’s own renewable energy resources – our wind, wave and tidal power potential is among the greatest in Europe.
“Exploit our own resources and we achieve energy security, protect households and businesses from rising fossil fuel prices and ensure profits made are invested locally, whereas when we import oil we export 90% of the profit. A Green New Deal must also involve improved energy efficiency in Northern Ireland’s housing stock, saving everyone money.”
DONG Energy, the Danish company behind the £40 million project, is involved in eight wind farms in England, including the 315MW London Array, which is expected to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Green Party energy spokesman Cadogan Enright added: “This investment puts us in the perfect position to become world leaders in the field of sustainable energy. This is the sort of thing our politicians should have been investing in over the years if only they had had the foresight to see how it would be economically viable.
“Instead, too many politicians, even ministers like Sammy Wilson, preferred to ridicule those who promoted the green economy. This is just the wake-up call they need to see how much benefit the green economy can produce.
“The Green Party has always had the courage to face up to the realities of our local and global economic situation and has been highlighting the economic opportunities from the increasing scarcity of oil while promoting sustainable alternatives. This will not only create a platform for jobs in the Belfast area but it will be a boost to our entire economy.”