Ulster Unionist MP for South Antrim Danny Kinahan has questioned whether electricity companies are making the most of interconnection with Great Britain.
He was speaking at the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on Wednesday morning, as the Committee was holding a public evidence session as part of its inquiry into the electricity sector in Northern Ireland. At the meeting MPs heard evidence from the Consumer Council, followed by Power NI and SSE, two large electricity suppliers.
Danny Kinahan MP said:
“The evidence session was a welcome opportunity to ask key questions relating to energy policy. High energy costs are an issue for businesses and consumers alike in Northern Ireland, with costs in the province higher than in other parts of the United Kingdom. While there has been a lot of focus on the lack of progress of the North-South interconnector, which is experiencing planning issues, what is considered much less is that the Moyle interconnector, which connects our electricity supply to Great Britain, has been running at reduced capacity for a number of years.
“Going forward Northern Ireland needs to maximise all the opportunities provided by its energy infrastructure. We need a joined-up approach to energy, not just in electricity supply, but also when developing our potential for wind, wave, tidal and solar power. An All-British Isles approach is vital if we are to address our energy challenges. Greater supply of energy leads to lower costs, which can help the local economy, and could alleviate our shocking levels of fuel poverty. The Northern Ireland Executive, and the UK Government must work more closely together on these matters.”