Where is the budget for the Energy Strategy? - Nesbitt

< Back To News

Where is the budget for the Energy Strategy? - Nesbitt

Ulster Unionist Economy spokesperson, Mike Nesbitt MLA, has expressed concern that the long awaited Energy Strategy, published last month, appears to have no associated budget. At a briefing for the Economy Committee this week, Departmental officials were able to identify only £10 million earmarked for programmes associated with the strategy, whereas the strategy itself suggests £761 million is needed this financial year for capital expenditure on energy transition.

Mike Nesbitt said:

"Page 28 of the Energy strategy contains a table of estimated costs for the capital investment required to make the transition away from fossil fuels. This covers areas like zero-emission vehicles, wind farms, and retrofitting buildings with energy efficient measures such as insulation. The total cost is estimated at £761 million per annum. Clearly, not all this cost will fall to the Department. Private individuals, businesses and other public bodies will all be expected to contribute, but the strategy also makes clear there will be a requirement for "an important and substantial role for support from government.”

"However, officials briefing the committee were unable to identify how much of that would be funded by the Department of the Economy, nor confirm there was provision within this new, draft three year budget, beyond a budget line for retrofitting buildings. That amounts to £10 million this financial year, or 1.3% of the overall figure, hardly meeting the definition of "substantial.”

"The Minister is due before the Committee later this month, when I hope to secure greater clarity regarding who pays for the incredibly important transition to renewable energy sources. This is an area where we will be leaving a large bill for future generations to pay for."