Closure of Kilroot – or how NOT to manage a ‘just transition’ to a low carbon energy economy

Kilroot Power Station

This is not how you plan a transition from a high to a low carbon energy economy.  The announcement a few weeks ago that the operator of Kilroot coal fired power station had lost out in the auction process within the all island Single Electricity Market (I-SEM), and the company announcing it will close the gates in May is not only a disaster for those workers, contractors and communities affected.  It is also a major setback for the managed transition … Read more

Northern Ireland gets a new electricity company

Northern Ireland will have a new electricity supplier from this August. Open Electric pledges to be the most “socially aware” power company with promises to reward its customers with a share in any profits made. The company will be run by local entrepreneur Marc Norris who set out his rationale for wanting to set up electricity provider; For far too long, energy customers in Northern Ireland have found themselves at the mercy of suppliers which have put their own interests … Read more

Basil McCrea: Fuel, Poverty and Politics

The rising poverty rates in the Western world have been hitting the headlines. Writing for Slugger the NI21 Leader, Basil McCrea writes about what can be down about this issue President Obama has been criticised for plans in his State Of The Union Address aimed at introducing tax benefits for childcare, college education and retirement. His crime? The initiatives would be funded by raising funds from banks and rich families and pumping the estimated $300bn. raised into initiatives which would … Read more

North-Southery? Build a wall or a bridge?

I remember reading through old government documents from the 60s being perplexed at seeing members of the Northern Ireland government referring to their southern counterparts as members of the ‘republican government’ who were on the other side of the ‘frontier’ (that’s the border to me and you). But what was more disturbing about that period were proposals like co-operation in tourism and trade which had benefits for Northern Ireland being turned down because of political concerns about the integrity of … Read more

And then there were four….

Interesting it seems to have taken so long to get even a modicum of competition in the energy market place here. But it seems the monopoly enjoyed by the company formerly known as NIE Energy is to face hefty competition from three others… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. … Read more