'Decarbonisation of Road Transport in Northern Ireland': Committee Report

Part of Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:30 pm on 29th November 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Hilditch David Hilditch DUP 4:30 pm, 29th November 2021

Thanks for that, George. Unfortunately, I was not able to get to that due to other commitments but, having spoken to the Chairman, I know that it was a positive visit.

The new Hydrogen Training Academy, to be based at Silverwood Business Park in Ballymena, is to receive £511,000 from the UK Government's Community Renewal Fund (CRF). With hydrogen emerging as a leading sustainable energy solution, this first-of-its-kind project for Northern Ireland will enable and develop a dynamic, skilled workforce that can take advantage of hydrogen and clean tech opportunities. The academy is one of 31 projects across Northern Ireland set to benefit from a total of £12 million in CRF funding, all focusing on skills, education, local business and employment.

Skills strategies will be important if we are to exploit emerging green technologies with the transport sector and the public sector more generally. Training and upskilling young people must be at the heart of this. My constituency of East Antrim has long been a powerhouse in supplying electricity to the Northern Ireland economy. The power stations at Kilroot and Ballylumford on the coast have long supplied the majority of Northern Ireland's electricity needs. EP UK Investments Ltd took over the plants in late 2019, and is transitioning to a new, cleaner source of generation involving the integration of renewables. The Kilroot plant, near Carrickfergus, is the location for a planned green energy park with investment of some £600 million, incorporating a range of technologies and applications.

As Deputy Chair of the Committee, I fully welcome the Committee report. It is one of the many steps that the Assembly must take to create a more sustainable, cleaner and environmentally friendly future for all. I commend the report to the House.

Question put and agreed to. Resolved:

That this Assembly approves the report of the Committee for Infrastructure on its inquiry into the decarbonisation of road transport in Northern Ireland [NIA 136/17-22]; and calls on the Minister for Infrastructure and her Executive colleagues to implement the recommendations contained in the report.