The chairman of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland has been accused of a conflict of interest because of his involvement in an energy company that stands to profit from new wind farms.
Our sister paper, The Irish Mail on Sunday, revealed yesterday how five months after Brendan Halligan was appointed to head up the SEAI, he was given the role of director of Mainstream Renewable Energy Ltd.
That company is a wind energy business founded by his friend and business associate Eddie O’Connor. Mr Halligan bought more than €500,000 worth of shares in the company in August 2008.
It has now signed up hundreds of farmers as part of a plan to export energy to Britain from swathes of wind turbines to be installed across the Irish Midlands. Former ESRI energy economist Professor Richard Tol said: ‘It’s obvious that he has a personal interest in pushing wind rather than any other renewable.
‘I would say legally there is nothing wrong here but it’s clear there is an insider … who could personally profit from the whole thing.’
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding