She was responding to big increases in the prices of gas, oil and electricity for householders
Said the Foyle MLA: “The North needs a wider range of sources of renewable energy. This is essential as we deal with climate change and the rising cost of the old fossil fuels of gas, oil and coal.
“We can exploit a range of renewable energy sources locally, including tidal, solar, geothermal, offshore wind and wave energy.
“These need to supplement onshore wind turbines, which cannot be relied upon to provide energy at the time it is needed.
“As part of the new energy mix, we need to find ways to store wind energy for use when it is needed.
“That requires investment in large scale battery storage and provides opportunities for hydrogen production for use in transport and industry.
“The big energy companies must now invest in technologies that are fit for the future, instead of continuing to invest in the fossil fuels that have brought us to a climate change crisis.
“Earlier this week I visited the NI Water plant at Kinnegar, where a hydrogen pilot project is currently underway.
“Projects like this are going to be key as we invest in renewable energy.
“The potential is there: we now need to see this followed through by moving from pilot programmes to significant applications.
“SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has taken the lead, through the procurement of hydrogen-powered buses.
“Other ministers need to show similar commitment.”