As a new Irish government department assumes responsibility for renewable energy, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) is accusing the government of a lack of joined up thinking on the country's climate change strategy. Following the general election in June, energy is now the remit of the enlarged Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (DCMNR) under its minister, Dermot Ahern. Although IWEA welcomes the fact that a senior minister is to have responsibility for renewables, "because the industry is badly in need of policy leadership," it dismisses as "wishful thinking" the Department of Environment's assumption that the DCMNR will be able to deliver on the country's targets for renewables under the National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS). The environment department does not realise the extent of inaction on renewables to date, IWEA warns. It says that only 138 MW of wind energy has been installed since 1992, while 1500 MW will be needed by 2010. Meanwhile, the DCMNR has no policies in place to make up the deficit. IWEA calls for a rigorous examination by those in charge of the NCCS of the conduct of Ahern's department.
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