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RenewableNI (RNI) submitted a consultation document on behalf of members on the Review of Strategic Planning Policy on Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Issues Paper.

RNI is committed to surpassing the 70% target for renewable electricity set in the recently published NI Energy Straetgy.

In our report Powering A Green Economy, it is estimated that the onshore wind sector alone could contribute over £3bn to the NI economy between now and 2030.

RNI members have extensive experience of developing renewable energy projects in Northern Ireland and across these islands and therefore have a good understanding of our local planning system and knowledge of good practice elsewhere.

The Northern Ireland Audit Office’s report Planning in Northern Ireland highlights the failings of our current system, and in many instances reflects the frustration experienced by RNI members.

Existing timelines for the processing of renewable applications are a significant barrier to the achievement of Energy Strategy targets and decarbonisation ambitions.

Head of RenewableNI, Steven Agnew, said:

“The performance of our planning system is not reflective of the high planning fees our members are paying and timescales are prohibitive.  Wind farms are spending more than twice as long in planning here than in Great Britain.  This is a considerable disincentive to investors who are operating across these islands and globally.

“Furthermore, the Department for Infrastructure needs to get a grip of planning policy with local councils moving in the opposite direction to strategic policy.

“We therefore welcome this opportunity to influence future strategic planning policy for renewables development.”

Read the RenewableNI consultation document at

You can read all the RenewableNI reports and previous consultation documents, including for the NI Energy Strategy at