RenewableNI has issued a warning as the latest clean electricity figures, published by DfE, show a dip in renewable generation.

The Department for the Economy’s Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation in Northern Ireland: Year Ending December 2023 has revealed that 45.8 per cent of electricity last year came from renewable sources.

The report is published quarterly, reflecting the previous 12 months.  This report reflects the generation for the full 2023 calendar year and is a decrease of over 5 per cent from the 2022 figure.

RenewableNI, which represents the renewable electricity industry, has warned that we need urgent action by the Department if we are to reach the 80 per cent by 2030 renewables obligation.

Commenting on the disappointing figure, RenewableNI Director, Steven Agnew, said:

“The amount of renewable generation has stagnated when we need a consistent trend upwards.  The dramatic and much needed increase is not going to be seen until significant new generation is added.

“The industry has long been waiting for a new renewable electricity support scheme and unfortunately it seems the first action from the new Economy Minister is delay.  Delay of a support scheme and so a delay in industry development, and ultimately a delay on green growth economy and consumer bills going down.

“Northern Ireland was a global leader in renewable projects but only 86MW of new large-scale generation has been connected this decade.  To put that in perspective, 400MW was connected in 2016 alone.  Now we are the only region of these islands without any renewables support.

“As a result, investment in the sector has stalled.  The Accelerating Renewables report revealed 82per cent of global developers considered Northern Ireland an unattractive investment location for renewables.”

The Renewable Generation report shows that onshore wind accounted for 83 per cent of the total renewable energy.  This cut Northern Ireland spending on gas by £243 million in 2023*.

Explaining the importance of renewable electricity Steven Agnew continued: “As more generation becomes available consumers will have increased energy security and protection from volatile fossil fuel prices, as well as cutting our carbon emissions.

“Conor Murphy MLA announced that one of his four critical objectives as incoming Economy Minister is to reduce carbon emissions.  He recognised the well-known benefits of renewables and committed to NI becoming self-sufficient in electricity generation and even an exporter of affordable renewable energy.

“The first step to achieving this signing off on the new energy support scheme that was being progressed in the absence of the Executive.  The return of Stormont is meant to bring progress to NI, we can’t afford to stall.

“It is already too late to do this little.”

ENDS.

For media inquiries please contact Judith Rance, Communications and Events Manager, RenewableNI, Judith.Rance@RenewableNI.com, 07875-681-794.

 

Notes to editors

Director of RenewableNI, Steven Agnew, is available for interviews.

*Source analysis published by energy specialists Baringa entitled Cutting Carbon Cutting Bills: Analysis of gas savings delivered by wind farms in 2023. Full analysis available online.

DfE report available at https://datavis.nisra.gov.uk/Economy/electricity-consumption-and-renewable-generation-report.html