Skip to main content

RenewableNI has marked the Department for Economy’s draft Offshore Renewable Energy Action Plan (OREAP) as good but could do better in its consultation response.

While the industry body commends the department for corralling all key stakeholders including developers and environmentalists and establishing a meaningful working collaboration with the sector it urges the government to consider additional features which would strengthen OREAP.

“We recognise the substantial work in developing the draft OREAP,” says RenewableNI Director, Steven Agnew.

“This is the kind of collaborative working that is often talked about but rarely delivered.”

“While we agree with the plan’s core values, we believe some key additions would strengthen it and deliver a better outcome for the industry, the consumer and the environment.”

RenewableNI says the current 1GW target from 2030 is too vague and does not provide sufficient investor confidence.

“The OREAP will be a key signal to investors and to other stakeholders including SONI, NIE Networks and the Utility Regulator.

“They will be crucial in delivering the connections policy needed to drive offshore generation.  A minimum required approach by these stakeholders will likely constrain the offshore potential and possibly extinguish it entirely.  NI is competing for investment with our GB neighbours who have a target of 50GW by 2030, not from 2030.  In Ireland, the target is for seven GW by 2030.  While NI cannot deliver this level of capacity, we can match their ambition.”

RenewableNI also questions SONI’s plans, originally set at 100MW of offshore wind but since raised to 500MW. “Realistically, this would allow for only one offshore project.  With three potential projects currently under consideration this is insufficient.  DfE must provide leadership and set a 1GW by 2030 target and set the agenda for the other key stakeholders.”

The recently published RenewableNI report “The Clean Revolution” highlights that the addition of 1.5GW of offshore wind in NI would result in:

  • enough clean electricity to power 1.6m homes;
  • £2.4bn of gross value added to the economy;
  • up to 1,500 additional jobs at peak construction;
  • eradication of 49 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The RenewableNI response to the OREAP consultation and The Clean Revolution are available online at


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