RenewableNI, the organisation which represents companies and organisations involved in Northern Ireland’s renewable electricity sector, says it welcomes the urgency now being shown for the rapid development of clean energy projects.
Steven Agnew, Director of RenewableNI says the organisation will be leading the industry response to the Department for the Economy’s just published Consultation on the Draft Offshore Renewable Energy Action Plan (OREAP) for Northern Ireland.
“The draft OREAP is a clear signal of intent by the Department to create the right conditions for our sector to generate 1 gigawatt of offshore wind energy, enough to power more than a quarter of Northern Ireland’s electricity demand,” says Mr Agnew.
“While this plan indicates the aim to generate 1GW from 2030, RenewableNI members are working together to achieve 80% renewable electricity generation in Northern Ireland by 2030,” he says. “This will reduce climate change, boost the NI economy by £4.5bn and save consumers money.”
The draft plan sets out the direction for planning, licensing, consenting and the development of offshore renewable energy in Northern Ireland.
“Generating electricity and relying less on imported power is now an urgent priority for our economy as world instability continues to threaten progress. We in Northern Ireland and Ireland are at the periphery of the major international networks and we are now facing a golden opportunity to not only become more self-sufficient but potentially to become a net exporter of energy,” he says.
A number of offshore projects for wind turbines in the Irish Sea connecting to the Northern Ireland grid are already beginning the process of environmental impact assessments, natural habitat studies and consultations with coastal communities and fishing organisations.
“The ambition to achieve 1GW of offshore wind from 2030 is very welcome. It requires all of us in the sector to work in harmony and I believe the will is there among the policy community and the investors to make this happen.”
For media inquiries please contact Judith Rance, Communications and Events Manager, RenewableNI, Judith.Rance@RenewableNI.com, 07875-681-794.
Joris Minne, Jcomms, email@example.com or 07876 218978
Notes to editors
- The Clean Revolution: Building NI’s Offshore Wind Industry report was launched by RenewableNI earlier this year. Link to the report: https://renewableni.com/policy/