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Director of RenewableNI, Steven Agnew, comments on the publication of the Revised regional Strategic Planning Policy on Renewable and Low Carbon Energy & Strategic Environmental Assessment:

“This is a vital consultation for the renewable industry.  We need to put net zero at the heart of consenting policy and fast-track green infrastructure projects.  Unless we do this, will we certainly fail to achieve the Climate Bill target of 80 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

“Northern Ireland has some of the best wind in the world.  Last year 51% of our electricity came from renewable sources, which saved us £500m on gas.  Unfortunately, what we don’t have is a planning system that is fit for purchase.

“RenewableNI has consistently called for improvements in the planning system.  Fees in Northern Ireland are already higher than in GB and RoI, yet we receive a poorer service.

“Renewable projects are spending 2-5 years at planning stage, compared to just over one year in ROI.  As a result, the investment is going there and not benefiting NI.

“We therefore welcome this a vehicle for essential change.  We will be leading a comprehensive response to the consultation from the renewables industry.

“The key message from RenewableNI is this needs to be a major reform of the planning system.  It would be too little, too late to only tinker with a system not fit for purpose and that is holding back our path to net zero.”


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

RenewableNI has produced a two-page document Delivering the Next Wave of Renewables that outlines the key actions to achieve 80 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.  This document contains a timeline showing how this is at risk

Read more RenewableNI posts on the themes contained in this article.  If you want to learn more about community benefit, follow the Power Of Renewables tag.