RenewableNI’s Smart Energy Conference took place on Thursday 6 October.

Held in the Clayton Hotel, in the heart of Belfast, the conference focused on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Energy Strategy.

The full-day conference included a networking lunch and ended with a drinks reception in a private bar area.

BBC NI Economics & Business Editor, John Campbell and Derek Hynes, Managing Director at NIE Networks were two of the great speakers in RenewableNI’s Smart Energy Conference morning session.

They were joined by Dr Caoimhe Archibald MLA, former Chair of the Economy Committee, delivering a speech, with the new Chair of RenewableNI, Garth McGimpsey provided an introduction.

We brought together two panels of industry experts to discuss the NI Planning System and Markets, with plenty of time for audience questions.

Other speakers included Gary McGhee, Partner and Head of Planning and Environmental Law at event partner Carson McDowell and Digital Campaign Director and Social Media Trainer, Paul McGarrity.

Find out more about the speakers and agenda.

Director of RenewableNI, Steven Agnew said:

“At the Smart Energy 2021 event we discussed what might be in the new Energy Strategy and what we hoped it would include.  A year on and we have seen the publication of the Strategy and the 2022 Action Plan, followed by the Climate Bill.

“There is now a commitment to reach 80% renewable electricity by 2030

“This is a welcome but very challenging target which will only be met through joined up government and collaboration with industry.

“It is therefore imperative that a new Executive is established as soon as possible to begin delivery of the energy transition.

“At the Smart Energy Conference, we will highlight the vital role that the planning system will play in enabling a green economic recovery.  Currently it is dysfunctional and under resourced, and is blocking new renewable development.

“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.

“RenewableNI and our members know now is the time to act, to ensure a greener and cheaper electricity system for everyone in Northern Ireland.  We hope to see you at the conference in October to add your voice to the call for action.”

Neasa Quigley, Partner at key event sponsor Carson McDowell, and Director of RenewableNI Steven Agnew, announce Smart Energy Conference 2022.

Graphic of Carson McDowell logo with solar panels, wind turbines and electricity pylons

A word from our sponsor

Carson McDowell is Northern Ireland’s largest independent law firm with unrivalled experience in the energy and renewables sector. Our specialist lawyers in our Energy and Renewables team are recognised as being at the forefront of their field. We work closely with our clients to provide expert advice relating to matters involving renewable electricity generation across a range of established and new technologies, conventional power generation, energy regulation, energy storage, waste and natural resources. We advise clients on the entire lifecycle of projects – from planning approval to site acquisition, construction, financing, operation, maintenance and ultimately, their refinancing or sale. We also advise and lead funders and acquirers on some of the most complex and high-profile energy deals and transactions. Our involvement in the most significant and regionally important energy projects makes us the most active and experienced law firm in the energy sector in Northern Ireland.

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Sponsored by

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