After years of campaigning, RenewableNI recently celebrated success at seeing our ambitious goal of 80 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 included in the Climate Bill.
RenewableNI is a not-for-profit representing businesses across the renewable electricity sector. We work together with our members and stakeholders to create a better future, powered by clean electricity.
RenewableNI promotes responsible development, supports good community engagement and the delivery of low-cost electricity generation from sources such as wind, solar and battery storage, using our greatest natural resources.
The ‘80 by 30’ renewables target is a welcome but very challenging one, 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.
RenewableNI welcomes the appointment of a new Infrastructure Minister and look forward to working with John O’Dowd MLA in his new role, as his department will be key to the success of the Energy Strategy. How much can be achieved by a caretaker minister is uncertain, but it is no benefit to business to have an Assembly that cannot assemble.
We are launching our Renewable Energy Programme for Government at the end of June and will invite all the newly elected MLAs to attend, as well as other key stakeholders. You will be able to view this on our website, and I welcome people in the industry contacting me about it.
RenewableNI will highlight the vital role that the planning system can 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. We are facing a climate emergency and we have seen through Covid that government can deliver at pace when required to do so. We now need a Covid type response to climate.
It is clear that without significant improvement of planning timelines that we will fail to achieve our renewables and decarbonisation targets.
RenewableNI is hosting our free webinar series and our Smart Energy Conference, which will take place on Thursday 6 October in the Clayton Hotel Belfast. These events focus on the key aspects of delivering new renewable generation including markets, grid and planning.
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.
You can find out more about these events, and our ongoing work, at www.RenewableNI.com/news or by emailing me at Steven.Agnew@RenewableNI.com.