RenewableNI has welcomed the latest clean electricity figures setting a record of over 50per cent for the first time. Revealed by the Department for Economy, the figures show a growth in the amount of electricity generated by emissions-free wind and solar.
The figures show that in the 12 months up to December 2022, renewable electricity accounted for 51per cent of supply, up from 41.3% for the year 2021.
Over the same period some 3,825 GW was generated from renewable sources in Northern Ireland. In February 2022 a new highest month record was set with 76.5% of renewable electricity generated
Steven Agnew, Director of RenewableNI, says the figures are encouraging but only to a point.
“While it is fantastic to see the renewable electricity generation achieve over 50 per cent for the first time, we need to more than double the generation to achieve the 80% target by 2030. This increase is essential for the electrification of the heat and transport industries.
“For the last four years Northern Ireland has stalled investment in the sector. We have achieved 1.7GW capacity – we need an additional 2.5GW, but only 75MW a year of new generation has been connected.
Steven Agnew continued:
“The legislative environment has not created optimum conditions for this much needed investment during this time so we are relying heavily on outputs from established renewable sources which have been onstream for some years.”
“We face a new opportunity to position Northern Ireland at the leading edge of floating wind turbine generated electricity. However by 2030 the onshore wind and solar industry will still be providing over 85 per cent of the electricity generation Northern Ireland needs.
“Last year NI consumers avoided paying £500 million to import gas last year because electricity provided by wind farms. The industry will generate £5bn for the economy, create thousands of new jobs and provide energy security.
“Politicians need to support the renewable electricity industry to improve the climate and economy.”
For media inquiries please contact Judith Rance, Communications and Events Manager, RenewableNI, Judith.Rance@RenewableNI.com, 07875-681-794.