UFU urges Economy Minister to safeguard renewables investment

The Ulster Farmers' Union says it is 'frustrated and concerned' by the delay to the final decision on the proposed closure of the Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation (NIRO) for small scale wind turbines.

UFU rural enterprise chairman, Gary Hawkes, said: “The consultation period on this ended six weeks ago. Despite consensus from the industry on a way forward, and letters to both the DfE minister and the chair of the committee at Stormont, the Department is yet to publish a decision.”

Mr Hawkes said this had taken on a new urgency because the Assembly’s summer recess is now just days away.

“If the legislation is not taken forward before then, the delay until the Assembly sits again in September will put further pressure on the small scale renewable sector in Northern Ireland,” he said.

Mr Hawkes concluded: “The UFU is urging DfE to progress the NIRO closure legislation for small scale wind before the summer recess. This will protect investments already in place and give much needed certainty to farmers and landowners,’’ he said.