‘Renewables sector welcomes certainty’

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The Ulster Farmers’ Union, Simple Power, Renewable NI and Wind NI have welcomed the certainty created by legislation that closes the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) to new small scale onshore wind.

A spokesperson for the group said: “While we are disappointed the NIRO subsidy is closing a year earlier than expected due to decisions by the Department of Energy and Climate Change at Westminster, we do welcome the clarity and certainty the NIRO closure legislation brings.

“Many involved in the small scale wind industry have invested on the strength of the availability of the NIRO. They can now move forward with greater confidence that their investment has been protected if they meet the eligibility criteria.

“It is now essential that all parties, most notably NIE and the Department for the Economy, work together to ensure ‘approved development’ projects which meet the eligibility criteria receive grid connections.

“The issuing of NIE Networks letters to projects that do not have an estimated connection time must happen as soon as possible and to the satisfaction of Ofgem.

“Our sector looks forward to working with government and other key bodies in developing a new renewables support structure, post NIRO, to ensure an even playing field with GB.”