Minister moves to reassure renewables sector

Continue with funding - Bell
Continue with funding - Bell

Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell, has moved the to reassure onshore wind developers in the province following the announcement by UK Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, to close the Renewables Obligation across Great Britain to onshore wind in 2016.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced its intention to close the Renewables Obligation across Great Britain to new onshore wind projects only from 1 April 2016.

Stating that he was disappointed by the move, Mr Bell said it had understandably created investor concern in the province.

“DETI recently consulted on closing the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) to new generation in 2017 and I will shortly publish the formal government response to the consultation.

“I want to make it clear now, however, that I do not intend to follow the Westminster government’s policy to close the existing scheme early.

“Onshore wind has made a valuable contribution to our renewable energy aspirations in Northern Ireland.

Welcoming the Minister’s comments, Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) chairman Patrick McClughan called for a “stable and supportive” policy.

“We will seek to work closely with Minister Bell as he discusses these critical issues with the UK Government”.