Wind power ‘cheapest NI renewable option’

The Northern Ireland (NI) Government believes that renewable sources may eventually be able to provide up to 42 per cent of electricity generation, with wind power being the cheapest option.

In a statement published on eGov Monitor, NI Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Nigel Dodds also confirmed that “Northern Ireland is on track to meet its target of 12 per cent electricity consumption from indigenous sources by 2012”.

At the current time electricity generation from renewables stands at just over five per cent, he said.

Mr Dodds added that the Electrical Grid Study, which was released by Dodds’ department in conjunction with the Government of the Irish Republic, showed that both regions are able to “effectively manage” a growing contribution from renewable energy.

Wind power is likely to be an important part of the mix because it is “the cheapest and most readily available source of renewable energy here”.

Mr Dodds said he would be pushing for ambitious renewable energy targets for the future, and noted that the Single Electricity Market (SEM) would lead to greater regional harmonisation between Ireland, the UK and France.

“Creating the SEM is a major step forward in building a robust energy infrastructure in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“It will also help to protect the interests of consumers by promoting greater competition, while also securing a diverse, viable and environmentally sustainable long term energy supply.”

Ben Meggeson

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