RenewableUK has released new figures which show that presently about a quarter of the electricity being generated in Northern Ireland comes from onshore wind.
The latest generation figures released by NI Electricity Networks, show that onshore wind has now passed the 1GW milestone, with 1,029MW of onshore wind connected in Northern Ireland.
This year has seen significant delivery of large onshore wind projects, representing £127.4million of local investment since the beginning of 2017. The growth has contributed to official figures published this month showing that in the 12-month period from April 2016 to March 2017, onshore wind generated 22.4% of Northern Ireland’s electricity. All renewable sources contributed 27.1%.
In the UK as a whole, onshore wind currently provides 6% of electricity, so proportionately Northern Ireland is way ahead in terms of generation from this power source.
Onshore wind is now by far the leading source of clean electricity in Northern Ireland, representing 78% of installed renewable capacity. With world-leading grid management systems, the network is dealing with increasingly high levels of renewables, maximising the growth potential of these technologies.
The Chair of NIRIG (Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group) Rachel Anderson said: “Crossing this 1GW threshold shows just how much of a success story onshore wind is in Northern Ireland. Onshore wind remains one of the vital growth areas to our modern low-carbon economy, so we need to ensure that politicians here join us in securing a bright future for this technology”.
RenewableUK’s Executive Director, Emma Pinchbeck said “Renewable electricity is making a massive contribution to Northern Ireland, creating jobs, bringing inward investment and enabling local regeneration. Northern Ireland is making the most of its great onshore wind resources, embracing a mature technology which is now the cheapest way to generate electricity bar none, helping to keep consumers’ bills down”.