Northern Ireland losing out on renewables investment and capital

Creation of a renewable energy support scheme (RESS) should be among immediate priorities for Northern Ireland’s restored government, according to the Electricity Association of Ireland (EAI).

The representative body for the island of Ireland’s Single Electricity Market (SEM), EAI said the absence of such a scheme has caused prospective investment and capital to be diverted away from NI into RoI or GB.

While the NI Department for the Economy (DfE) has previously consulted on a RESS, progress collapsed alongside Stormont and the region has fallen behind in delivering key infrastructure such as smart metering.

EAI said, “A cost-benefit analysis was prepared by the DfE with KPMG investigating a range of rollout scenarios. This cost-benefit analysis illustrated that the rapid rollout scenario aiming to be completed by 2027 is the optimal option.

“Clearly, Economy Minister Conor Murphy will have to also act rapidly or risk endangering NI’s ability to deliver active demand side management.”

As the Celtic Interconnector between France and SEM progresses, EAI also highlighted concerns over potential Windsor Framework issues regarding reintegration of the SEM with EU electricity markets.