Northern Ireland Minister Hails Renewables as “Key Element of Our Energy Mix” at NIRIG Conference

The Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) has welcomed comments made today by Arlene Foster MLA, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, as she addressed delegates at NIRIG’s annual conference at Hilton Hotel, Belfast.

The Minister hailed the contribution that the renewable energy sector ismaking in providing electricity and contributing to the economy, stating: “Renewables are a key element of our energy mix and the sector’s importance is growing.”

The Minister also outlined the important role that wind energy can play inreducing greenhouse gas emissions; limiting the exposure to price increases fromfossil fuel; and supporting growth in the local economy by generating direct employment and stimulating associated business development. The issue of a sustainable framework to enable future growth was also covered and the Minister reassured the industry that progress options were being explored in relation to the grid which involved a number of partners.

Partnership working was also a theme covered by Jenny Pyper, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR), who said: “Sustainability is at the heart of what we do. NIAUR is willing and ready to sign off renewables investments that are efficient.”

Welcoming today’s comments, Patrick McClughan, who was recently elected Chairman of NIRIG, and who is Commercial Manager for Gaelectric Developments Ltd, the renewable energy and energy storage group, said:

“It is wonderful to see such optimism from key decision-makers about the contribution wind can make to Northern Ireland’s electricity supply and economy. It is also very encouraging to see their personal commitment to ensuring this becomes a reality.

“There is a clear desire to work with the industry and its representative body NIRIG to maximise the benefits from our fantastic wind resource by ensuring security of supply which will in turn release other economic benefits. Whilst policy challenges remain, the strong commitment from both industry and Government at the highest level will assist in overcoming these.”

The Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) is a joint collaboration between the Irish Wind Energy Association and RenewableUK. NIRIG represents the views of the renewable energy industry in Northern Ireland, providing a conduit for knowledge exchange, policy development support and consensus on best practice between stakeholders.

Today’s 2014 NIRIG Policy conference focused on the theme of “Partnership for Progress” in the development of the renewable energy industry to benefit Northern Ireland both economically and environmentally. Representatives from the wind, wave and tidal industry examined some of the key partnership requirements of the renewables industry such as “Partnerships for Markets”; “Partnerships for Grid”; and importantly “Partnerships with Communities”.

RenewableUK is the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association, specialising in onshore wind, offshore wind and wave & tidal energy. Formed in 1978, we have an established, large corporate membership ranging from small independent companies, to large international corporations and manufacturers. Acting as a central point of information and a united, representative voice for our membership, we conduct research; find solutions; organise events, facilitate business development, and promote wind and marine renewables to government, industry, the media and the public. Our vision is for renewable energy to play a leading role in powering the UK.

Source: RenewableUK

For more information on: RenewableUK