Onshore wind generates almost a quarter of Northern Ireland’s electricity
27 June 2017
Posted by: Rob Norris
New figures show that onshore wind is powering ahead in Northern Ireland, generating nearly a quarter of its electricity needs.
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”.
For further information, please contact:
Meabh Cormacain, NIRIG, Manager, 028 9044 6240 or 07837 291 699
Robert Norris, RenewableUK, Head of Communications, 020 7901 3013 or 07969 229913, Robert.Norris@RenewableUK.com
Adam Wentworth, RenewableUK, Communications Officer, 020 7901 3038 or 07791 702702 Adam.Wentworth@RenewableUK.com
The Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) represents the views of the renewable electricity industry in Northern Ireland, providing a conduit for knowledge exchange, policy development, support and consensus on best practice between all stakeholders.
RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 400 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK.
Each MW of large-scale onshore wind in Northern Ireland represents £1.18million local investment over the lifetime of the project.
More detail on Northern Ireland electricity generation can be found here Total renewable energy capacity in Northern Ireland: 1,318 megawatts (MW). (1,000MW = 1 gigawatt).
1,029MW wind (large and small-scale)
197MW solar (large and small)
65MW anaerobic digestion & biogas
4MW hydro & tidal
1GW of onshore wind in Northern Ireland powers the equivalent of 653,600 homes annually, which is 93% of homes in Northern Ireland.
Number of households in Northern Ireland: 703,300
Onshore wind load factor in Northern Ireland: 29.8%
Average annual domestic electricity consumption: 3,994kWh
The latest figures come from Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks) - the electricity asset owner of the transmission and distribution infrastructure in Northern Ireland.