Small-scale distributed generation (those under 5 MW) currently provide 23 per cent of NI’s renewable generation capacity. In deploying this volume, NI has developed a market leading and innovative Distributed Generation. Last year, 51 per cent of all electricity in NI came from renewable sources, setting world leading records and displacing almost £500 million of gas.
“It is essential for our economy and our environment that connections for renewable projects of less than 5 MW are facilitated” said Steven Agnew, Director of RenewableNI. “While 5MW is enough electricity to supply up to 5,000 homes, the real power of small-scale generation is allowing businesses to use on-site generation to bring down the costs of their energy bills. The RenewableNI report Empowering You revealed the small-scale wind industry in NI already provides 500 jobs. Increasing the installed base of Distributed Generation will provide even more employment as well as innovation opportunities which can be developed and exported internationally.”
The RenewableNI Director made the comments as the Consultation on NIE Networks Providing Distribution Generation Export Offers To Applicants Less Than 5 MW closed. However, while welcoming everything in the consultation, Mr Agnew warned that barriers still need to be addressed.
“When a grid connection offer is made, the developer has a 120-day time limit in which to secure planning consent” Mr Agnew said. “The NI planning system is not currently processing renewable applications in an efficient manner, and this could put at risk projects that would otherwise progress. RenewableNI members have experience of timescales of two to three years for consents on
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