The power of renewables: a route to 80% renewables penetration by 2030 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is currently developing a new energy strategy which is expected to address the policy and governance vacuum of recent years and put the country firmly on track to increase its significant contribution to the decarbonisation transition.
AFRY and RenewableNI have prepared a report which considers what sort of renewables stabilisation mechanism may be appropriate for Northern Ireland in order to reach its potential 2030 targets.
We consider several potential scheme designs as well as outlining several key principles that schemes should follow. Two principles in particular stand out:
- ensuring that renewables are deployed in Northern Ireland in order to help deliver on 2030 targets (the Northern Ireland Deployment principle); and
- ensuring that the costs of providing stability are borne only by those who benefit (the Just Transition principle).
Historically, there have been differences in the economics of developing renewables in Northern Ireland compared with Great Britain and Ireland. If these differences result in an uneven playing field for new projects, it could have significant implications for scheme design.
Our report concludes that a tailored option that leverages the time and effort already invested in developing either the GB Contracts for Difference scheme or Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is likely to be most appropriate.