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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

     

    Apr 2018 right left

          
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    Coppicing Small Trees

    Sunday 8th April
    Knockbracken Allotments, South Belfast
    Free

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    Integrated Water Management and Sustainable Drainage

    Wednesday 11th April
    QUB, Medical Biology Centre, Lecture Room 2, Ground Floor, Lisburn Road, Belfast
    Free

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    Our Earth, Our Future: to mine or to mind?

    Saturday 14th April
    Greenvale Hotel & Restaurant, 57 Drum Road, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone
    See website for details

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    Path Maintenance

    Sunday 22nd April
    Bog Meadows Nature Reserve Belfast
    Free

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    Making Mitigation Work

    Thursday 26th April
    Red Cow Moran Hotel, Dublin
    £45 – £160

    LIFE Information Day – Dublin

    Friday 27th April
    Dublin
    Free

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    Energy

    Northern Ireland has a significant renewable energy resource which, if harnessed appropriately, can contribute to addressing major social issues such as climate change, fuel poverty, energy security and rising energy costs.

    Energy

    NIEL therefore endorses a move away from fossil fuel derived energy and instead supports the development of a low carbon economy based on substantially increasing investment in renewable energy infrastructure. 

    The Strategic Energy Framework (SEF) was developed in 2010, with a 10 year implementation plan and 2020 targets for heat and electricity. As a result, we have witnessed substantial growth in the renewable energy generating capacity in Northern Ireland. For example, approximately 35% of our annual electricity supply is now derived from renewable sources. This growth can be attributed largely to onshore wind developments. 

    Any future renewable energy policy must be developed strategically and should be aligned with other government policy, such as the proposed long–term plan for the environment. Furthermore, renewable energy innovations must be extended beyond heat and electricity generation to promote other measures such as energy efficiency and renewable transport.

    Despite the progress that has been made, Northern Ireland still imports 87% of its primary energy, in the form of oil, gas and coal, at an annual cost of over £1 billion. 

    There is a need to develop proposals for a new vision and strategic plan for Northern Ireland’s energy future. There is a need for a clear, ambitious and consistent framework to provide a vision for the future development of renewable energy in Northern Ireland. Appropriate levels of incentivisation should be carefully designed to deliver this vision.

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    In 2014, the low carbon and renewable energy (LCRE) economy generated £46.2 billion turnover.

    Consumption of renewable and waste sources reached a record high of 14.4 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2014, 7.1% of total energy consumption.

    The potential annual value of the renewable market to Northern Ireland is estimated to be almost £2bn per annum by 2020.

    The total installed wind farm capacity for 2013 was 531.4MW – enough to power 345,410 homes.

    Households in Northern Ireland are very dependent on oil for central heating. Oil is used by 62 per cent of households as the sole means of central heating, while gas is used by only 17 per cent of households.

    Northern Ireland has significant offshore renewable energy resources. The development of these resources will not only contribute to the Strategic Energy Framework goal of 40% renewable electricity by 2020, but will increase security of supply and offer significant potential for job creation.

    In the period 1st April 2011 to 31st July 2012, the UK as a whole saw £6.9bn investment in renewable energy and 20,848 green jobs.

    The low carbon subsectors account for 39% of total green employment; the renewable energy subsectors account for 38% of total green employment and the environmental sector accounts for 25% of total green employment.

    Northern Ireland renewable electricity target is 40% by 2020.

    The targets the EU has set for Member States include a minimum cut of 20% in GHGs by 2020, with the U.K. setting itself the aim of achieving an 80% cut from 1990 levels by 2050.

    NIE estimates that around £1 billion of grid investment is likely to be required to support a target of 40% renewable electricity.

    In total, Northern Ireland currently spends £2.3 billion annually on energy – 99% of that energy comes from imported fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.

    The current heat demand in Northern Ireland has been estimated at 17.4 TWh, of which around 300 GWh, or 1.7%, is met from renewable sources.

    The Carbon Trust estimate the creation of between 8,470 and 33,124 jobs from renewable energy by 2020, should targets for renewable energy be met.

    From 1st April 2011 to 31st July 2012 Northern Ireland saw £230m investment in renewable energy and the creation of 887 green jobs.