New statistics released by the Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) show that Northern Ireland meets almost a quarter of its power needs from onshore wind energy sources. Northern Ireland has now passed the 1 GW mark in terms of energy generated by onshore wind.
Northern Ireland, which remains part of the United Kingdom, now possesses a total of 1,029 MW of onshore wind, coming from both large and small-scale wind sources. Wind power makes it the vast majority of the country’s renewable energy capacity, which totals 1,318 MW.
Northern Ireland’s offshore wind development has received around $164 million of investment from local investors. This helps account for the fact that in the year between April 2016 to March 2017, the country’s onshore wind projects generated around 22.5% of Northern Ireland’s electricity. Once again, wind power is the dominant renewable energy source in Northern Ireland and all renewable sources combined generated 27.1% of the country’s electricity.
Rolling 12 month Average % of Total Electricity Consumption Generated from Ireland’s Renewable Sources
While it is true that Northern Ireland is a fairly small country, only 17% the size of Scotland, the UK as a whole only receives 6% of its electricity from onshore wind, so Northern Ireland is contributing a good amount.
“Crossing this 1 GW threshold shows just how much of a success story onshore wind is in Northern Ireland,” explained Chair of NIRIG, Rachel Anderson. “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.”
“Renewable electricity is making a massive contribution to Northern Ireland, creating jobs, bringing inward investment and enabling local regeneration,” said Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK’s Executive Director. “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.”