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Sinn Fein Assembly Member welcomes announcement on Renewable Energy

24 March, 2005

South Down Assembly Member Cllr Willie Clarke has welcomed this week's announcement by Direct Rule Minister, Barry Gardiner on the introduction of the Renewables Obligation for the North of Ireland (NIRO).

Cllr Clarke said:

"The Obligation is expected to stimulate private sector investment of around £500 million in projects to generate electricity from renewable sources over the next five years.

"The NIRO, which is being introduced with effect from 1 April 2005, will place a requirement on electricity suppliers in the six counties to provide evidence that a specified proportion of the electricity supplied to final consumers in the north has been generated from environmentally friendly renewable sources or alternatively to buy-out their obligations under the scheme.

"Ireland is lacking behind meeting its obligations to reduce Co2 omissions and this plan of action developed in partnership with DETI and the energy industry will I hope encourage everyone to rise to the challenge of mainstreaming renewable energy. An emphasis must be placed on developing technology which should harness not just wind but also geothermal, tidal stream and biomass.

"The commencement of the NIRO should help in the development of renewables in the North of Ireland and paves the way for around £500 million of private sector capital investment in the six county‚s energy system over the next five years. Local communities will gain further benefit through diversification into energy crops, energy from waste and more stable energy prices. This potentially increases the overall economic benefit of investing in renewables in the North to over £1 billion up to 2010."ENDS

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