Wind saves NI £500m in 2022

  • Northern Ireland consumers avoided paying £500m to import gas last year because wind farms provided nearly 42 per cent of our electricity.

    The figures come from a new analysis published today by energy specialists Baringa entitled Cutting Gas, Cutting Bills: Analysis of savings in gas imports delivered by wind farms in 2022.

    The Baringa analysis found that without wind energy in 2022, Ireland would have had to pay €2.57bn purchasing gas and to produce the power by burning the gas.

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    The savings were particularly significant on days with extremely high gas prices and large volumes of wind energy on the electricity system. On a single day – Tuesday 8 March – the combination of island-wide high winds and soaring gas prices delivered a total avoided cost of €43m in just 24 hours.

    RenewableNI Director, Steven Agnew said: “During the current cost-of-living crisis this report shows how vital investment in renewable electricity projects is to the consumer as well as the environment. We are meeting the government's key targets of climate change and energy security while also providing a solution to the cost-of-living crisis.

    “The gas industry itself has said they do not anticipate their prices coming down to pre-Covid levels, so we need to get off our reliance on fossil fuels and make the switch to renewables as swiftly as possible. Only then will we see reductions to electricity bills. This will also have a knock-on benefit to heat and transport costs as we electrify those industries.”

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    Highlighting challenges being faced by the renewables industry, Steven said: “We can’t overstate the importance of the onshore wind – we need to double the number of developments by 2030 to meet the Climate Bill target of 80% renewable electricity. We need to incentive investment in Northern Ireland to ensure we don’t fall behind the rest of Ireland and GB. We have some of the best wind in the world, both on and offshore, which our members tell us is the only reason to continue to develop here."

    "We need more action, like todays Statement of Intent, as a sign of government and industry working together. When we do, a cleaner, energy secure future is the reward for NI citizens."

    Source: Written from press release

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