Impact of wind energy on NI consumers calculated for the first time

  • A new report has calculated the financial impact of wind energy on Northern Ireland's consumers for the first time, with some impressive findings.

    Everyone is aware of the need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels for electricity production, but the economic and financial case for renewables can be difficult to measure accurately. In addition to the business case of return on investment in wind and solar infrastructure, the wider impact on a country includes other tangible economic benefits such as reduced fuel import costs and decreased regulatory and compliance costs.

    A new report by Baringa Partners released at today's Smart Energy Northern Ireland conference in Belfast has calculated the impact of wind power generation on Northern Ireland on a per-consumer basis for the first time, and the results are very positive. The net effect of renewable electricity from wind has actually delivered a saving of £4 per consumer each year over the last 20 years, demonstrating economic feasibility over a long time span.

    Over a third of Northern Ireland's electricity comes from wind power, but energy firms must shoulder ongoing support costs, network upgrades and grid constraint costs. This new report makes a clear case that the economic benefits far outweigh these costs, and Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) estimates that Northern Ireland could produce 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 with no additional cost to the consumer. 

    NIRIG Chair Rachel Anderson said "This report confirms what the wind industry knows from our work on the ground. We understand the value that wind brings to communities and consumers. Our long term commitment to reducing Northern Ireland’s reliance on fossil fuel generation has delivered improvements in our electricity system, reduces dangerous emissions and has actually paid back to people’s pockets."

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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