Nearly half of NI's electricity powered by renewable resources

  • Almost half (46.4%) of Northern Ireland's total electricity consumption was generated from local renewable sources in the last year, according to a new report from the Department for the Economy.

    It also found that of all renewable electricity generated within NI over the 12 month period April 2020 to March 2021, 83.7% was generated from wind. This compares to 85.4% for the previous year.

    Reflecting the impacts of Covid-19, the five lowest monthly electricity consumption volumes on record were recorded between April and August 2020.

    In terms of the volume of electricity consumption between April 2020 and March 2021, some 7,359 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of total electricity was consumed. Over the same period, some 3,413 GWh was generated from renewable sources.

    Although the amount of electricty consumption powered by renewable resources is down by 0.5% on the previous 12-month period, it still surpasses the government's target to achieve 40% of renewable electricity by 2020.

    RELATED: Northern Ireland continues to smash renewable energy goals

    Business Leader magazine recently reported that wind power provides a higher percentage of energy production in Northern Ireland than it does on the UK's mainland, but large scale wind turbine sites are often not welcomed by the local communities. 

    The largest application for an NI wind farm in Doraville (outside Drapertown), was rejected in late 2020 with the Infrastructure Minister stating, “In this case 33 wind turbines would cause considerable harm to the landscape interest…"

    However, the future does look greener for the region, with more businesses getting involved in the renewable energy sector. 

    For example, in May three NI companies announced a collective investment of over £1m in their businesses to support their growth in the renewables sector, with the added creation of 14 new jobs.

    The full ‘Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation in Northern Ireland: Year ending March 2021’ report is available at:

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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