New energy strategy announced for Northern Ireland

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Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has launched a new energy strategy for Northern Ireland.

Titled ‘Path to Net Zero Energy’, the new strategy sets out a pathway for energy to 2030 that will ‘mobilise the skills, technologies and behaviours needed’ to take the country towards its vision of net zero carbon and affordable energy by 2050.

The strategy sets three key targets:

  • energy efficiency: deliver energy savings of 25% from buildings and industry by 2030;
  • renewables: meet at least 70% of electricity consumption from a diverse mix of renewable sources by 2030; and
  • green economy: double the size of low carbon and renewable energy economy to a turnover of more than £2billion by 2030.

Minister Lyons commented on the announcement on 16th December: “Recent energy price rises are impacting on every person and business in Northern Ireland.

“This is happening because of the global price volatility that comes with fossil fuels. Our new strategy sets out how we will work towards phasing out fossil fuels, ending this volatility and ensuring that more of the money we spend on energy stays in the local economy and helps to create wealth and jobs.

“The Path to Net Zero Energy sets out a path to 2030 that will mobilise the skills, technologies and behaviours needed to take us towards net zero carbon and affordable energy by 2050.

“By setting and achieving these targets, we are putting ourselves on a path to transform how we develop and consume energy.

“Decarbonising energy means achieving so much more than carbon reductions. We are already world leaders in integrating renewable electricity generation and we can also become world leaders in the new hydrogen economy. We will play to our strengths. Our world-leading engineering sector will be at the centre of this.”

Energy is reported to account for almost 60 per cent of Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

‘The Path to Net Zero Energy’ is available on the Department for the Economy-website.