Powering the future
22nd August 2012
Banking renewables
22nd August 2012

Sustainable Energy Action Plan

Stormont-front-close2 The Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) has produced a cross-departmental ‘Sustainable Energy Action Plan’ for 2012-2015, outlining in one document all that the Executive is doing to promote sustainable energy. Energy Ireland highlights its commitments.

Renewable energy

• Electricity Market Reform, working closely with the Department of Energy and Climate Change

• Implement the Offshore Renewable Energy Strategic Action Plan 2012-2020

• Implement the Onshore Renewable Electricity Action Plan, to be published by 31 December 2012, including appropriate policy frameworks for transmission and distribution network development

• Host an annual knowledge exchange event targeting production and utilisation of renewable energy within the land based sector

• Implement the Bioenergy Action Plan (2010-2015)

Funding and incentives

• Consider introducing a small-scale feed-in-tariff

• Close the Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation (NIRO) to new generation in 2017; introduce a replacement feed-in-tariff for large-scale renewables

• Introduce a renewable heat incentive

• Continue Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) Scheme to 2013

• Introduce a second tranche of the Biomass Processing Challenge Fund (£3.6m has been secured)

• Fund stand-alone renewable energy projects, with the exception of anaerobic digestors, through Axis 3

Renewable energy in transport

• Produce delivery plan for ‘Ensuring a Sustainable Transport Future – A New Approach to Regional Transportation’

• Roll out a pilot project on electric charging infrastructure in some urban areas

• Implement sustainable transport measures, i.e. quality bus corridors, park and ride facilities, bus priority measures

• Deliver Rapid Transit for Belfast, possibly using hybrid technology to power vehicles

Energy efficiency

• Achieve energy efficiency gains of at least 15 per cent in homes assisted by the Warm Homes Scheme

• Improvements to vulnerable households through the Northern Ireland Housing Executive Replacement Scheme

• More efficient housing (up to 70 per cent more efficient) through the Code for Sustainable Homes

• Evaluate the smart meters pilot scheme by end of September 2012

• Regulations for the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in 2012 and 2013

• Contribute to the UK’s energy saving target of 1 per cent year on year, working with other stakeholders

• Growth in turnover of £16.5 million by sustainable energy firms during 2011-2015 attributable to the Sustainable Productivity Programme

Planning and infrastructure

• Ensure that electricity and grid development plans are future-proofed to facilitate a more decarbonised energy mix

• Support construction and commissioning of the new North/South interconnector by March 2012

• Ensure a strategic fit with smart grid initiatives and efficient energy use

• Extend the availability of natural gas as a lower carbon fuel, and where not viable, seek to maximise renewable heat or biomass alternatives

Economic opportunities, skills and supply chain

• All developments within the school estate to utilise environmental best practice and minimise energy in construction and use

• Promote sustainable accommodation for educational establishments, consideration given to the use of renewable energy sources where feasible

• Focus on renewable energy industry training and knowledge exchange programmes at CAFRE for the land based sector

• Promote the Supply Chain Development Programme as one including renewable energy projects and case studies published

Renewable heat

• Implement a renewable heat incentive later in 2012

• Implement Bioenergy Action Plan as it applies to renewable heat

• Produce by September 2012 a renewable heat route map outlining actions to achieve 10 per cent renewable heat by 2020