Northern Ireland Pushes Forward with 1 GW Offshore Wind by 2030 Plans

Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy (DfE) and The Crown Estate have agreed a Statement of Intent to express their commitment towards establishing offshore wind leasing for Northern Ireland.

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The Statement of Intent outlines the ways in which DfE and The Crown Estate will work together to create the conditions for offshore wind leasing in the Northern Ireland marine area, and follows a period of close collaboration between the two organisations.

The Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland establishes a commitment to diversify the renewable generation mix with an initial focus on offshore wind and marine renewables.

The Energy Strategy Action Plan 2022 was published on 16 January 2022 and includes Action 14 to ”Develop an action plan to deliver 1GW of offshore wind from 2030.”

”Our ambition of delivering 1GW of offshore wind energy is Northern Ireland’s most ambitious energy infrastructure plan, with the potential to supply enough energy to power one million homes,” Peter Russell, Director of Electricity and Security of Supply at DfE, said.

”The Statement of Intent is a major milestone for the Department for the Economy and The Crown Estate towards unlocking the potential of the Northern Ireland seabed and achieving the Energy Strategy vision of self-sufficiency in affordable renewable energy.”

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Over the course of 2022, DfE led the development of the Draft Offshore Renewable Energy Action Plan (OREAP), taking the first steps towards delivering on the commitments established in the Energy Strategy. A public consultation on the Draft OREAP was launched on 21 December 2022 and closes on 16 March 2023.

Gus Jaspert, Managing Director Marine at The Crown Estate said: ”We are highly committed to working in partnership to sustainably manage the seabed and the natural environment for its many users, and to unlocking its potential to support the transition to a net zero energy future. This statement of intent marks an important step forwards, laying the groundwork for building the right conditions for offshore wind leasing and realising the potential benefits for the people of Northern Ireland – local economic investment, low-carbon electricity, and a more sustainable and secure long-term energy supply.”

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