Written Ministerial Statement
The content of this written ministerial statement is as received at the time from the Minister. It has not been subject to the official reporting (Hansard) process.
Department for the Economy - Energy Strategy
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Mr Lyons (The Minister for the Economy): I am, today, launching a new Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland.
The Energy Strategy is centred around delivering on five key principles:
- Placing you at the heart of our energy future: We will make energy as simple as possible for everyone in society and develop policies that enable and protect consumers through the energy transition. Affordability and fairness will be key considerations in all our policy decisions.
- Grow the green economy: We will create new jobs and grow a skills base for the low carbon economy through innovation, support and focusing on our competitive strengths.
- Do more with less: We will set clear targets, standards and regulations that drive improvements in energy efficiency. Consumers will be supported to invest in buildings and make changes that reduce their energy use.
- Replace fossil fuels with indigenous renewables: We will phase out fossil fuels by growing our indigenous renewable base, supported by sustainable renewable imports and use these to decarbonise power, heat and transport.
- Create a flexible, resilient and integrated energy system: We will create a flexible, smart and digitised energy system that integrates renewables across heat, power and transport, creates value for consumers and enhances security of supply.
Our Commitment to Delivery
The 10X Economic Vision targets a decade of innovation. Our new Energy Strategy will support this by driving a decade of delivery. It will develop a low carbon technology cluster and support businesses to become more sustainable as part of an economy that is greener, more sustainable and ten times better. Our investments in clean energy can deliver substantial economic benefits, attracting investment to Northern Ireland and positioning our companies to compete for the global investment being made in low carbon energy technologies.
The Executive’s new Energy Strategy will ensure our energy is secure, affordable and clean. We have set a long-term vision of Net Zero Carbon Energy for Northern Ireland. The strategy will provide the strategic framework to achieve this vision, whilst ensuring our energy is affordable, advice is accessible, and our vulnerable consumers have the necessary protections in place.
- Deliver a reduction in energy related emissions by 56% by 2030;
- Deliver 100% reduction in energy related emissions by 2050;
- Ensure all new buildings are net zero ready by 2027;
- Deliver at least 70% of our electricity consumption from a diverse mix of renewable sources by 2030; and
- Deliver energy savings of 25% from buildings and industry by 2030.
This Energy Strategy is also about growing our economy and supporting the 10X Economic Vision. We have therefore set a further economic target to double the size of our low carbon and renewable energy economy to a turnover of more than £2.2 billion by 2030.
People in Northern Ireland want to take action in response to the threat of climate change. We know they have concerns about certain aspects of the energy transition, particularly regarding the costs of investment and changes to their everyday lives, and some have worries about any potential local environmental impacts.
It is our responsibility to set out the changes that are coming and introduce measures that will enable and protect people throughout the energy transition. Key to our success will be the establishment of the “One Stop Shop” to act as a focal point for consumers during this journey.
We will set clear targets, standards and regulations that drive improvements in energy efficiency, provide support to invest in improvements to buildings and help consumers make changes that reduce their energy use.
Investment in energy efficiency measures will benefit all consumers through lower bills and leave us with warmer and more efficient buildings.
The Energy Strategy has been developed with very significant collaboration and engagement across government, industry, and energy consumers. We are committed to continuing this engagement. We will focus on affordability for consumers and we will continue to develop the frameworks to support and protect them through this energy transition.
While the Energy Strategy sets out the direction of travel to reach net zero carbon energy, we will bring forward more detailed policy proposals in a number of areas that will be accompanied by the required assessments and subject to consultation and engagement in their own right. We will identify where new energy legislation is required and develop the mandate for the Utility Regulator and others as needed to support the Energy Strategy. We also commit to an on-going energy evidence programme to support and inform all aspects of the Executive’s Energy Strategy.
An action plan will be published in the New Year. We will monitor and report on this strategy and action plan on an annual basis refreshing the action plan as we do so. A major strategic update review will also take place every five years, with the first in 2025, with targets being reviewed and updated as necessary.
The Energy Strategy and accompanying documents can be found at this link
GORDON LYONS MLA
Minister for the Economy