The minister spoke today, as the UK Government published a Renewable Energy Strategy for consultation.
Mrs Foster said: “I am encouraging the people of Northern Ireland, and in particular those working in the energy industry and the sector’s key stakeholders, to have their say in this consultation.
“Northern Ireland has some of the best conditions in Europe for renewable electricity production and we want to hear your views on how we can maximise this potential – and how we can start to increase levels of renewable heat consumption.
“We are almost wholly dependent on the import of fossil fuels. As the prices of these continue to increase, Northern Ireland must ensure it has access to secure, competitively priced and sustainable energy supplies.
“Boosting the production and consumption of renewable energy is a key part of my strategy to achieve this.”
Commenting on the consultation, the minister continued: “This consultation covers the full range of issues surrounding renewable energy.
“I am keen to hear new and different ideas that can positively impact on our renewable energy consumption here. We need to make the most of our natural resources to cut carbon emissions and to ensure a sustainable future for Northern Ireland.
“The views of people in Northern Ireland will be vital to inform both the wider UK debate and a revised Strategic Energy Framework for Northern Ireland later in 2008/9.”
The Renewable Energy Strategy consultation PDF document is available at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform website
Responses should be sent to DETI Energy Division at Netherleigh, Massey Avenue, Belfast, BT4 2JP or to email email@example.com by 26 September 2008.