The Institute is a chartered professional body for the international energy industry. The yearbook is published annually and is widely read by professionals and academics working across the energy sector in Northern Ireland.
In the foreword of the Yearbook, Arlene Foster highlights her priorities to ensure access to secure, competitively priced and sustainable energy supplies, whilst supporting economic growth and recognising the need to reduce fuel poverty.
Commenting on these issues the Minister said: “Northern Ireland needs to plan for a sustainable energy future that will also deliver on EU climate change targets and increase security of supply.
“In addition we are working with neighbouring administrations to support further research into alternative energy sources. We are also supporting action to raise energy as an intergovernmental priority for the British Irish Council. This will strengthen regional cooperation to improve security of supply and tackle climate change through practical renewable and energy efficiency measures.
Arlene Foster continued: “The recent energy prices have brought energy efficiency into sharp focus and I will continue to work with Ministerial colleagues to ensure energy efficiency remains at the forefront of the energy agenda.”
The Minister also highlighted the need to revise the current Strategic Energy Framework in the light of changing global and national circumstances, and to reflect the priorities of the Northern Ireland Executive. Arlene Foster urged all stakeholders to take part in the current debate and contribute by responding to the draft framework document which will be open for full consultation early in 2009.
The Minister concluded: “The objective for us all is to achieve a secure, sustainable, and affordable long-term future for energy in Northern Ireland, through innovative and ambitious actions, involving a shared vision with industry and other stakeholders.”