News Section

Energy Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed the introduction of new legislation to encourage the use of renewable energy in Northern Ireland.

Posted on: March 24th, 2011

The Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order (NI) 2011 has been passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly, and it will come into operation on 1 April 2011.

Welcoming the latest changes to the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO), Energy Minister Arlene Foster said: “This legislation is great news for anyone who generates renewable electricity as it will provide enhanced support, as well as bringing wider benefits, particularly to rural and farming communities. It will encourage electricity generation from a wide range of renewable sources and ensure that the NIRO continues to adapt to the needs of the industry.

“The change in legislation will increase the Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROCs) levels for the generation of electricity from anaerobic digestion. It will also introduce other measures to ensure that renewables are appropriately incentivised, while protecting micro-generators and introducing sustainability criteria.”

The Minister concluded: “Last month we secured State Aid approval to allow us to offer the higher ROC levels and today’s approval from the Assembly now means that developers can proceed with confidence.”

The Minister also welcomed the other measures introduced today which include higher ROC levels for those generators accredited before 1 April 2010 which add further capacity; Micro-generation Certification Scheme requirements and biomass and bio-liquids sustainability criteria.