Monday 3 July 2023

‘Onshore wind planning reform crucial for 2030 climate targets’

‘Onshore wind planning reform crucial for 2030 climate targets’

Energy developer SSE Renewables has voiced concerns that the proposed changes in the planning policy may hinder the development of new renewable projects and the repowering of existing assets in Northern Ireland.

The company has particularly highlighted potential difficulties for onshore wind projects.

SSE Renewables has emphasised the importance of providing certainty for developers, local authorities, and communities through planning policy.

SSE’s Ireland Chairman Mark Ennis said: "While we welcome the planning review and the Planning Improvement Programme, we are concerned that the proposed changes to planning policy contained in the Department’s consultation are not sufficient to ensure that renewable targets are met as required under Northern Ireland’s Climate Act, and in some cases the changes are indeed regressive.

“Although we welcome aspects of the revised policy, particularly in relation to co-location, we are very concerned that some parts of the proposals will hamper Northern Ireland’s ability to bring forward new renewables projects and repower existing assets.

"This could be particularly damaging to our ability to continue to develop onshore wind in the region, which has made such an enormous contribution to renewable electricity targets to date, as well as contributing to energy security and wider economy in the face of an energy crisis."

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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