MPs launch new inquiry on Northern Ireland’s path to net zero

Barriers to Northern Ireland reaching its decarbonisation goals are to be examined by MPs.

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster has announced a new inquiry in the wake of COP28, due to concern that renewable energy expansion in NI has stalled.

To contribute to the UK 2050 net-zero pledge, Northern Ireland has a goal of generating 80% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Currently, renewables contribute about half of Northern Ireland’s energy demand.

The chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Sir Robert Buckland MP, warned that time is “running out” for delivering on the UK’s net-zero targets. “It is vitally important that every part of the UK contributes to upholding our obligations both internationally and to the planet. Yet it is clear that we still have a way to go,” he said.

“With the anticipated announcement next year on Northern Ireland’s plans to support renewable electricity generation, this inquiry is a timely examination of what needs to change to ensure Northern Ireland is on track to meet its goals.”

A new renewables support scheme is expected to be launched in the new year, dependent on the return of a power-sharing government. The committee is seeking evidence on a number of issues including investment, the shared electricity market on the island of Ireland and grid capacity. It will also consider how a green energy discount for investors could impact energy bills.

Evidence can be submitted until 25 January 2024.

Read the full article here.

Wind turbine sunset

Photography by Pedro Cunha on Unsplash