Renewable sources produced half of NI electricity in 2022

Wind turbines
Wind turbines

More than half of the electricity used in Northern Ireland in 2022 came from local renewable sources, data suggests.

The total of 51% was an increase of almost 10 percentage points compared with the previous year.

2021 was a relatively poor year for renewable generation across Europe due to lower-than-average wind speeds.

Official figures show that February was the best month on record for renewables use in Northern Ireland, accounting for 76.5% of electricity consumption.

Northern Ireland has a target of at least 80% of electricity consumption coming from renewable sources by 2030.

The key source of renewable power is wind, accounting for more than 85% of renewable generation in 2022.

Biogas and biomass combined accounted for about 9% with solar providing 3%.

Some imported electricity consumed in Northern Ireland is also generated from renewable sources outside Northern Ireland.

However the full extent of that is unknown and therefore cannot be reported separately.

A major part of getting to the 80% renewable electricity target is supposed to be the development of offshore wind farms.

Northern Ireland has no offshore wind facilities and a number of proposed projects have been abandoned.

However the Department for the Economy and the Crown Estate, which controls the sea bed, recently agreed a statement of intent towards establishing offshore wind leasing for Northern Ireland.