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The Northern Ireland Strategic Energy Framework 2010-2020 has helped deliver significant changes to the energy market and energy mix in Northern Ireland. It sought to ensure competitive markets, robust security of supply, enhanced sustainability and better energy infrastructure, and after eight years it has delivered strongly across some of these key objectives.

However, there is an increasingly urgency to plan for the post-2020 world, and the Strategic Energy Framework is no longer fit for purpose. The advent of new technologies such as storage and blockchain, increased demand for the electrification of heat and transport, more stringent decarbonisation goals, technological advances in system management and plummeting renewable generation costs require a wholesale review of our energy plans to ensure a modern energy system that works for the economy.

NIRIG has therefore developed an NIRIG Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland in order to initiate a debate about the post-2020 decarbonisation of the energy sector. This requires a whole system view based on long-term policy certainty, and it is clear that a modern energy system must be increasingly based on predictable and low-cost energy sources. Policy-makers must also focus on the importance of regional investment, innovation and skills in both facilitating and benefitting from indigenous energy resources as an engine for growth.

On 24th April NIRIG will launch the strategy at #SmartEnergyNI and set out a new framework for a low-carbon, high-growth economy for Northern Ireland.