Consultation on Design Considerations for a Renewable Electricity Support Scheme for Northern Ireland

Closes 27 Apr 2023

Opened 2 Feb 2023


The Department for the Economy (DfE) published the new Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland[1] in December 2021. The vision of the Strategy sets out how we will achieve net zero carbon and affordable energy, in line with UK Government commitments, by 2050.

The Energy Strategy identified a new target of 70% of electricity consumption to be from a diverse mix of renewable sources by 2030. This target has since increased to 80% through the Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022[2].

The Energy Strategy Action Plan for 2022[3] followed in January 2022 and set out the primary objective for a support scheme for NI: to incentivise sufficient renewable electricity generation, from a wide and diverse range of renewable sources and technologies, to meet the established target. This target is now the 2030 legislative target of 80% electricity consumption.

Recent global events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, have had a severe impact on the price of natural gas and oil. In turn higher fuel prices impacted consumers across the UK, who have been experiencing a sharp increase in the cost of commodities and especially of electricity, heating and transport fuel. Affordability for local consumers must also be a primary objective for any support scheme for Northern Ireland.

This public consultation sets out and seeks input on the design considerations on which DfE will base the development of a renewable electricity support scheme for Northern Ireland. This includes options to define the principles underpinning the support scheme, as well as more granular aspects of the scheme design such as support structure and eligibility criteria. 

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[1] The Path to Net Zero Energy. Safe. Affordable. Clean. (

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