Public Consultation: Shaping our Electricity Future

Closeddate_range8 Mar, 2021, 12:00am - 14 Jun, 2021, 11:59pm

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Children holding placards reading 'There is no Planet B' and other messages

We want to hear your views on our four draft approaches to ensuring at least 70% of Northern Ireland’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2030.

At present, over 40% of Northern Ireland’s electricity already comes from clean sources that have no carbon emissions. A key step towards the ultimate Net Zero goal is to agree an interim target to bridge this gap. The Economy Minister, Diane Dodds MLA, has stated her ambition that Northern Ireland should target at least 70% clean electricity by 2030.

How will the grid prepare for clean electricity?

To prepare for this change, SONI must make the electricity grid stronger and more flexible. The grid will need to carry more power, and most of this power will come from renewable generation that varies depending on the weather. Where we can, we will use the existing grid to meet this goal. However, given the scale of change, we will also need to plan for a great deal of new grid infrastructure – such as underground cables, pylons and substations.

How can you help?

We want to hear your thoughts on our four draft approaches, so we can agree on an approach to reach the 2030 goal. The move to clean electricity will affect everyone in Northern Ireland – we want to work with the public to find the best way of shaping our electricity future.

What are we asking you to consider?

This document explains proposed changes that will affect the future of electricity in Northern Ireland. We need to add a lot of new sources of clean electricity, and these are typically far away from where electricity is used. This document suggests four draft approaches in response. We want to hear your views to help shape our final strategy.

Please read the information we’ve provided on our four draft approaches. Then tell us what you think, using any of the contact methods listed below.

Graphic showing the four options

How can you influence our thinking?

This content summarises our four draft approaches in early 2021. We now want to hear your views, so we can refine and improve our approaches in a final strategy by the end of the year. This will then help inform the energy strategy being developed by the Department of the Economy.

forum Public response: Submitting your views

This consultation period is open until 12 noon on 14 June 2021. You can submit your views several ways:

Make on online submission 

SONI have launched this new consultation portal to make it easier for you to give your feedback. Provide written feedback on each option by registering for a free account on this platform and make a submission using the link opposite. 

In giving your feedback on each of the draft approaches, we also ask your view a statement associated with each draft approach and the extent to which you agree with it. You can then provide your comments and explanation in the comment box for each option. All submissions will be published for sharing ideas and information on this consultation.

Or

Respond to a questionnaire 
Complete an online questionnaire here 

Or

By Email

Send your comments by email to info@soni.ltd.uk

Or

By Post

Shaping Our Electricity Future
SONI, Castlereagh House
12 Manse Road, Belfast BT6 9RT

What happens next?

When we have received all feedback, we will then consider how best to respond. Our goal is to publish a plan for Our Electricity Future before the end of 2021.

Our plans to learn the views of stakeholders on our draft approaches

We are working with a range of partners to help stakeholders have their say and engage directly with us. These include:

  • Hosting an Industry Forum. This will bring together generation companies and developers, large energy users and suppliers.
  • Hosting a Civic Society Forum. This will bring together representatives from a wide range of disciplines. These include academia, agriculture, community, environment, sustainable development and social justice. Click here to register.
  • Workshops with key partners such as the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce.

Each of these initiatives will produce outcome reports which we will publish on our website. If you would like to participate in one of these events, please get in touch with us or find out more on how to get involved on info@soni.ltd.uk.