Wednesday 23 August 2017 07:19:53 AM

Foster Proposes New Legislation for Offshore Renewable Energy Developments
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ENERGY Minister Arlene Foster has announced the beginning of an eight week consultation on new energy legislation for the offshore energy sector.

This announcement has been made as the proposals for a major  marine windfarm off the Co Down coast unfold.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment proposes to ask the Northern Ireland Assembly to make new primary legislation, to introduce new powers relating to a regulatory regime for offshore renewable energy projects.

Commenting on the consultation, Minister Foster said: “The development of offshore renewable energy is an excellent opportunity for Northern Ireland in terms of security and diversity of supply, as well as climate change mitigation. It also contributes to the Executive’s 2020 targets and brings significant business supply chain opportunities for local companies.

“I recently welcomed the signing of agreements for a 600MW offshore wind project and 200MW of tidal developments in Northern Ireland’s first offshore renewable energy Leasing Round. It is important now to ensure that the appropriate regimes are in place to facilitate the timely and sustainable development of these projects.” 

Highlighting the measures which will facilitate the development of offshore renewable energy in Northern Ireland, the Minister said: “I am proposing to make new legislation in relation to areas such as preparation and implementation of decommissioning programmes; safety zones and navigation rights. I am confident that these proposals will support offshore renewable energy development in Northern Ireland waters. I would encourage people to submit comments and I look forward to hearing their views.

The consultation documents can be accessed at http://www.energy.detini.gov.uk