United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Northern Ireland to trade certificates

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Northern Ireland is to be able to trade renewable energy certificates with mainland Britain under plans outlined in the UK government's energy White Paper. The government says that with the Scottish Executive, it is to "devise a system allowing mutual recognition of renewable energy certificates under Britain's Renewables Obligation and those in Northern Ireland under their future obligation."

An Energy Bill drafted by the Northern Ireland Executive, allowing a renewables obligation to be introduced in the province, has just become law. But Ian Pearson, minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland, warns that substantial work is to be done in developing subordinate legislation before the renewables obligation can be created. There is to be public consultation on the detail later this year.

Northern Ireland renewable energy developer B9 Energy commends the "visionary outlook" of the White Paper which was published in February (Windpower Monthly, March 2003). "Northern Ireland is blessed with excellent renewable resources yet we currently import 98% of our fuel and all of this contributes to climate change," says B9's Michael Harper. "The White Paper highlights the need to bring Northern Ireland up to the same level of support as is provided in the rest of the UK through a UK-wide renewables obligation.

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