§ Mr. Atkins
A study, jointly commissioned by Northern Ireland Electricity plc (NIE) and the Department of Economic Development, into the potential for renewable energy has concluded that there are a number of promising renewable technologies for commercial development in Northern Ireland.
On the basis of the study's findings, and having regard to the Government's commitment to the promotion of commercially viable renewable technologies, I intend to make a non-fossil fuel obligation order next year under article 35 of the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992, requiring NIE to secure the availability of up to 15 MW of power from renewable sources. The size of the order and the technologies included within it, will be determined by the bids received by NIE, having regard to the need for diversity of technologies and the impact on costs to electricity consumers.
Accordingly, NIE will today be inviting bids from developers and will be announcing details of the arrangements for the processing of such bids.
I envisage further non-fossil fuel obligation orders being made in future years with the aim of achieving a target of about 45 MW of renewable plant in Northern Ireland by the year 2005.