Powering Ahead

Ahead Powering

Spring 2015

Welcome to the Spring 2015 Simple Power newsletter. Simple Power has been working hard with various partners to engage Ministers on issues affecting the renewables sector in Northern Ireland and to encourage

continued Government commitment to supporting farmers and the industry in our efforts to generate clean, green energy. You can find out more about this in our policy round up below. Since our last update, we have been on the road exhibiting at various events and hosting schools visits. This included exhibiting at Balmoral Show 2015 within the new Sustainable Village. The show was a great success and we even welcomed our new Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Jonathan Bell, to the Simple Power stand to learn more about the work that we do with our farming partners throughout the province. As we mark our second year of CSR partnership with farming charity Rural Support, we celebrate our past successes including the recent launch of the first annual ‘Wellies to Work Day’ to raise awareness of Rural Support and the services they offer. We are excited to share our news with you and hope you enjoy this Spring edition. Philip Philip Rainey, Chief Executive of Simple Power

Policy Round Up Following the recent general election, Jonathan Bell MLA has been appointed as the new Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, and we welcome his appointment to the role in a time when energy policy in Northern Ireland is firmly in the spotlight.

One of his first major announcements was to confirm that DETI support for renewable energy projects will continue until March 2017 as planned, despite the equivalent scheme in GB closing one year earlier in 2016. We welcome the Minister’s statement and recognise that this support is absolutely vital for landowners who want to diversify into renewable energy. However, there is still much work to be done. Achieving timely grid connections remains a major issue for the industry and we again urge key stakeholders to reach a positive outcome as soon as possible. Simple Power is working hard with various partners including the Ulster Farmers’ Union to engage the Minister and his Department on such issues, including grace periods and the introduction of a small-scale Feed In Tariff post the closure of the current Renewable Obligations in 2017. We are grateful to our farming partners for their continued support as we work to improve on delivery of small- scale renewable energy opportunities for landowners across the country.

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