Closure of the NIRO to new onshore wind in 2016

Consultation opened on 30 September 2015. Closing date 14 October 2015.


On the 18 June 2015, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced its intention to close the Renewables Obligation (RO) in Great Britain to onshore wind from 1 April 2016. DECC’s announcement was followed by the publication of a DECC Policy Paper in July which set out a proposed grace period for onshore wind, allowing projects to accredit up until 31 March 2017, the original closure date of the RO. Such projects will also be able to accredit up to 31 March 2018 if they are able to demonstrate they meet the eligibility criteria for radar or grid delays.

Since these announcements, DETI has been working closely with DECC in relation to the implications for Northern Ireland. In light of these discussions, and Northern Ireland’s need to retain UK-wide socialisation of costs, the Department has published a two week consultation on the closure of the NIRO to onshore wind from 1 April 2016.


Consultation description


DETI has launched a 2 week consultation on revised proposals for closure of the NIRO to new onshore wind projects from 1 April 2016. 

This follows the approval by the NI Assembly on Monday of the legislation on closure arrangements for non-wind projects.

The consultation today proposes closure of the NIRO from 1 April 2016 to new onshore wind projects which do not meet specific eligibility criteria. Projects that meet the early closure eligibility criteria will be able to apply to accredit under the NIRO to 31 March 2017, with a further 12 month grid and radar delay grace period for projects which can demonstrate they meet the relevant criteria.

The consultation closes for responses at 5pm on Wednesday 14 October 2015.

Published: 30 September 2015

Consultation Response

In September 2015, DETI published a 2 week consultation on proposed early closure of Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) to onshore wind in 2016. This document is the DETI Response to the consultation.
The response confirms closure of the NIRO to large scale onshore wind from 1 April 2016 with exceptions in the form of grace periods for eligible projects. The NIRO will remain open for the time being to small scale wind until further consultation is completed.  The Minister will consult further on closure arrangements for small scale onshore wind, which must now be set in the context of DECC’s intention to protect GB consumers if Northern Ireland does not close the NIRO on equivalent terms to GB. 
The proposed closure to large scale wind will be adopted in a Renewables Obligation Closure Order (Northern Ireland) 2016 which is intended to come into operation in mid March.

Published: 4 March 2016


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