Department for the Economy and The Crown Estate publish a Statement of Intent

Date published: 16 January 2023

Department for the Economy (DfE) and The Crown Estate (TCE) have agreed a Statement of Intent to express their commitment towards establishing offshore wind leasing for Northern Ireland.

The Department for the Economy and The Crown Estate (TCE) have developed this Statement of Intent to confirm their joint aspirations in the field of offshore renewable energy development.

The Statement of Intent outlines the ways in which DfE and The Crown Estate will work together to create the conditions for offshore wind leasing in the Northern Ireland marine area, and follows a period of close collaboration between the two organisations.

Peter Russell, Director of Electricity and Security of Supply at DfE said:

“Our ambition of delivering 1GW of offshore wind energy is Northern Ireland’s most ambitious energy infrastructure plan, with the potential to supply enough energy to power one million homes. The Statement of Intent is a major milestone for the Department for the Economy and The Crown Estate towards unlocking the potential of the Northern Ireland seabed and achieving the Energy Strategy vision of self-sufficiency in affordable renewable energy.”

Gus Jaspert, Managing Director Marine at The Crown Estate said:

“We are highly committed to working in partnership to sustainably manage the seabed and the natural environment for its many users, and to unlocking its potential to support the transition to a net zero energy future. This statement of intent marks an important step forwards, laying the groundwork for building the right conditions for offshore wind leasing and realising the potential benefits for the people of Northern Ireland – local economic investment, low-carbon electricity, and a more sustainable and secure long-term energy supply.”

The Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland establishes a commitment to diversify the renewable generation mix with an initial focus on offshore wind and marine renewables. The Energy Strategy Action Plan 2022 (published 16 January 2022) includes Action 14 to “Develop an action plan to deliver 1GW of offshore wind from 2030."

Over the course of 2022, DfE led the development of the Draft Offshore Renewable Energy Action Plan (OREAP), taking the first steps towards delivering on the commitments established in the Energy Strategy. A public consultation on the Draft OREAP was launched on 21 December 2022 and closes on 16 March 2022 - Draft OREAP - DfE website

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Statement of Intent document is available: Department for the Economy website
  2. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:
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  3. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk 
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  5. The Crown Estate manages the seabed and half the foreshore around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and plays a fundamental role in the sustainable development of this national asset, including the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector. Established by an Act of Parliament, it is tasked with generating profit for the Treasury for the benefit of the nation’s finances. This has totalled £3bn over the last ten years. For more information see www.thecrownestate.co.uk

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