Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation in Northern Ireland: Year Ending December 2021

Date published: 03 March 2022

A report detailing the percentage of electricity consumption in Northern Ireland generated from renewable sources was published today.

Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation in Northern Ireland: Year Ending December 2021
Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation in Northern Ireland: Year Ending December 2021

The ‘Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation in Northern Ireland: Year ending December 2021’ report details the percentage of electricity consumption in Northern Ireland generated from renewable sources and includes information on the type of renewable generation used. The report reflects performance against the commitments in the new Northern Ireland Energy Strategy ‘Path to Net Zero Energy’ which includes a target to meet 70 per cent of electricity consumption from a diverse mix of renewable sources by 2030.

Main results:

  • For the 12 month period January 2021 to December 2021, 41.3 per cent of total electricity consumption in Northern Ireland was generated from renewable sources located in Northern Ireland. This represents a decrease of 7.9 percentage points on the previous 12 month period (January 2020 to December 2020).
  • The decrease over this period in the proportion of electricity consumption generated from renewable sources was driven by the reduced volume of wind generation due to lower wind speeds experienced during 2021.
  • In terms of the volume of electricity consumption between January 2021 and December 2021, some 7,574 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of total electricity was consumed in Northern Ireland. Over the same period, some 3,131 GWh was generated from renewable sources located in Northern Ireland.
  • Of all renewable electricity generated within Northern Ireland over the 12 month period January 2021 to December 2021, 82.1 per cent was generated from wind, the lowest wind proportion on record. This compares to 84.9 per cent for the previous 12 month period (January 2020 to December 2020).
  • For the 12 month period ending December 2021, non-wind renewable electricity generation in Northern Ireland was 560.7 GWh.

The full report is available on the Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation Statistics page of the Department's website.  

Notes to editors: 

1. The information presented in the report is derived from data provided to DfE on a monthly basis by Northern Ireland Networks Ltd (NIE Networks). The monthly renewable electricity generation data is derived by aggregating output from renewable electricity generators who are connected to the transmission and distribution network using a combination of data held by NIE Networks and the System Operator for Northern Ireland (SONI). The renewable electricity generation data details the total amount of renewable electricity generated by such generators in Northern Ireland, by type of generation, for each month.

2. Some forms of renewable generation are not covered by the data contained in the report. Due to their particular circumstances, neither NIE Networks nor SONI have information on the electricity generated by some renewable generators. These include microgenerators and a small number of generating stations that are unable to export electricity to the grid (non-export stations).

3. Electricity consumption refers to the total amount of electricity consumption in Northern Ireland as recorded via metered data by NIE Networks. Transmission and distribution losses are not included in consumption calculations.

4. Electricity generated from renewable sources refers to renewable generators physically located within Northern Ireland and recorded by NIE Networks and SONI. It excludes microgeneration, non-export generating stations and any imported electricity derived from known or unknown renewable sources.

5. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office on pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk.

6. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:

7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hour’s 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.

8. General information on the Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation for Northern Ireland report can be obtained from Sean Donnelly, DfE Analytical Services by email at sean.donnelly@economy-ni.gov.uk or by telephone on 028 9052 9793.

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