Anna Lo MLA said: “There is a lot of potential for the production of renewable energy in Northern Ireland – from wind, tidal and biomass sources. With growing concerns over price fluctuations over imported energy, we must look to produce more renewable energy to stabilise prices and improve our energy security.
“I am pleased that the Environment Committee was able to carry out this inquiry into wind energy and hope that the Minister will implement the recommendations.
“There have been a number of concerns raised about wind turbines, but I hope that proposals such as increasing the level of engagement with local residents will help allay some of their concerns. I think everybody could agree with the inadequacy of only contacting those who occupy buildings on land within 90 metres of any site for a wind turbine, especially in rural areas. Better engagement with the local community will lead to better results.
“The Executive has a target to have 40% of electricity produced from renewable energy sources by 2020. I hope this report will play a part in delivering a more strategic approach to wind energy production.”