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Aurora advises NI government on renewables scheme, auction design released

  • Aurora Energy Research is advising the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy (DfE) on a Renewable Electricity Support Scheme to help achieve the 2030 renewable energy target.
  • Aurora’s High Level Design report includes recommendations for key design features of the scheme, including a roadmap for renewable generation procurement up to 2030. Aurora’s auction roadmap suggests adding 5 TWh of renewable generation to meet the 80% goal.
  • Aurora Energy Research and the DfE will collaborate until year-end to implement the scheme, with two phases remaining.

 

OXFORD (AURORA ENERGY RESEARCH)—With the Northern Ireland renewable energy journey facing a slowdown in progress since 2017, and an ambitious 80% target by 2030, the Department for the Economy (DfE) is developing a new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme with advice from Aurora Energy Research, the leading global power analytics provider.

Aurora’s proposed auction roadmap suggests adding 5 TWh of renewable generation to meet Northern Ireland’s 2030 target. Of this, 3.5 TWh will likely need support contracts, based on data about emerging merchant renewables. The remaining 1.5 TWh is expected to operate under a merchant business model, such as Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs) or spot market trading, Aurora Energy Research assesses.

Given the current status of the renewable pipeline, Aurora Energy Research recommends holding two auctions: one in 2025 for 1 TWh and another in 2027 for 2.5 TWh. In addition to this auction roadmap, Aurora Energy Research’s experts have provided recommendations on key design choices to deliver the scheme’s objectives as set by the Government. The objectives are to ensure at least 80% of electricity consumption is from renewable sources by 2030, to make local electricity prices fair and stable for consumers, and to encourage a diverse range of renewable sources to support supply security.

The key design choices include 15-year fixed-length support contracts, linking contracts to inflation, and compensation for curtailment and oversupply.

Having completed the initial phase in April, Aurora Energy Research and the DfE continue collaborating on the implementation of the scheme until the end of the year. The second phase focuses on validating and refining the auction roadmap through detailed techno-economic modelling, with the final phase including a financial impact assessment.

Salman Khan, Principal, Advisory, at Aurora Energy Research, said:

“The new renewable electricity support scheme is urgently needed to unlock investment in the renewables sector in Northern Ireland and reach the country’s ambitious 2030 decarbonisation targets. We are delighted to support the Northern Irish Government in developing this scheme building on Aurora’s deep expertise on power markets and renewable asset economics as well as our ability to convert this into actionable insights to policy makers. We can furthermore utilise our intimate knowledge of electricity markets and the industry on the island of Ireland which we have built over several years through our presence in these markets.”

Michael Joos, Senior Associate, Advisory, at Aurora Energy Research, said:

“We are excited to see the High Level Design published with many of our recommendations taken on board. We hope that the publication on key design choices such as inflation linking and duration of contracts will equip investors with the information needed to move projects to the next stage and help start a wave of new activity in the sector and to progress quickly towards the 2030 target.”

 

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MEDIA CONTACT
Zina Fragkiadaki, Press Officer | +44 (0) 7747 219 913
zinovia.fragkiadaki@auroraer.com

ABOUT AURORA ENERGY RESEARCH
Established in 2013, Aurora Energy Research is a leading global provider of power market forecasting and analytics for critical investment and financing decisions. Headquartered in Oxford, we operate out of 14 offices worldwide covering Europe, North & South America, Asia, and Australia. Our comprehensive services include market outlook packages for energy industry participants, advisory support, and innovative software solutions. We foster diversity with a team of over 600 experts with backgrounds in energy, finance, and consulting, offering unparalleled expertise across power, renewables, storage, hydrogen, carbon, and fossil commodities. Our mission is to ease the global energy transition through widely trusted quantitative analysis and high-quality decision support.