Planning Portal

New Provisional Renewable Energy statistics monthly series announced

Published on Thu, 28 Mar 2013 by
Provisional Renewable Energy (R.E.) statistics based on NI planning applications are, from today, to be released on a monthly basis on the DOE Planning Portal.
This is in response to growing levels of public interest in this area, particularly with regard to single wind turbines and wind farms which have seen rapid increases in applications in recent years.

A set of predefined tables are now available providing, for the current year, a monthly breakdown of R.E. applications and decisions by R.E. type. In addition to overall NI level figures, equivalent information can be obtained at both Local Government District and Parliamentary Constituency level. A historic annual series is also available going back to 2002/03.

The information will be updated on the last Thursday of each month and can be accessed via the following link

Below is a selection of findings from the new series to illustrate the type of information now routinely available.

NI R.E. Applications 2002/03 to Feb 2013 – Selected Findings

· The number of R.E. applications received in 2002/03 stood at 31. Since then there has been an almost 27-fold increase to 822 applications received in 2011/12, the highest annual figure recorded over the period. The rapid increase in applications, particularly over the last few years, could be associated with an increased awareness amongst the rural community of the economic opportunities and grant assistance associated with R.E. development.

· The current financial year is still incomplete but by end-Feb 2013, 704 R.E. applications had been received which is down by 4% on equivalent 11 month period last year when there were 732 applications to this point.

· Since 2002/03, the proportion of applications that were for single wind turbines, the largest category of application, has increased from 71% to 78% in current year up to Feb 2013.

· Of the 687 R.E. decisions that were made in current year to end-Feb, 89% were approved (excludes withdrawn).

· In total, between April 2002 and Feb 2013, there have been 1,541 applications for single wind turbines approved in NI (although note that approval does not mean that a turbine will be necessarily erected).

· Omagh Local Government District (LGD) had the highest number of R.E. applications in current year to end-Feb with 100, closely followed by Fermanagh LGD with 91. These two LGDs, taken together, account for over one-quarter (27%) of all NI R.E. applications in the current year.

· Belfast and Carrickfergus LGDs received the fewest number of applications in year-to-date having received just four each by end-Feb.

· Fermanagh and South Tyrone Parliamentary Constituency had the highest number (133) of R.E. applications approved so far in 2012/13 (to end-Feb), this equated to 98% approved.

Notes to editors:

1. Renewable energy applications include wind turbines, wind farms, solar panels, biomass burners, hydroelectric schemes etc.

2. Applications for Renewable energy include ‘Outline’ and ‘Full’ planning applications but exclude ‘Reserved Matters’ applications, ‘Pre-application Enquiries’, ‘Trans-boundary’ applications, ‘Certificates of Lawfulness and Determinations’ as to the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

3. The figures also exclude renewals of planning permission, applications for annometers and minor modifications to previously approved schemes.

4. The records of all applications from 1 April 2002 to 28 February 2013 were transferred in March 2012 from a live database and inspected for consistency in coding before figures were finalised for publication.

5. The reports will be produced on a monthly basis, whereby the data is extracted on the 16th of each month and published on the Planning Portal website on the last Thursday of the month. The data series will run up to the end of the preceding month and the monthly data will remain provisional until the annual Management Development publication is released in June each year. No further monthly updates will be accompanied by a separate press release but the figures will continue to be reported on with commentary in the established Quarterly Management Development Bulletin series.

6. Further information on the statistics please contact:-

Department of the Environment, Analytical Services Branch, Department of the Environment, Room 4-03, Clarence Court, Belfast BT2 8GB

Telephone: (028) 9025 6058 E-mail: Website:

7. All media enquiries should be directed to the DOE Press Office on 028 9025 6058 or for out of office hours, contact the duty press officer on pager 07699715440 and your call will be returned.
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