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Winds of change as Ex-NIE chief joins turbine company

A former managing director of NIE has a new post at the helm of a wind turbine company.

Harry McCracken, now chairman of Simple Power, said he would urge the Government to support renewable energy.

Simple Power was established last year to set up single wind turbines which feed directly into the grid.

Mr McCracken said he believed Northern Ireland will fall short of its target to obtain 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

He said: "I'd say we will be very fortunate to get close to 20% never mind 40%.

"As we enter a new and important phase, industry vision and leadership is vital. Ensuring that the incentives regime for renewable energy is secure is equally important to attract the levels of investment needed in the sector.

"In particular, we need the Government to continue to truly support this agenda, if we are to be successful and committed as a region to a renewable energy future.

"I am looking forward to working with Simple Power at this critical time."

Simple Power aims to develop around 200 wind turbines by 2015, which it believes could increase renewable energy generation by 30%.

This week, an open letter to the Northern Ireland Executive appeared in newspapers, signed by a group of senior environmental figures. They urged the Government to commit to environmental measures such as supporting the renewable energy sector.