Expert welcomes record year for green power sources
Northern Ireland is on course to meet renewable energy targets, with a record 35% of electricity coming from green sources in 2017, according to figures.
The Department for the Economy said 34.8% of electricity consumed was from renewables over the year.
Some 84% of energy from renewables was generated from wind, up from 82.6% the year before.
Biogas accounted for 5% of energy, biomass for 4% and biogas and other types of green sources for 3%.
Northern Ireland's aim in the strategic energy framework for 2010 to 2020 is to achieve the target of 40% of electricity consumed to come from renewables by 2020.
The report, Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation, also revealed that in September and October last year, the proportion of energy consumed which was generated from renewables exceeded 40%.
William Curry, corporate and commercial partner at law firm Arthur Cox, said 2017 had been the strongest year on record for the renewables sector.
"This was the highest figure for any rolling 12-month period recorded and reflects the changing make-up of the local energy sector as it seeks to meet government targets of 40% of electricity consumption to be generated from renewable sources by 2020," he added. "Wind remains by far the biggest generator of renewable energy, providing 84.3% of all renewable electricity consumed during 2017.
"This report reflects what we are seeing in the marketplace, although alternative sources such as biogas and biomass are also becoming more common."
Renewable energy from sources other than wind also increased from around 10% in 2015 to 17.9%.