Northern Ireland's Energy Future

Planning Northern Ireland's Energy Future

Dealing with climate change is more important than ever.

SONI, as the Transmission System Operator for Northern Ireland, is committed to transforming the power system as a direct response to climate crisis. In October 2019, we launched our new five-year strategy (2020-25) which recognises SONI’s pivotal role in ensuring Northern Ireland has a clean energy system- able to facilitate challenging renewable targets whilst balancing decarbonisation with security of supply and costs to consumers.

Our ‘Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios Northern Ireland 2020’ (TESNI) is a key piece of research in support of this journey. TESNI 2020 considers a range of possible ways that energy usage may change into the future. For TESNI 2020 we have consulted on three credible pathways for the transformation of the power system.  Two of these scenarios see Northern Ireland delivering its contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero emissions target. 

TESNI 2020 is available to view here.

We will now use these scenarios to identify future needs of the transmission grid.  These needs arise from changes in the usage of the grid, which is influenced by the scale and location of electricity consumption, generation, interconnection and storage.

TESNI 2020 System Needs Assessment will be published later in the year.

Our scenarios are:

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TES NI 2020 Scenario 1: Modest Progress

Progress is made with decarbonisation, but efforts fall short of fully meeting net-zero targets by 2050.

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TES NI 2020 Scenario 2: Addressing Climate Change

Government and citizens recognise the risk of climate change, and through appropriate action, Northern Ireland meets its contribution to the UK net-zero 2050 emissions target.

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TES NI 2020 Scenario 3: Accelerated Ambition

The power system is decarbonised by 2040 as a result of urgent efforts to mitigate the risk of climate change ahead of 2050 targets.

Next Steps

We will now use the TESNI 2020 scenarios to conduct a number of different power system studies for each scenario out to 2040.  These studies will help us identify any future needs on the transmission grid brought about by changes in electricity generation, electricity demand, electricity storage or interconnection. 

The results will be presented in the TESNI 2020 System Needs Assessment which will be published later in the year.