Foster launches MATRIX Sustainable Energy report


Arlene Foster is pictured with, left, David Surplus, of B9 Energy and the chair of the Sustainable Energy Horizon panel and, right, Iain Gray, CEO, Technology Strategy Board.

Enterprise and Energy Minister Arlene Foster today launched the MATRIX Horizon Panel report into Sustainable Energy.

The report sets out the current capability of the Sustainable Energy technology sector in Northern Ireland and outlines future global market opportunities for local companies to exploit. It identifies ‘Intelligent Energy Systems’ as an area where Northern Ireland can take a leading role. This approach integrates renewable energy sources and storage capability to the existing electricity grid using technologies that can measure, analyse, communicate and control the flow of energy.

Launching the report, Arlene Foster said: “Last year I tasked MATRIX with identifying how Northern Ireland could grow economically through the development of sustainable energy technologies. This report illustrates concisely how locally developed innovations can enable our technology-based companies to exploit sustainable energy opportunities and compete on a global stage. This report represents a significant opportunity to enhance our access to and our use of renewable energy sources.

“My department, Invest Northern Ireland, MATRIX and other key stakeholders are already working together to ensure that our local companies reap the benefit of this opportunity. I want to thank the MATRIX Sustainable Energy Panel for their hard work and commitment in producing this report.”

David Surplus, of B9 Energy and the chair of the Sustainable Energy Horizon panel, said: “I would like to thank the Minister and her department for their foresight in undertaking this study. Our focus was to identify technologies which can open up global energy markets and in doing so we have found that many of our companies are generating innovative solutions to address energy issues.”

“So in identifying Intelligent Energy Systems as a major market opportunity for our firms, we believe that Northern Ireland can become an internationally recognised exporter of global solutions forged from the development of the lowest cost sustainable energy infrastructure in Europe.”

Bryan Keating, Chair of MATRIX added: “By understanding what the global energy demands of the future will be, we can now concentrate our efforts in aligning policy and skills with the needs of the sector. MATRIX will continue to advise DETI and Invest NI as these recommendations are implemented."

The report launch coincided with a joint MATRIX and NISP Connect enterprise forum on Intelligent Energy Systems. Representatives from companies, academia and energy industry exports discussed the concept and the potential market opportunities.

At the forum, Invest NI officially announced that it is seeking to support a number of Sustainable Energy collaborative network projects.