Library from Ireland
Ireland has witnessed an alarming slowdown in the pace of renewable energy development in the last two years and is falling way behind European competitors, according to the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) today.
Feelings are running high in west Clare over the proposed construction of a €10 million wind farm, amid claims posters opposing the development have been taken down. A new local anti-wind farm action group has taken out an advertisement in a local newspaper appealing to people to desist from removing their posters.
It said the Connemara landscape is one of the principal assets of the tourism industry in Co Galway and the proposed development is located on a prominent site in east Connemara in a an area which is part of the Connemara Bog Complex Special Area of Conservation. The site is also within an area with a high-value coastal tourism infrastructure and fisheries resource.
MDEG are concerned that development of industrial wind energy in Ireland does not become a free for all with irreversible consequences for vulnerable or rare floral and fauna species as in the very recent case of the loss to wind turbine of a white tailed eagle.
"I have been contacted by sleepless residents at houses at Hole-in-the-Wall Road, and nearby Grattan Lodge apartments, who are appealing for an end to the nightly noise generated by the turbines," said Deputy Kenny.
A white-tailed sea eagle introduced to the Killarney National Park from Norway three years ago has been killed after colliding with a wind turbine near Kilgarvan, an area designated as suitable for wind farms in the Kerry county development plan.
A forthcoming report by the Irish Academy of Engineers (IAE) expresses alarm at the lack of any comprehensive analysis of the costs of the country's current energy policy, while multinationals and other businesses remain deeply concerned about the potential costs of the Government's commitment to generating 40 per cent of our electricity from wind power.
‘‘This decision ensures that electricity prices will continue to rise over the coming years," said Varadkar. He warned that if the economy continued to decline, increases could continue to climb, as the ESB would seek to secure ‘‘more and more money from fewer customers''.
In its ruling, the appeals board dismissed an appeal by An Taisce against a Clare County Council decision to give the go-ahead to plans by Hibernian Windpower Ltd to construct an 11-unit 375ft high wind farm at Boolynagleragh, Lissycasey.
While the company may be riding the wave of investment that's backing green energy projects, not everyone wants to see these huge wind farms on their local hillside. The residents have rejected suggestions that they're guilty of a "not in my backyard" attitude. "It doesn't matter what tag you give it - you're putting too many turbines in one area."
The protected hen harrier has put paid to plans for a two-turbine extension to the existing 13-turbine wind farm at Booltiagh townland near Connolly in mid-Clare. This follows An Bord Pleanála refusing planning permission to Booltiagh Wind Ltd to construct the turbines at Booltiagh.
"At present, there are also no national or local guidelines regarding density of wind turbines. In the rush to generate sustainable energy, planners are allowing multiple wind farms, which will have an enormous cumulative effect on local residents," the west Clare group, including people from the Coore and Miltown Malbay areas, said in a statement.
The wind farmers sell on the electricity to the big electricity companies, who have the potential to reap enormous profits. Under the REFIT scheme, big electricity companies are under no obligation to pass on any of these profits to electricity customers in the form of reduced bills.
The first of what is expected to be a number of appeals has been lodged against plans to construct a €200 million wind farm on Mount Callan in west Clare.
The proposal by Clare Coastal Wind Power Ltd for the west-Clare area is also set to be Clare's first "strategic infrastructure" development case, thereby by-passing Clare County Council's planning department and reducing the time spent in the planning process.
On a recent trip to Ireland, I witnessed a scene which reaffirmed my opposition to windmills in the Berkshires. ...I hope that the people of Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, and the rest of Berkshire County will have the wisdom to protect the Berkshires from Kilgarvin's fate.
A woman whose farm was damaged by a massive bogslide which occurred during the construction of the Republic's largest wind farm has secured €341,830 damages at the High Court. Mr Justice Eamon de Valera made the award yesterday to Mary Curley, whose family have farmed 16 acres at Derrybrien, Gort, Co Galway, for three generations.
A proposed wind farm on a Co Leitrim mountain comprising mainly blanket bog, has been turned down by an Bord Pleanála because of the risk of "slope instability" and surface pollution. The board pointed out that the proposed site for the eight-turbine development on Dough mountain, five kilometres from Manorhamilton, was in a Natural Heritage Area.
Small wind farm projects say they are being forced to go abroad for finance as they are being refused loans by Irish banks who say they can't access funding due to Irish banking's poor international image. "The Irish co-ops are being told by the Irish banks that they just can't access the money from abroad; that trust has been lost," said an IWEA source.
Despite claims by a Cavan-based company that there is "little opposition" to plans to place a windfarm in the Gaybrook area of Mullingar, a number of residents were set to meet in Mullingar this week amid concerns over the proposed development. At the time of writing, the residents were due to meet at the Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar to discuss a host of concerns, ranging from health issues, to impact on the landscape and local property prices.