Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has called on Minister Pat Rabbitte to introduce a National Wind Energy Strategy.
Speaking in the Dáil Deputy Colreavy said:
“Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding with the British government to supply Britain with electricity created from wind turbines in Ireland, there has been much discussion about wind energy in Ireland. Renewable energy is, of course, an extremely important source of electricity for the future and the government should be looking to increase their use of renewable sources over the coming years.
“However, it is important to have community buy-in to the erection of wind turbines. In many cases it is an outside company that erects the turbines and the energy created is taken out of the area. Apart from a small number of farmers whose land is rented, the majority of the community can see no benefit to the turbines, and this creates animosity.
“The planning guidelines in relation to the erection of wind turbines have also been flouted. Donegal has witnessed wind turbines erected that are far closer to homes than the guidelines stipulate. It is clear that the minister needs to introduce clear regulation on this issue.
“There is also the issue of the benefit to the state from wind turbines. We do not want to see a similar situation to our oil and gas industry where we are giving away our wind energy for free with little value to the Irish people. We must recognise that wind energy is a natural resource for the benefit of the Irish citizens.
“It is an imperative that the minister introduces a national wind energy strategy that lays out in full the government’s plans for the development of wind energy over the short, medium, and long term.”