Colreavy makes submission on Wind Farm Planning guidelines
February 15, 2013
Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has made a submission to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government on the updating of the Wind Farm Planning Guidelines.
Speaking on the issue Deputy Colreavy said:
“Sinn Féin are committed to pursuing renewable energy. Sinn Féin recognises the potentially disastrous impact of climate change on our environment and society and commits the party to playing a full role in shaping Ireland’s response to this unprecedented challenge. The party also notes that the Ireland is well placed to be at the centre of a new, green economy, if the political will exists, because of our potential abundance of wind and wave energy.
“Due to the fact that wind farms in Ireland, are typically, large commercial projects that mostly benefit distant shareholders, this contributes to local opposition. Local residents need to be assured of that wind farms, will not impact on the health of the community in any way.
“The planning system must achieve a correct balance between the need for the development of wind farms and for the impact that it will have on the local residents. Individual local circumstances must be taken into account when the construction of a wind farm is being proposed.
“Beyond the updating of the current guidelines there needs to be an introduction of a National Wind Energy Strategy. The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources should make it an imperative to introduce a strategy. “Such a strategy should include planning regulations with regard to wind farms, the public consultation process that must be carried out prior to the erection of wind turbines, the sale of the energy from wind turbines and the taxation levels on wind energy.”