Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has welcomed news that the planned erection of industrial wind turbines throughout the midlands will not go ahead.
Speaking following comments made by Minister Pat Rabbitte, Deputy Colreavy said:
“From the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Britain, Sinn Féin has believed that the export of renewable energy from Ireland was a flawed project. This is due to a number of reasons.
“Ireland still relies heavily on fossil fuel consumption to produce its energy and any renewable sources should be fed into the Irish grid first to meet the demands of Irish consumers before there can be plans to export power.
“Under the Memorandum of Understanding the Irish midlands were due to become an offshore wind farm for Britain and the rights and concerns of local residents were at risk of being ignored.
“Exporting wind energy to Britain remains economically questionable. The recent report by BW Energy highlights the fact that when Irish wind turbines are producing a lot of energy due to high wind, Scottish wind turbines are most reaping the benefits of the same wind speeds, driving down the any potential profits from exporting energy to Britain.
“Sinn Féin remains committed to developing renewable energy in Ireland. However, we have stated that this must come from a diverse number of sources including offshore wind, tidal, hydro, biomass and geothermal.
“Next week, Sinn Féin will launch the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2014 in the Dáil that seeks to regulate the erection of wind turbines in Ireland. This legislation will include minimum setback distances for turbines.
“Today’s news is welcome but the fact remains that the erection of wind turbines still remains unregulated and this must be changed by the Minister.
“It is now time for the Minister to produce an all-Ireland Strategy on Energy which will map out Ireland’s energy demands, and means of production, into the future.” ENDS