The Sinn Féin MEP candidate for the Midlands Northwest constituency, Matt Carthy, was in Dublin yesterday to launch a Bill which will, if passed by the Oireachtas, address many of the concerns of communities living in the vicinity of proposed wind farms.
Cllr Carthy said:
“I was pleased to join party TDs in Dublin to launch the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2013.
“Our proposals are people-centred and put communities at the heart of decision-making processes.
“This bill attempts to impose proper regulation of all aspects of wind turbine construction. This includes proper zoning of areas for wind turbine developments, the duties of planning authorities, setback distances and the responsibility of decommissioning wind turbines.
“The Sinn Féin bill would ensure that turbines have a setback distance of at least ten times their height, would prohibit the export of energy generated by turbines and would force all agencies to accept policies detailed in County Development Plans relating to the location of wind farms.
“It is important that there is correct management of renewable energy produced in Ireland. Ireland has binding targets for renewable energy that it must reach by 2020.
“The fact is that Ireland still produces most of its energy demands from imported fossil fuels. Any renewable energy that is produced in Ireland should go to lessen the fuel bills that many households find a burden. This bill seeks to ensure that Irelands energy demands are met prior to renewable energy being exported.
“It is my hope that the government accepts this common sense Bill and rights its previous wrongs with regard to this issue.”