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Pressing need for new wind energy guidelines - Darren O’Rourke TD

23 February, 2021 - by Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action Darren O’Rourke TD has said there is a pressing need for updated wind energy guidelines to help the state meet our renewable energy and carbon emission targets.

The Meath East TD said:

“The publication of updated wind energy guidelines is urgently needed.

“Governments have been undertaking a review of the 2006 guidelines for some years now. The public consultation on new guidelines closed over a year ago now but we still have no progress.

“If we are to achieve the increased ambitions in the upcoming Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill, we need action in this area.

“The lack of a proper planning framework has given rise to problems in the development of wind energy projects and predatory practices by some developers.

“We need to involve local communities in the development of wind farms to avoid conflict and resistance from the areas impacted.

“Today the Planning Regulator Niall Cussen addressed the Oireachtas Climate Committee on this. He said 'publication of updated Wind Energy Guidelines is urgently needed'. I share this opinion.

“Mr Cussen also highlighted the need for a national renewable energy roadmap, with county-specific targets, which could provide the basis for designation of sustainable energy zones by local authorities in their development plans.

“Such an approach could allow community wind, solar and other renewable sources to match up with national targets so individual areas could compete for sustainable and ethical investment.

“Sinn Féin also want to see progress on setback distances, noise regulation, community dividend and shadow flicker. My colleague Brian Stanley TD published the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2020, a Bill he first introduced in 2014, to address these issues specifically.

“Government must act. The delay in publishing updated wind energy guidelines is hampering progress and needs to be addressed.”

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