April 27, 2014

Blown Away: Plans to Build 1,000 Wind Turbines in the Irish Midlands Axed

Plans to raise 1,000 wind turbines have been axed, Pat Rabbitte has confirmed.

The windfarm was due to be built in the Midlands and was part of a joint agreement with Britain.

But the Communications Minister said the controversial plans will not go ahead.

He said: “I regret that it has not been possible at this time to conclude an agreement as envisaged.

“However I believe that in the context of an European Internal Market and greater integration, greater trade in energy between Britain and Ireland is inevitable in the post 2020 scenario.”

The plan had attracted serious opposition with various groups and politicians hitting out at its size.

But the Government insisted that thousands of jobs would have been created by the construction.

The Minister said: “Economic analysis conducted on the Irish side clearly indicates that under agreed policy and regulatory conditions, renewable energy trading can deliver significant economic benefits to Ireland and the UK, as well as being attractive to developers.

“However, this will not happen automatically. Renewable energy trading has to be designed to work.”
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the “populist” decision will “cost the country dear”.

He said: “One of the biggest benefits was that it could have lowered the cost of electricity here by allowing us balance our variable power supplies across a wider area.

“We have also lost the opportunity to give the whole country an economic boost from billions in investment. The very counties that most need new jobs are the ones that are going to lose out most.
“What we have now in Irish energy politics is short-term, populist thinking gone awry.”

A ‘National day of Protest’ is being organised on Tuesday in Dublin by communities affected by the plans.
A spokesman said that would still go ahead and said this was about the Government’s overall plans to wind energy.

He said: “The rally organised by concerned communities from all parts of island of Ireland is in response to the Governments Renewable Energy Policy which will transform and industrialise vast swathes of the country with Industrial Wind Turbines, Ancillary Pylons and Substations.

“The level of concern nationally is clearly demonstrated by the 35,000 submissions to the pylon review and the over 7500 submissions into the process to establish new wind energy guidelines.”

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