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01/02/2019

Air Corps proposals threaten Irish wind farm development

Words: Roger Milne
Renewable wind energy / Shutterstock 155706680

Ireland’s green power companies have confirmed to The Planner that they want an urgent meeting with the defence minister over draft proposals from the Air Corps which, the sector claims, risk making nearly 30 per cent of the country a ‘no-go’ area for wind turbines.

The Irish Wind Energy Association has written to defence minister Paul Kehoe voicing its concerns.

The letter says that the association’s own land mapping analysis suggests that the Air Corps proposals would “effectively prevent the development of new wind energy projects in approximately 29 per cent of the country”.

They would bring in exclusion areas used for military flying and along motorways and national primary roads.

The association warned that not only would this prevent the development of new projects, but it also threatened existing wind farms.

According to the letter, the development and expansion of renewable energy was essential “if we are to decarbonise our economy and play our part in the fight against climate change”.

In a statement the defence forces told The Planner that the Air Corps position paper was a “draft document that outlines the organisation’s concerns about the impact wind farm development may have on safety and capabilities”.

The statement said the paper was compiled in line with international practice and considered the necessities to defend the state and carry out other roles.

“The draft proposals request planning authorities, in certain areas, to engage in consultation to ensure any potential interference with operational requirements is minimised. Work is continuing with a view to reaching a final policy position,” the statement added.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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