Local communities should be at the heart of wind farm development

news reporter

Reporter:

news reporter

Wind farms

Put local communities at the heart of wind farm development, says Brian Stanley TD, announcing his party’s legislation on wind farm regulation.

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment has said that the regulation of wind farms to ensure the industry develops with community engagement and legal protections for rural people is essential.

“Sinn Féin are the first party to put forward legislation to give firm legal protections for communities around this State. Our aim with this Bill is to ensure that the development of wind energy is achieved with local democracy and local communities in mind,” said Deputy Stanley.

Some of the elements of the Bill include a minimum setback distance of not less than ten times the height of the turbine, so that noise does not exceed specified noise limits set by the World Health Organisation.

“It also suggests that turbines should be located in areas designated by local councillors in the county development plan, and optional co-ownership for local residents,” he said, adding that renewable energy development is needed, as is diverse renewable energy sources. Deputy Stanley said that offshore wind, biomass and biogas are “pathetically underdeveloped”.

“Clean green forms of indigenous energy can be further harnessed to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and can be developed with regard to greater community involvement,” he concluded.