Majority in rural community support wind farms

Industry survey says 52% of people would back construction of facitlity in their area

Energy companies plan to invest billions of euro in building on- and off-shore wind farms as the Republic bets heavily on renewable electricity Photograph: iStock

Energy companies plan to invest billions of euro in building on- and off-shore wind farms as the Republic bets heavily on renewable electricity Photograph: iStock

 

Most people in rural communities say they would back the construction of wind farms in their area, an industry survey says.

Energy companies plan to invest billions of euro in building on- and off-shore wind farms as the Republic bets heavily on renewable electricity to bring its greenhouse gas emissions into line with EU-agreed targets.

Industry body, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), says a recent study shows that 52 per cent of people in rural Ireland would support plans to build a wind farm in their area, while 15 per cent would oppose such a move.

According to the association’s Public Attitudes Monitor for November 2020, 82 per cent of people in the Republic support wind energy, while one in two “strongly favour” it. Opposition to it stands at 4 per cent.

Renewable energy

Commenting on the findings, IWEA chief executive, Dr David Connolly, argued that wind was clean, cheap and popular source of power.

“Last year we provided almost 40 per cent of Ireland’s electricity demand and today’s poll shows support for wind energy is as strong as ever,” he said.

“It is clear the Irish people want to see more renewable energy to cut our carbond dioxide emissions, to cut the price of electricity on the wholesale market and to create jobs at home instead of importing fossil fuels.”

The Government wants renewables to generate 70 per cent of all electricity used in the Republic by 2030.

Wind is likely to be the biggest contributor to this. Last year, it produced almost 40 per cent of the electricity used here.

However, low wind speeds meant many farms were unable to supply electricity during a peak in demand earlier this month.