Sir, – Kevin Nolan’s letter (January 5th) questions the reasoning behind constructing renewable power infrastructure in close proximity to a large proportion of the population who will benefit from the electricity it generates. It must be noted that this is the optimal arrangement from a purely pragmatic perspective.
While there are many important considerations regarding where to place wind turbines, including the impact on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, aesthetic preference needs to be ranked far below the urgent requirement for renewable energy generation and rapid reduction in our national greenhouse gas emissions emissions. The “monstrous construction” from where I stand is a perspective that thinks it is concerned with natural beauty while it opposes the easiest and most effective transition we can make to slow environmental collapse. – Yours, etc,
Dr CIARA MURPHY,
The Jesuit Centre
for Faith and Justice,
Sir, – Paul O’Hanrahan is correct in saying the wind farm on Kish sandbank will be visually intrusive in Dublin Bay, and pleads that it be placed elsewhere (Letters, December 31st). But where else exactly? The beautiful west coast?
Despite being the largest centre of population in Ireland and largest consumer of electricity, Dublin city is notable in not having any wind turbines in close proximity. None in the sea and none on the mountains close by.
It makes a great deal of sense to locate turbines relatively close to Dublin, from an environmental point of view.
By locating wind turbines closer to the city and being able to run the power lines on or under the seabed directly to Dublin city, hundreds of kilometres of visually intrusive overhead pylons can be eliminated and large amounts of steel and copper can be saved, and the onshore visual environment impact of these can be eliminated by not stringing these hundreds of kilometres of lines of pylons and lines from all over the country to Dublin from everywhere else.
It’s not just Dubs who like a bit of unspoiled scenery.
With a bit of thought, it may also be possible to incorporate marine reserves in and around the offshore wind farms, which in other parts of the world have been shown to improve the fishing around them, as fish get a chance to grow to maturity.
It makes most sense to put wind turbines in the relatively benign Irish Sea first, close to the largest consumer of electricity, than attempting floating wind turbines in the very challenging conditions off the west coast, which has a far more visually interesting coastline than built-up Dublin, and on which many tourist enterprises in the west rely to attract tourists, into the west of Ireland’s biggest industry.
Offshore and more onshore turbines may well have to be built in the west as time goes on, but let us pick the low-hanging fruit of shallow water offshore wind turbines close to Dublin first.
There is an onshore wind turbine 1.6 km from me, which I see every day from my kitchen window.
While I would prefer it wasn’t there, it is a necessity, for the near future at least until, and if ever, the holy grail of useful fusion energy is found.
Until then we’ll all have to put up with some visual intrusion in order to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. – Yours, etc,