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Opponents of wind-farm spread join forces

Campaigners opposed to the spread of wind farms in the Republic have formed the Irish Wind Energy Truth Alliance.

Spokesman Peter Crossan from Co Cavan told Daily Ireland the alliance was not opposed to wind farms as such.

“We’re against the current careless proliferation of wind farms,” he said.

“There are currently 50 wind farms operating [in the Republic]. There have been another 50 approved by planners. I can’t see where more can be accommodated in this little country. For future development, they should be put offshore where they’re not bothering anybody and there’s a chance of more wind.”

Mr Crossan queried whether wind farms were a green form of energy.

“They are not taking into account emissions in construction,” he said.

“There are 1,000 tons of concrete per base for a turbine. There are 850 tons of carbon emission per 1,000 tons of concrete made. For a wind farm of 40 turbines, there are 100,000 litres of fuel used to install them.”

He added: “Wind farms always need a conventional backup because wind is unpredictable. They need a power plant running as backup.

“The Republic of Ireland is currently getting 50 megawatts of power per day from wind, on average.

“There is a capacity of 598 megawatts from the wind farms currently installed.”

He added: “There are 110-metre-high structures within 100 metres of people’s homes. This has a serious impact on quality of life.

“You can’t get television in some areas. You can’t sleep at night with the noise of the things. If the blades break and bits start flying around, they can kill people.

He added: “They get a carbon credit for stopping carbon emissions. If you install a 100-megawatt wind farm, you can calculate the tonnage of carbon emissions to be saved and sell them on the open market. This isn’t about green energy. It’s about greenbacks.”

by Anton McCabe

www.dailyireland.com

28/08/2006