I wish to respond to Kenneth Matthews (Letters, Sunday Independent, October 7, 2012). He claims that 30,000 jobs could be created by wind energy in Ireland. This follows Eddie O’Connor of Mainstream Renewable Power claiming that his company’s wind energy project could create up to 54,000 jobs in the Irish Midlands. This would be the same number of jobs as the entire population of Co Carlow.
The fact is that once wind turbines are erected, there is very little employment, apart from a handful of technicians who maintain the turbines a couple of times a year. Once a landscape becomes covered in turbines, it becomes an unpopular place to live, and you are likely to experience job loss as people leave the area.
Wind energy is one of the last subsidised industries in Ireland. Right now developers are running around the country trying to get as many farmers as possible signed up to put wind turbines on their land, before the Government wakes up and all the wind subsidies are withdrawn.
Subsidies have already been cut in several European countries. Spain has stopped all new wind energy subsidies, and in July this year the UK announced that it would be cutting wind subsidies by 10 per cent. In north Holland new wind turbines have been banned because of their impact on the local landscape.
Mike de Jong,
Strokestown, Co Roscommon
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