Kilcormac/Kinnitty/Cadamstown Wind Energy Information group has expressed the view that Ireland will soon need a NAMA for wind turbines, if proposals to erect hundreds of wind turbines in the Midlands go ahead.
Responding to the publication of the Bord na Móna’s Chief’s comments in last week’s Tribune that Offaly will be the Saudi Arabia of wind energy if their Clean Energy Hub projects go ahead, the Group has yet again called on the Government to demonstrate that its Wind Energy Policy fulfills the three Pillars of Sustainability in Planning terms i.e. Environmental, Economic and Social.
In a statement the group said ‘It is inconceivable that the CEO of Ireland Inc is intent on pressing ahead with its unsustainable wind energy policy without even having carried out a Cost Benefit Analysis from the outset! Has Minister Rabbitte not looked across the water to Scotland where they are in danger of blackouts before the end of the century due to the Scottish Government’s massive investment in Wind Energy without also having done the costings and also having ignored other forms of renewables. Colm McCarthy has said that Ireland will soon have a NAMA for wind turbines.’
‘Wind Energy does not reduce CO2 emissions. We refer the Government to Dr. Fred Udo’s report “Wind Energy in the Irish Power System” which explains why CO2 emissions are not falling. Wind relies on a fossil fuel back-up – “spinning reserve”. We note that in Germany, which has one of the highest penetration of wind energy in Europe, that CO2 emissions rose by 3.2 percent last year. We also refer the Government to Prof. Gordon Hughes’ economic analysis “Why wind power is so expensive?” in which he concludes that “wind power is an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of reducing CO2 emissions when compared with the option of investing in efficient and flexible gas combined cycle plants”. Why has our government not investigated other forms of renewable energies?’ asked the Information Group.
The statement continued: ‘Bosses from ten utility companies representing half of Europe’s power generating capacity (The Magritte Group) have urged EU leaders to adopt reforms to its unsustainable wind energy policy to prevent black-outs.
Europe’s electricity bills are double those in America because suppliers are burdened by subsidies for Wind Energy whereas shale gas has lowered US costs. High electricity bills are damaging Ireland’s competitiveness and large Government subsidies to Wind Energy Developers is paid for by electricity consumers. Our electricity costs will increase. Eirgrid have recently announced a €3.2 billion power project that will dot 4,000 new high-voltage pylons over much of rural Ireland, further destroying our landscape. Colm McCarthy says “there would be little need for continuing grid investment were it not for the expanding wind industry.”
‘The Environmental aspects of these projects have never been examined. The average wind turbine has a substantial carbon footprint due to the vast quantites of concrete, steel and rare earth magnets used in its construction. Also magnets which are used in wind turbines have been found to have been mined in environmentally destructive ways (Bradsher, 2009). If turbines are sited in bogland, the release of carbon stored in the bog increases the carbon footprint to a 23 year payback. (Dr. Jor Smith, Dr. Dali Nayak and Prof Pete Smith).
‘It is ironic that on the same day that the Tribune carried the Bord na Mona story, the Irish Independent carried the story of how a wind-powered park next to the Priory Hall apartment complex in Dublin is incapable of generating enough power to keep the lights on. The Fr Collins Park in Donaghmede in North Dublin was built by Dublin City Council at a cost of €20 million four years ago but a new report by BioXL Energy Consultants has found that about three-quarters of the park’s electricity will have to be imported this year at a cost of €45,000 plus VAT! Proof positive that wind energy doesn’t work!’ added the statement.
‘Also, it is worth noting some of the complaints from the local residents in Donaghmede who are claiming compensation for nuisance. One told the Council that “if anyone doesn’t know what it’s like to live under the constant whining of those cursed turbines, let them try sleeping with a washing machine on in their bedroom at night”. Minister Rabbitte ought to stay at Fr Collins Park for a night!
‘A local resident from Cloneyhurke in Co. Offaly, Donna Channing has the following to say about Bord na Mona’s plans for her area “I moved to Cloneyhurke for the quality of life that comes with the peace of living in the countryside. I am scandalised that BNM intend to shatter that peace by erecting giant wind turbines all around me. I shudder to think of the effects that these will have on me, my health, the environment and on my neighbours and friends for miles around. I didn’t move here from Dublin to live in an industrial zone of giant wind turbines, substations and underground/overground cables. This project is all about profit at the expense of our quality of life. That’s it. Money!’ concluded the statement from the Kilcormac/Kinnitty/Cadamstown Wind Energy Information Group.
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