Windfarm protestors in Finuge warn that the battle against new developments in populated areas of north Kerry is far from over.
The campaigners secured a massive victory in their battle against the development of new windfarms in populated areas of the region at Kerry County Council last week.
Councillors backed the Finuge campaign by amending the County Development Plan to block new windfarms from being developed in ‘Open to Consideration’ zones in north Kerry under the CDP until 80 per cent of windfarms with ‘live’ planning permission are developed.
But this doesn’t preclude windfarm companies from developing in a wide area south of Tarbert and around Moyvane that’s zoned as a ‘strategic site’. Now anti-windfarm protestors leading the campaign against the proposed ten-turbine development in Finuge – that would see the erection of the largest turbines in Ireland if successful – warn that the battle is far from over.
Concerns over the impact of massive turbines on health and tourism in the region are chief among protestors’ fears.
“It’s leaving North Kerry, which has the ingredients for a vibrant tourist industry, open to more of these turbines and the whole concept of the area from the point of view of the Government seems to be as a dumping ground for wind energy, a case of ‘sure, we’ll throw anything down there’,” chairman of the North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group Gerry Doyle said.
But the campaign in Finuge has woken the region’s population up to State policy which, until councillors voted last week, saw most of north Kerry wide open as a potential giant wind farm.
“Wind is the most heavily subsidised sector in Ireland and it has to be as the turbines themselves are only 30 per cent efficient. Only one megawatt from a 3MW turbine makes it onto the grid,” Mr Doyle added.
He called on the Government to slash subsidies as has been done in Spain. “Let them see then what interest still exists. When Spain cut the subsidies it saw a 92 per cent fall in new applications. The majority of these windfarms have been sold onto faceless hedge funds and American companies.”