Irish people are broadly supportive of renewable energy technologies including wind, solar and biomass – as long as projects are not located near family homes.
New research from the Economic and Social Research Institute says that while 77pc of people are “generally positive” towards wind generation, just 36pc would live within 5km of a wind farm.
Opposition was not due to Nimbyism (Not In My Back Yard-ism), but due to perceived health concerns including noise, or impact on air or water quality, the ‘What drives people’s opinions of electricity infrastructure?’ paper says.
In general, people are “positively disposed” to renewables, but those living in Dublin and the commuter belt are more likely to oppose projects than those in the counties where many are located. This could be because those living in areas with installed technology see an economic benefit.
While most support grid development, power lines should be constructed underground. However, those living in Dublin and the commuter belt were more supportive of overhead lines.