Proposed new wind farm guidelines would significantly undermine the Government’s own climate action plan, industry representatives have claimed.
The public has now been asked to provide feedback on the wind energy development guidelines published by the Government.
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said the aim of the new guidelines is to strike a better balance between addressing the needs of local communities and maintaining Ireland’s ability to deliver on its renewable energy ambitions.
Under the guidelines stricter noise limits will be introduced alongside increased set-back distances and measures to tackle shadow flicker on properties.
Noise from wind energy developments will now be subject to a limit of five decibels above existing background noise up to a maximum permitted noise limit of 43 decibels, day or night.
This is a tightening of the 2006 noise standards in line with the most up-to-date, best international standards.
However, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) have claimed the guidelines would make it “more difficult and more expensive” to develop renewable energy in Ireland and will “significantly undermine the Government’s own Climate Action Plan”.
Dr David Connolly, CEO of IWEA, said: “In particular, the proposed new noise levels, potentially the harshest in Europe, will cost every person in Ireland an extra €550 in order to hit our 2030 climate action targets.”
Wind farms will be forced to operate automatic shadow flicker control mechanisms which would shut down turbines at times when they affect homes and properties.
Wind turbines will now have to be set back at least four times the tip height between a wind turbine and the nearest dwelling, subject to a mandatory minimum distance of 500m.
The guidelines have now been put out for consultation and the public has until February 19 to make submissions.
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