A Dublin TD has raised concerns over plans for a number of 300-metre high wind turbines off the coast of Dublin.
Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit said the government have “favoured developers over proper planning and protection of the environment”.
A number of “supersized” turbines are planned for the Kish Bank from Booterstown to Bray with more planned for the Irish sea off Greystones, Arklow, and Wicklow.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “I’m very much in favour of developing renewable energy including offshore wind but what I’m not for is a free-for-all letting developers run amok on the marine environment in the way we let them run amok on the land environment leading up to the Celtic Tiger crash, the stupidity of building on flood plains, poor quality building, and all that.”
He added that there was a “serious danger” to Ireland’s marine environment and biodiversity if the projects weren’t done the right way.
He told The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk: “Once again, the government have essentially favoured developers over proper planning and protection of the environment.
“A lot of the big wind farms that have been planned were given licences on sites they themselves selected between 2000 and 2008 in advance of any proper legislation to do with planning in the marine environment or in advance of the designation of marine protected areas.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett said that the turbines have been planned for around six to 10 kilometres off the coast, much closer than the distance of 20 kilometres which the average for most countries in the European Union including The Netherlands.
He said: “We’re not just facing a climate crisis, we’re facing a biodiversity crisis. A very important part of maintaining biodiversity is to maintain marine environment.”
He said that before issuing licences, the government needs to find proper designated sites to build the turbines on.
A new agency, MARA, will be established to regulate offshore wind developments and new legislation will give a “major overhaul” to regulations in the area.