Wind energy comes with a high price tag

IN his letter headlined ‘Renewable energy target is appropriate’ (October 18), Michael Kelly of Eirgrid stated that my colleague on EU environmental technical assistance projects, Pat O’Brien, was wrong on wind energy.

Firstly, why do we have a programme of 40% of our electricity to be generated by renewables, mostly wind? Is it because the media like it, it gets politicians elected or it creates jobs for the boys, such as in Eirgrid?

If instead we are doing it for environmental reasons, then let’s look at the numbers.

Unfortunately, there are none. The whole programme bypassed UN and EU procedures on access to information and public participation in decision-making in environmental matters. This one can readily see by logging on and checking ‘Decisions’ on the website of the commissioner for environmental information.

Even the recent national renewable energy action plan submitted to the EU doesn’t quantify what the greenhouse gas savings are.

One can make a formal access to information on the environment request to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), but they don’t know where the greenhouse gas savings are coming from either.

I’m well aware this programme has already increased our generation costs by 15%.

It has a capital value in excess of €30 billion (€4bn to Eirgrid).

Our electricity price, as a result, will increase by more than 60%.

We will save the planet at most €36 million per year in avoided damage through slightly warmer temperatures. Every wind energy job will be subsidised by €130,000 per year and it will destroy two jobs in the productive economy.

Worse, the turbines won’t last 10 years as compared to 40 years for conventional power plants.

Irish people should start demanding facts and figures, or pay a terrible price.

Pat Swords

Hillcourt Road


Co Dublin

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