THE Banteer families who have settled actions against windfarm companies will go down in history as the recipients of a landmark judgment which links the noise pollution caused by turbines to the requirement for sustainable energy.
Ireland has nearly 200 windfarms onshore, contributing in the region of 25% to the country’s grid. This is a significant change of land use with major impact on the terrain and, in a country which largely recognises the accelerating impact of climate change, it is correct that we find every opportunity to remove dependence on fossil fuels. But the rights of ordinary citizens who watch such developments arise around their homes must be protected. Because no details of settlement were given we can only speculate on the compensation provided for living next to a turbine. But legal recognition is an important victory. Last month Simon Coveney suggested the critical point had been reached where communities would struggle to accept many more large-scale windfarms and that the future lies offshore. After yesterday’s outcome those words look even more relevant.
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