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Last week, Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte said that the Government intends to draw up a national policy framework, which will guide planning authorities on suitable locations for wind farms that export the energy they produce.
This appears to have been in response to a recent protest in Mullingar, where 2,000 people marched in opposition to proposed Midlands wind farms, which would produce energy for export to Britain. However, Mr Rabbitte makes no mention of wind farms producing energy for consumption in Ireland.
Does this mean wind farms producing energy for local use will not be subject to the same planning policies and strategy? So will local wind farms continue to be sited in an ad hoc manner according to the plans of wind farm developers?
Our countryside has been blighted by housing developments. Sadly, during the boom years there was no national housing plan that everybody stuck to.
There was also no proper assessment of the worth and usefulness of the hundreds of housing developments built all over the Irish countryside.
It is vital that we do not do the same again with wind energy.
Mike de Jong
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