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Thread: Wind Turbines: The end is nigh?

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    GDPR Deleted
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    Default Wind Turbines: The end is nigh?

    In recent times there have been some decisions made by An Bord Pleanala subsequently quashed in the high court as there was a flaw in the decision making process, i.e. an error in law. In the coming years we are going to see lots of high court cases seeking to quash decisions that granted planning permission for wind farms and indeed late 2014 saw one quashed in Cork. Much of this centres around the inadequacy of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project carried out by the relevant Planning Authority. Much of the opposition centres around noise and visual impact and generally being a bad neighbour to live close to.

    We have being waiting a while now for new wind energy guidelines and I suspect that the delay centres around political pressure to site them as far away as possible from dwellings, say 1km, v's our official energy strategy to build loads of wind turbines. The current guidelines say re distance from dwellings, 500 metres away, or if between 250-500 metres, permission from the owners.

    An EIA is required for 5 wind turbines or more, or where the cumulative impacts of a proposal triggers an EIA, e.g. proposed two wind turbines near existing or permitted 3 wind turbines. Typically a wind farm is granted planning permission for 20 years. Inadequate EIA carried out by the Planning Authority are going to largely fall under the following and if proven the high court can quash the decision to grant planning permission:

    1. No screening carried out by the Planning Authority to determine whether or not an EIA is required, which is fairly self explanatory and could see the high court quashing a decision.

    2. Inadequate EIA failed to properly assess the impact of noise for example on nearby residents. This example where a couple moved out of their home because they could not deal with the noise from a nearby wind farm is what I'm talking about and again the High Court could quash the decision to grant for the wind farm, meaning a big problem for the operator. Turbines whipping up a storm as TDs begin to feel force of 'rural power' - Independent.ie

    3. Inadequate EIA failed to properly assess the impact of the necessary and subsequent grid connection (and subsequent planning permission). In England, where similar EIA laws it seems that once the route for the grid connection has been identified and has been subjected to the EIA process, then the courts are happy. Point being, project splitting may see the high court stepping in and quashing a decision by the Planning Authority.
    How to assess the unknown | Energy Ireland

    4. Inadequate EIA failed to properly assess a project as the information provided was not adequately challenged, i.e. we'll take the consultants word for it. This would happen where the Planning Authority did not have the necessary expertise to carry out a proper assessment and again high court can quash decisions.

    Therefore I would expect that where a permitted or existing wind farm is challenged on these grounds that the wind farm may be in trouble. Where the high court quashes the original decision there is no guarantee that any subsequent permission would be granted to rectify the matter. I therefore predict that we're going to see in the coming years, wind farms shutting down across the country which will be greeted with joy by its own opponents and give the government a huge headache as they puts all their eggs in in the wind farm basket, not to mention the losses incurred by the operators/investors of the wind farms. Thoughts?

    Irishplanningnews.ie
    https://duncansenvironment.wordpress...ing-necessary/

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    Our EU set renewable energy targets by 2020, is for 16% and figures from 2013 say we're at 7.8% or nearly half way. Of course wind energy makes up the vast bulk of this but if the high court are going to be quashing planning permissions left, right and centre, then this target will be missed. No wonder White and Kelly are having issues between their departments. https://www.siliconrepublic.com/eart...y-targets-seai

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    Quote Originally Posted by ted08 View Post
    Our EU set renewable energy targets by 2020, is for 16% and figures from 2013 say we're at 7.8% or nearly half way. Of course wind energy makes up the vast bulk of this but if the high court are going to be quashing planning permissions left, right and centre, then this target will be missed. No wonder White and Kelly are having issues between their departments. https://www.siliconrepublic.com/eart...y-targets-seai
    I really hope the end is nigh for wind power in this country - it has been an epic and expensive failure by any measure

    Ireland has third highest electricity prices in OECD - Independent.ie

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    Politics.ie Member Hans Von Horn's Avatar
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    Any Judicial Review Proceedings of the Planning Process must be brought within 8 weeks of a decision. The only way of shafting the development if the 8 week window is not availed of is by challenging compliance with the grant by undermining the payment of the subsidy on the basis of non compliance with section 44 of the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC
    "(44)The coherence between the objectives of this Directive and the Community’s other environmental legislation should be ensured. In particular, during the assessment, planning or licensing procedures for renewable energy installations, Member States should take account of all Community environmental legislation and the contribution made by renewable energy sources towards meeting environmental and climate change objectives, in particular when compared to non-renewable energy installations."

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-conte...9L0028&from=EN

    The EU Directives provide the best basis for challenging compliance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Von Horn View Post
    Any Judicial Review Proceedings of the Planning Process must be brought within 8 weeks of a decision. The only way of shafting the development if the 8 week window is not availed of is by challenging compliance with the grant by undermining the payment of the subsidy on the basis of non compliance with section 44 of the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC
    "(44)The coherence between the objectives of this Directive and the Community’s other environmental legislation should be ensured. In particular, during the assessment, planning or licensing procedures for renewable energy installations, Member States should take account of all Community environmental legislation and the contribution made by renewable energy sources towards meeting environmental and climate change objectives, in particular when compared to non-renewable energy installations."

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-conte...9L0028&from=EN

    The EU Directives provide the best basis for challenging compliance.
    Interesting, thanks for that.

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    Maybe this will help to concentrate the minds of our public representatives. I heard an interview with the spokesperson for the Group on RTE Radio 1 yesterday and he was extremely articulate and came across as determined to let the selected reps feel the brunt of their members' ire.

    Report from The Irish Times

    Rural campaigners aim to unseat three Cabinet Ministers

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    People are complain about the noise from wind turbines, i have been a couple of times within a couple of hundred feet away from a wind turbine, any time i was there i never heard any noise from it. People will get used to the noise, for many years we had a lot of crows used to nest in trees beside our house, people would come to our house and say to us how can we stand the noise of the crows. We would tell them that we had got used to them and dont pay heed to them anymore.

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    I assume if a local community welcomes a wind farm, outside crusaders against them will accept that?
    There is no Keyser Soze

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    Politics.ie Member paulp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbinator View Post
    I really hope the end is nigh for wind power in this country - it has been an epic and expensive failure by any measure

    Ireland has third highest electricity prices in OECD - Independent.ie
    Are you suggesting that our adoption of windpower is tied to our high prices for electricity?
    If so, why don't you post a link that actually supports your argument?
    There is no Keyser Soze

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    Politics.ie Member Ren84's Avatar
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    What exactly is wrong with wind power? A sane response to this question would be nice.....

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