Wind Turbines: The end is nigh?

GDPR

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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.com/2015/05/26/when-is-eia-screening-necessary/
 


GDPR

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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/earth-science/2015/03/05/ireland-has-reached-the-halfway-point-for-2020-renewable-energy-targets-seai
 

Turbinator

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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/earth-science/2015/03/05/ireland-has-reached-the-halfway-point-for-2020-renewable-energy-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
 

Hans Von Horn

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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-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32009L0028&from=EN

The EU Directives provide the best basis for challenging compliance.
 

GDPR

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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-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32009L0028&from=EN

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

Dr Pat

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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
 

Round tower

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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.
 

paulp

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I assume if a local community welcomes a wind farm, outside crusaders against them will accept that?
 

Ren84

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What exactly is wrong with wind power? A sane response to this question would be nice.....
 

Raiderman

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And to think when first muted the feeling was that the power generated by these things would be almost free. :lol:
 

Man or Mouse

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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
I see nothing in it but NIMBYism. There is a windfarm off the M7 between Borris-in-Ossory and Roscrea and one of the turbines near the motorway has a house very close to it. I thought it odd that this was allowed by planners so decided to make enquiries locally.

I was informed that the occupants of that house own the land on which the turbine sits - didn't think to ask if they own any more than one - so what that suggests is that Irish people hear these noises if they have no financial reward. Change that and the noise is grand.

There are a number of community Turbines around the country too in similar proximity to members of the community involved and they too seem happy with the intrusion as they benefit from it financially.

A nation of friggin NIMBYs we are. How come we don't get all that upset when crooks like Charlie Haughey rob us? How come we don't get that upset when we discover child abuse on an industrial scale among a certain segment of the population? How come there wasn't a single bank branch razed to the ground in anger after what they collectively did to all of us? Not even a broken window in fact.

This is a Shell to sea on a national scale. There might be benefit in it so let's give it socks.
 

Raiderman

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Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm lead to believe that if the wind is too strong they have to be shut down? Also that they are switched off at night? Then some electric companies say they are effecting their trip devices?
 

Carlos Danger

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What exactly is wrong with wind power? A sane response to this question would be nice.....
It's a bit like the VW emissions thing. It can and does work as advertised in the most perfect of testing environments. In the real world, though, not so much. Grid connection, transmission lines, on demand production, etc. just aren't quite there yet, but because of grants and incentives, people are planting windmills like trees all over the place.
 

GDPR

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I found it interesting that in the Independent article the group seeking to put pressure on rural TD's in the upcoming election contain a former inspector with An Bord Pleanala with 35 years work experience behind her. I'd be interested to hear what her views are on the subject and presumably she knows what she is talking about.
 

Dr Pat

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I see nothing in it but NIMBYism. There is a windfarm off the M7 between Borris-in-Ossory and Roscrea and one of the turbines near the motorway has a house very close to it. I thought it odd that this was allowed by planners so decided to make enquiries locally.

I was informed that the occupants of that house own the land on which the turbine sits - didn't think to ask if they own any more than one - so what that suggests is that Irish people hear these noises if they have no financial reward. Change that and the noise is grand.

There are a number of community Turbines around the country too in similar proximity to members of the community involved and they too seem happy with the intrusion as they benefit from it financially.

A nation of friggin NIMBYs we are. How come we don't get all that upset when crooks like Charlie Haughey rob us? How come we don't get that upset when we discover child abuse on an industrial scale among a certain segment of the population? How come there wasn't a single bank branch razed to the ground in anger after what they collectively did to all of us? Not even a broken window in fact.

This is a Shell to sea on a national scale. There might be benefit in it so let's give it socks.
That is just a rant against those who object to these windtowers with little evidence apart from one instance where someone put up a tower in his backyard. As for community windfarms, how many are there in the State? People are entitled to express their views and if people feel strongly they can also if they see fit campaign against sitting TDs who will do nothing to address the issue. It's called democracy.
 

Turbinator

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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.
Some wind farms are nosier than others due to differing geography and wind profile of sites.

Families bid to sue wind farm operator | Irish Examiner
 

Turbinator

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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?

Theres been plenty of threads on the issue with plenty of evidence put forward that high energy prices and wind go hand and hand.

Just look at the table of energy prices in Europe and the countries at the top all lead the way in wind capacity on there grid

http://gegenwind-starnberg.de/wp-content/uploads/wind-strompreis_n.png

plus an explanation for this fact which can be seen across the world

Sun, wind and drain | The Economist
 

sic transit

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That is just a rant against those who object to these windtowers with little evidence apart from one instance where someone put up a tower in his backyard. As for community windfarms, how many are there in the State? People are entitled to express their views and if people feel strongly they can also if they see fit campaign against sitting TDs who will do nothing to address the issue. It's called democracy.
Well there are certain areas where there's a stiff breeze all the time and given the underlying supply issues make sense as locations. There are unquestionably problems with the height, design and density of some farms but the sudden NIMBY embracing of strips of land they never noticed before deserves to be shot down.
 


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