Statement on conference from last week Meitheal na Gaoithe

Speaking at the opening of the MeithealnaGaoithe(Wind Farmers Co-Operative) Conference in Kilkenny on ‘family farm’ scale wind energy projects, Andrew Doyle TD Chairman of the Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee in Leinster House said “ IrishWind energy is a local resource which will benefit local communities with the right investment”.

Andrew Doyle reassured the wind farm operators at the conference of the support and commitment of the government to the industry and it’s future. Although Ireland has been slow to develop the small-scale wind energy sector, we can learn from the experience of the pioneers in Germany and Denmark. In particular with the integrated planning system and tariff support for wind farmers along with the support of government, local rural communities have invested in local wind farms where the returns are lower over a longer time period. But it delivers inexpensive energy and provides an additional source of income when demand is less.

One of the speakers, Dr Pesch said that a mix of technologies are essential to achieve renewable energy targets from solar, wind, hydro, bioenergy and ocean power. The German investment in renewable energy over the last 30 years is driving the cost of electricity downwards.

Doyle said “Ireland’s yearly fossil fuel bill of €5.61 billion euros for energy production has to be reduced. We have the potential for community power generation all over Ireland using local resources of wind, sun, waste, water. The key to realising our potential is coordinated action at government level and cooperation on the ground.

Andrew Doyle congratulated MeithealnaGaoithe for the constructive and informative conference.