Launch of best practice guidelines for wind energy sector


L-R: Michael Walsh CEO IWEA; Minister Ryan; John McCann, SEI

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan TD has launched the IWEA's comprehensive new guidelines on best practice for on-shore wind projects in Ireland.

Commenting, Minister Ryan said: "Government policy has set ambitious, but technically sound, targets that one third of our electricity requirements will be met by renewables by 2020."

The Minister added - "The recently-published all-island grid study goes quite a way further, stating that it is technically feasible to supply up to 42% of our power requirements from renewable energy sources by the same date. The key to achieving these targets will be the proper development of our wind energy industry.

"These best practice guidelines are a proactive and positive response from the industry itself to the challenges it faces and will play a critical role in securing a green energy future for Ireland."

Michael Walsh, Chief Executive of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), said - "With over 1,000 megawatts of wind power already connected on the island of Ireland, the wind energy industry has already invested over 1 billion in generation capacity. However, the wind industry is planning the private investment of between 4 billion and 6 billion in wind power over the next ten years. This will require a total annual investment of over 500 million, creating an additional 3000 jobs."

Mr. Walsh added - "The launch of these Guidelines ahead of our national Conference next week (Click Here) sets the agenda for long-term sustainable development of wind power on this island."

Mr. Walsh's remarks were echoed by John McCann, Sustainable Energy Ireland's Wind Energy Programme Manager. "Sustainable Energy Ireland welcomes the publication of the Irish Wind Energy Association Best Practice Guidelines. The development of these guidelines was part-funded under SEI's Renewable Energy Research Development and Demonstration programme. We believe that the guidelines demonstrate the wind energy sector's commitment to protecting the environment, while developing Ireland's wind energy potential."

The 74-page Best Practice Guidelines are aimed at commercial on-shore wind farms and address the main issues which developers face - providing practical guidance and recommendations to ensure responsible and sensitive wind farm developments.

The Guidelines detail standards which the wind energy industry sets itself and includes consultation with local communities, planners and other interested groups at different stages during the development process.

The Best Practice Guidelines provide detailed recommendations for the different stages in the development of a wind farm project - including feasibility assessment, wind monitoring and analysis, wind farm layout, environmental impact assessment and planning, contract and construction, health and safety, operation and maintenance and decommissioning or re-powering.

The Best Practice Guidelines for the Irish Wind Energy Industry have been produced by the Irish Wind Energy Association - with support from Sustainable Energy Ireland.