Irish wind exports planning guidelines to be drawn up

IRELAND: The Irish government is to produce a new policy and planning framework to guide planning decisions on wind energy for export to the UK.

Irish energy minister Pat Rabbitte speaking at this year's EWEA conference
Irish energy minister Pat Rabbitte speaking at this year's EWEA conference

The Irish minister for energy, Pat Rabbite, announced that the framework would be drawn up within the next year to act as a blueprint for An Bord Planeala, the body that deals with major infrastructure planning cases and appeals against local planning decisions.

Rabbite said the framework will be based on Ireland’s Strategic Environmental Assessment, which incorporates environmental considerations into the planning process.

Earlier this year the British and Irish governments agreed to look into exporting onshore wind power to the UK from Ireland. Hailed as a ‘game changer’, the Irish Wind Energy Association estimates it could be worth EUR 18 billion to the Irish economy.

Rabbite said any renewable export strategy would be subject to the signing of a formal agreement between the UK and Ireland, which he said he hoped would be finalised by the end of this year.

The Department of Energy and the Department of the Environment are carrying out a separate review of the country’s wind energy development guidelines, focusing on issues of noise and shadow flicker.

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