Joe Jacob, Minister of State at Ireland's Department of Public Enterprise, has rushed to wind's defence in the pages of a national newspaper. Spurred to reply to a negative article by James Kenny, a renewable energy consultant, Jacob argues in the Irish Times that wind is a proven, cheap and clean source of energy. His 900 word article -- similar in length to Kenny's -- attacks a claim that wind farms have no future as serious generators. "The outcome of the recent Alternative Energy Programme III competition demonstrates once and for all that É wind energy can compete with the best conventional technologies," he writes. The Irish Wind Energy Association is delighted by the minister's intervention. "I take it as an extremely good sign," says the IWEA's Larry Staudt. "The government appears determined that wind shall succeed."