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Tag Archives: renewable energy

Clare must be front and centre for wind power, say councillors

IRELAND finds itself in a prime position to be a global leader in climate action, and that position may find its beginning off the coast of Clare, writes Conor Colhessy. That’s according to Councillor Joe Killeen who pointed out the combination of west coast wind and Moneypoint infrastructure that puts Clare in a leading position. The European Union aims to be climate-neutral by 2050, becoming an economy with net-zero greenhouse gases, an objective at the heart of the European Green Deal. In order to substitute the use of fossil fuels, the EU proposes to use its own natural resources instead – the west coast of Ireland records the highest wind speeds in the entire Union. Councillor Killeen told the recent west Clare municipal district meeting: “This isn’t a competition with the east coast of Ireland, but obviously it is. We do have the one huge advantage in that we have a link from Moneypoint to all parts of Ireland for …

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December aim for community’s energy masterplan

AN ENERGY masterplan highlighting challenges and opportunities facing the communities of Clooney, Maghera and Spancilhill is to be finalised in December. The ambitious project to boost the production and use of renewable energy, as well as to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, is being pioneered by the Clooney Spancilhill Community Development Association. Funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the project hit some minor hitches due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, but is now back on track with a target completion date of December 21. “An audit of our carbon use will feed into the plan,” explained Tom Larkin, chairperson of the association. “The school was audited and a number of homes are being done at the moment,” said Tom. “Eight different properties were chosen for audit, based on the years that they were built. That will help to create a good picture of where we are in terms of carbon usage and will form an important part …

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Huge potential dividend in green energy for Clare

Renewables developer says legislators need to facilitate the change from fossil fuels CLARE’S renewable energy potential has been described as “a huge, massive, endless, sustainable resource,” with the capacity to provide thousands of jobs and funding for vital public services. Barefield native Padraig Howard, a renewable energy developer believes that Clare’s on- and off-shore resources have the same transformative potential that the oil and gas sectors had a century ago. The difference is their green credentials and limitless supply. He told The Champion that while the development of the sector is “glacially slow”, the urgency of the climate crisis and the job creating potential of renewables is likely to push the sector to the top of the political agenda. Mr Howard, whose company developed the Mount Callan Windfarm, among others, highlighted Intel’s interest in Oranmore as a prime example of the potential of green energy to attract industry. “Oranmore is on a shortlist alongside a site in German and one …

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Fahybeg windfarm updates furnished

THE developers of a windfarm in South East Clare have made updated information available in response to public queries over the potential impact on health and property prices. RWE Renewables Ireland Limited, which describes itself as one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, said it is half-way through an eight-week pre-planning consultation process and keen to engage with the community living close to the 320-hectare site which is 6km south west of Killaloe and 1.5km north of Bridgetown. The German company also said that, to date, the exact locations of the eight proposed turbines in the Fahybeg Windfarm have not been pinned down and that studies to determine these are underway. “So far we have been contacted by residents by phone, text and by email and some residents have asked to meet with us in person,” said a letter issued by the company. We have managed to meet them in their gardens over the last couple of weeks, taking …

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Communities urged to consider sustainable energy options

A NEW scheme to support householders, farmers and community groups in producing and selling renewable electricity into the national grid is set to bring major benefits to Clare, according to the county’s Environmental Network Coordinator. Theresa O’Donohoe, a former General Election candidate for People Before Profit, has urged people to have their say on the new Microgeneration Support Scheme, the outline of which was unveiled this week by environment minister, Eamonn Ryan. The initiative will allow people to generate their own renewable electricity, through, for example, solar panels on their roofs, and ensure they receive a fair price when they sell the excess into the grid. “Run well, this initiative offers a whole new approach to rural regeneration and regional development while supporting the transition to a low carbon economy,” Ms O’Donohoe said. “If every community decided they would invest in solar panels on all the roofs, a small wind turbine or three beside the pitches, a water turbine in the stream, …

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East Clare windfarm application open for submissions

COMMUNITIES from Feakle to Killaloe are being urged to make themselves aware of the details of a planning application for a 19-turbine windfarm which have just been lodged with An Bord Pleanála. Along with reports detailing the potential impact on the environment and on wildlife habitats on the 749 hectare site, the Coillte application outlines the full specification for the Carrownagowan Windfarm, which is earmarked for the northern slopes of Slieve Bernagh. “I would strongly urge all of the communities of East Clare to make themselves aware of what is proposed,” said Chairperson of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes. “People need to be satisfied about the impact this development might have on the quality of life for this generation and generations to come. People need to inform themselves and make their views known.” Because the project has been designated as ‘strategic infrastructure,’ it has gone directly to the planning appeal’s board. Submissions are being accepted up to February …

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Killaloe councillors seek briefing on East Clare windfarm

KILLALOE councillors are to seek a briefing from the developers of a multi-million euro wind farm development planned for a site on the slopes of Slieve Bernagh, just over two kilometres from Bodyke. Earlier this month, Coillte confirmed that it is to lodge an application shortly, to An Bord Pleanála, under the Strategic Infrastructure Act. Raising the proposed Carrownagowan Wind Farm at the May meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes asked for details of communications and correspondence between officials and the developer. “I would like those details to be revealed,” the Caher-based member said. “The lack of consultation has been very remiss of Coillte.” The Fianna Fáil councillor insisted that communication with officials was not sufficient and ignored the role of elected members. “This day last year, we were re-elected and have never had personal communication [with Coillte],” he said. “Consultation behind the scenes with different departments is one thing, but we are the voice of the …

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East Clare wind farm planning application to be lodged in June

PLANS for a multimillion Euro East Clare wind farm are to be lodged next month, The Clare Champion has learned. Coillte has confirmed that it is currently finalising an application for 19 turbines on a 750 hectare site, around a-mile-and-a-half from Bodyke, on the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh. The proposal, which will seek 30-year permission for The Carrownagowan Wind Farm, will be lodged directly to An Bórd Pleanála as strategic infrastructure. “Our project team is targeting a submission date towards the end of June and this will be advertised prior to final submission,” outlined Andy Fox, Community Engagement Manager with Coillte. Mr Fox also noted that a detailed brochure on the project had recently been widely distributed across East Clare, and that consultations were continuing, in line with the restrictions imposed by Covid-19. The site is described by Coillte as an appropriate location to access the national grid via the substation at Ardnacrusha. The company also notes it is designated …

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