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Dáil Exchange on Publication of Wind Energy Guidelines – 8th October 2015

Deputy Anthony Lawlor:  In 2013, 7,500 people put pen to paper and made submissions to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government about wind energy guidelines. Those guidelines have been moved to the Minister’s Department, although I did not realise he would be here today. There are people waiting for the guidelines to be put in place.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  To which legislation is the Deputy referring?

Deputy Anthony Lawlor: It is the current energy Bill. Many communities are waiting for those guidelines to be published. It seems there are silos operating in the two Departments and one is not speaking with the other. We must examine the sustainability of renewable energy.

Deputy Robert Troy: It is not a Government priority.

Deputy Anthony Lawlor:  We need an energy mix. When does the Minister expect to publish the guidelines? Will tariffs be increased, particularly for biodigesters and bioenergy other than wind energy in the energy Bill?

Deputy Alex White: The publication of the wind energy guidelines is a matter for the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government and not the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Nevertheless, I am in consultation with the Minister, Deputy Alan Kelly, in respect of those guidelines. It is no secret that this is a difficult issue because there is a tension between the need for genuine community and citizen engagement on the issue, particularly on the location of wind farms. There is also the matter of compliance with renewable energy targets in the context of the 2020 responsibilities. It is a big issue of concern but I am working with the Minister, Deputy Kelly, on it.