[Ref No.: 44820/15]
To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the consultation process his Department has had with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, regarding publication of the Wind Farm Guidelines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Anthony Lawlor.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 15th December, 2015.
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White)
In December 2013, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government began a review of the existing Wind Energy Development Guidelines.
The review focused on the specific issues of noise, proximity, and shadow flicker. It is set against the backdrop of the need to tackle global warming, reduce Ireland’s reliance on fossil fuels, and meet our legally binding EU and international obligations including in relation to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and the generation of renewable energy, as well as real and legitimate concerns about the impact of essential energy infrastructure on local communities.
There has been ongoing engagement between the two Departments in what is a very technical area. Studies have been obtained on various aspects of the issues, particularly noise – including separation distance – and detailed assessments of various options have been undertaken by the two Departments.
Any revisions to the guidelines following the conclusion of deliberations, will be introduced by issuing the guidelines to planning authorities under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended.