Sinn Féin TD for Laois-Offaly Brian Stanley today introduced the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2020, which seeks to regulate the development of wind energy production in Ireland.
The Bill also facilitates the engagement of local communities in public consultation forums and establishes a mechanism for community co-ownership of wind energy.
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Teachta Stanley said:
“There is a role for wind energy in the future of Ireland’s renewable energy sector and we need to put in place sensible regulations to facilitate its development.
“This is an area which has been of particular interest of mine for many years now.
“I first introduced a Bill in 2014 to provide for the regulation of wind turbine development and I followed that up with a subsequent piece of legislation in 2016. Today is now my third attempt in almost seven years to have progress made regarding this very important issue.
“Our Bill attempts to introduce some common sense to the set back distance debate. We are proposing a minimum distance of ten times the height of the turbine to the tip of the blade. Noise levels will be within the WHO limits and shadow flicker from a propeller will not be permitted to pass over a house.
“Crucially, it gives back power to local authorities and councillors which was taken away by the Critical Infrastructure Bill removed their power to zone land for wind farm development.
“We need to involve local communities in the development of wind turbine production to avoid conflict and resistance from the areas impacted.
“In line with practices across Europe, our Bill provides local communities within 4km the opportunity to buy shares in the project and to receive a dividend. This could provide great financial assistance to disadvantaged areas with marginal land.
“It is unfortunate that three consecutive governments have failed to put in place regulations for development.
“I have been pursuing this matter since 2014 because I believe there are some very simple, common sense changes which can be made to help local communities and to support the sector develop.
“I ask the all parties read the Bill and I hope that members can recognise the need for legislation here and support the Bill.”