News Release from Wind Energy Ireland


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Majority of people in rural Ireland would back a local wind farm

New poll confirms enormous support for Ireland’s leading renewable energy

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

A new opinion poll from interactions, commissioned by the Irish Wind Energy Association, shows that a majority of people in rural Ireland would support a wind farm being built in their area.

Dr David Connolly, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association, said: “Wind energy is a clean, cheap and popular source of power. Last year we provided almost 40 per cent of Ireland’s electricity demand and today’s poll shows support for wind energy is as strong as ever.

“It is clear the Irish people want to see more renewable energy to cut our CO2 emissions, to cut the price of electricity on the wholesale market and to create jobs at home instead of importing fossil fuels.”

The poll found that support for wind energy nationally is at 82 per cent with 50 per cent ‘strongly in favour’. Opposition to wind energy is at 4 per cent and these figures are consistent with the findings of other opinion polls in recent years.

Interactions also carried out additional surveys among adults living in rural Ireland and found strong support for wind energy generally and for the development of local wind farms.

Key findings from the survey

  • 82 per cent in favour of wind energy with 50 per cent strongly in favour;
  • Opposition to wind energy at 4 per cent;
  • Majority in rural Ireland – 52 per cent – would support a wind farm in their area while opposition is at 15 per cent;
  • The top five reasons for supporting wind energy were identified as Good energy source; Good for the environment; Creates jobs; No reason to be against wind energy; Cheaper energy.

Support for climate action

Wind energy is Ireland’s most effective tool to reduce our CO2 emissions and the SEAI recently confirmed that it saved 3.9 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019. Today’s poll shows the Irish people see the benefits of wind power and strongly support its critical importance to climate action.

Many communities are also coming to see the benefits of local wind farms. Bord na Móna’s Mountlucas wind farm in Co Offaly had more than 45,000 visitors last year, up 25 per cent on 2019, as local people took advantage of its walkways and peatland trails for exercise during the Covid lockdowns.

Dr Connolly continued: “Ireland has some of the best wind resources in the world. Alongside other renewable energy technologies by 2030 we can be providing 70 per cent of our electricity if the right policies are put in place in the coming years.

“We need to see substantial investment in building a stronger electricity grid and reforms to our planning system to ensure that renewable energy projects, onshore and offshore, are developed in a transparent and environmentally sustainable manner but also fast enough to contribute to our 2030 targets.

“The Irish people back wind energy in overwhelming numbers and increasingly see the benefit for their own community. We need to see the same support from policymakers to enable us to decarbonise our electricity system as quickly as possible and to provide clean, cheap, power to homes, farms and businesses across the country.”

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