Draft Framework Seeks To Identify On-Shore Renewable Energy Sites

A draft framework to identify potentially suitable land areas for the large-scale generation of onshore renewable electricity has been published by Minister for Energy, Alex White.

Minister White said the publication fulfilled a commitment set out in the Energy White Paper, which he published last month: "I am publishing this draft framework in a constructive effort to assist public authorities and citizens. We have a responsibility to develop renewable energy and reduce energy-based carbon emissions in ways that protect our environmental and cultural heritage, while meeting local community concerns about energy infrastructure developments, including wind energy."

The Draft Strategic Environmental Assessment Scoping Report for a Renewable Electricity Policy and Development Framework has been published for consultation. Following the consultation process, it will be finalised to provide guidance to citizens, industry, An Bord Pleanal a, and other public authorities, for use in conjunction with thePlanning Guidelines on Wind Energy Development and other more general planning guidance.

Minister White said. "Irish and EU energy policy aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 80% and 95% by 2050. That means we cannot simply look to the 2020 targets, challenging as they are. We need to plan for likely new 2030 targets and beyond, and that requires us to identify land areas that are appropriate for the location of necessary renewable energy infrastructure.

"The energy transition also requires improved community participation in policymaking and planning. Governments and international institutions don't have all the answers, and our Energy White Paper places a huge emphasis on citizen and community involvement in decisions about energy policy and infrastructure."

Written submissions and observations are now being sought from interested parties, including individuals and organisations.


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