Category Archives: News

Climate change: ‘Effective strategy’ for farmers if Moneypoint goes biomass: Farmers Journal, 16 March 2016

A new report suggests that converting Moneypoint power station to sustainable biomass would be an ‘effective strategy’ for Irish agriculture to fight climate change.
Converting Moneypoint coal-fired power station to sustainable biomass by converting 8% of Irish agricultural land to energy crops would offer a “more stable income for farmers and forestry”, according to a new report commissioned by the anti-wind group RethinkPylons.
The group commissioned UK-based BW Energy to carry out a report called ‘Unlocking Ireland’s biomass potential – converting Moneypoint coal fired power station to sustainable biomass’.
If Moneypoint were to convert, energy crops (especially miscanthus) and residue materials such as straw and grain husks could be used as the main source of ‘‘green energy’’, as well as forestry thinnings, the report suggests.
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A real effort to do something to combat the greatest threat facing us all: Irish Examiner, 16 March 2016

Disturbing data released by Nasa, earlier this week, showed that, last month, global temperatures smashed records. The figures brought a new urgency to warnings of a climate emergency, but whether they provoke the change needed to slow this escalation remains to be seen.

One response was outlined in a report launched yesterday, which suggested that by using the island’s biomass potential to generate energy, we could reduce carbon emissions and “save the landscape from a blight of wind turbines and pylons”.

That report, launched by racing’s Annemarie O’Brien, argues that if the coal-fired, Moneypoint power station was converted to biomass, Ireland could meet its renewable energy 2020 targets in one fell swoop — and at around a tenth of the cost of Eirgrid’s €3.5bn GRID25 programme.

Like nearly every proposal in this area, it will be challenged by those of a different view, but it is a real effort to do something to combat the greatest threat facing us all.

Our efforts have been piecemeal and are in no way equal to the challenge science has predicted — a challenge that will become very real in our children’s lifetime.

Those unmoved by these warnings argue that a small country like Ireland cannot turn the tide on climate change, and they are correct.

But what we can do is begin realistic preparations, which will protect this country’s citizens from a new and far less comfortable world. We hardly have a day to waste.

An Ill Wind For Horses: The Sun, 16 March 2016

Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien’s wife told yesterday how the couple’s world-famous stud farm faced ruin from power pylons and wind turbines.

Annemarie O’Brien, herself a top trainer was speaking out in support of a report urging the conversion of the country’s biggest power station into a green energy plant.

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Horse trainer’s wife Annemarie O’Brien backs converting electricity station from coal to biomass: Irish Examiner, 16 March 2016

The wife of the horse trainer, Aidan O’Brien, said converting Moneypoint powerstation in Co Clare to sustainable biomass could save the landscape from a blight of wind turbines and pylons.

Ms O’Brien said plans to double wind power were not the way forward, saying it was too expensive and would scar the country’s landscape.

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Court rules in favour of order to dismantle three wind turbines: The Irish Times, 16 March 2016

Appeal granted as turbines built in ‘material’ deviation from the planning permission.

The Court of Appeal has ruled a local man is entitled to orders requiring the dismantling of three wind turbines at Kilvinane, Co Cork, due to their being built in “material” deviation from planning permission.

A stay applies on those orders, and other orders restraining operation of the turbines, pending a decision by An Bord Pleanála shortly on an application by Kilvinane Wind Farm Ltd, made in May 2014, for substituted consent for the development as constructed.

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Report suggests biomass could be way for Ireland to reach renewable energy targets: Irish Independent, Tuesday 15 March 2016

A leading figure in Irish horse racing Annemarie O’Brien today launched a new report which aims to unlock Ireland’s biomass potential.
Annemarie, wife of legendary trainer Aidan, says wind power is not the way to meet our EU ‘green energy’ targets by 2020 – and that biomass, or burning wood pellets, is a viable alternative.
She says: “Doubling wind power is simply not the way forward. It is too expensive to build, too scarring on our beautiful landscape.

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The State is taking a €35 million punt on a huge new wind energy venture: Business Etc Journal, 29 February 2016

THE IRISH STATE’S investment fund has committed €35 million to a new wind energy project that will build multiple wind farms across the country.

NTR, formerly one of Ireland’s largest publicly listed companies, announced today that it secured €250 million in equity for a new investment vehicle called NTR Wind 1 that will build onshore wind farms in Ireland and the UK.

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High Court overturns permission for Cork wind farm, Irish Times, 25 February 2016

Judge says process used by An Bord Pleanála did not comply with Irish law

The High Court has overturned a grant of planning permission for a wind farm near Inchigeelagh, Co Cork.
Mr Justice Bernard Barton ruled the permission must be quashed after finding that the process under which An Bord Pleanála had decided relevant issues concerning compliance with two European Directives – the Habitats Directive and the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive – did not comply with Irish law.

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People’s right to accountability: Leinster Express,23 February 2016

People's right to accountability

People’s right to accountability

Excellent article from today’s Leinster Express on the people’s right to hold their elected representatives accountable for the policies they support.


New planning rules a ‘sleight of hand’, says expert: Irish Independent, 23 February 2016

New rules will force local authorities to implement planning ‘guidelines’ introduced by the government without being allowed to make any changes to suit local circumstances.

The Planning and Development Amendment Act, signed into law in December, allows the government to issue ‘guidelines’ on specific policies, including housing, wind energy or childcare which must be fully enforced by the council and An Bord Pleanála.

The act changes the existing system where councils were obliged to have “regard to” national guidelines.

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