Farm Scale Renewables Must Form Part of Government’s Future Energy Strategy
IFA Renewables Project Team Chairman James Murphy has called for the renewable energy strategy in the new Programme for Government to be built upon, by ensuring farm scale renewable energy projects are supported.
Welcoming Denis Naughten’s appointment as Minister for Natural Resources, James Murphy said, “The new programme for Government provides a real platform for a more acceptable approach to renewable energy development in Ireland. The emphasis on community participation in renewable projects is particularly welcome. Community ownership of future projects is a must; it is no longer acceptable for large scale developments to be imposed in rural Ireland, without surrounding communities receiving any dividend or shareholding.”
The positive comments in the programme for Government on solar energy and support for indigenous biomass are also welcomed. However, there is also a need for greater policy support for smaller farm scale renewable projects.
Concluding, James Murphy said, “Delivery of the measures contained in the Programme for Government can best be delivered in a co-ordinated and inclusive way, through the establishment of a National Energy Forum, as envisaged in the Energy White Paper launched in recent months. Minister Naughten should immediately move to establish this Forum and IFA will ensure that farm families and rural dwellers are robustly represented.”