Public acceptance of large scale wind energy generation for export from Ireland to the UK: Evidence from Ireland

Due to its location, the Republic of Ireland experiences comparatively high wind regimes. Energy policies in the EU have encouraged the statistical trading of energy; specifically Directive 2009/28/EC, which allows for the importation of renewable energy to count towards renewable energy targets. In January 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the UK and Ireland initiating plans for 3 large wind farm developments in the midlands of Ireland which aimed to export all electricity produced to the UK. The project was strongly opposed by local residents and did not proceed as planned. Public scepticism internationally over large scale development of renewable energy resources specifically for exportation (REE) represents a major obstacle to the industry; however, the reasons underlying community opposition are not always clear. If policymakers wish to take advantage of Ireland’s comparative advantage in wind energy through exports, identifying these community acceptance barriers to large scale development is crucial.


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