Tuesday 28 March 2017

Government to call in expert as ministers row over turbines

Alex White, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Alex White, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Alan Kelly
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

The Government is considering the appointment of an independent expert to settle the deadlock over the State's guidelines on the construction of high-powered wind turbines.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly and Energy Minister Alex White are at loggerheads over how to address the issue, causing anger among rural communities ahead of the General Election.

Mr Kelly drafted a set of guidelines prohibiting the construction of turbines within one kilometre of towns or villages.

But Mr White insists his Labour colleague's plan will result in the Government missing strict European Union global warming targets, which means the State will incur millions of euro in fines.

In an attempt to bridge the gap between the two ministers, the Government is now considering appointing an independent expert to find a way to break the impasse.

A spokesman for Mr White said every effort was being made to "move things on" and to meet the needs of both sides on the issue. "There needs to be a realistic approach to achieve that," he said. It is understood Mr Kelly's department is resistant to the move to bring in an outside adviser.

"I'd be very lukewarm on the idea and I very much doubt it will happen," a source said.

Irish Independent

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