There's a definite change in the air when it comes to the location of wind farms
Is the wind starting to change direction a little when it comes to our determination to meet policy targets on renewable energy? Three developments in recent weeks suggest so.
1. Environment minister Alan Kelly is preparing new planning guidelines for wind farms in which it is speculated that he will push the allowable distance from a turbine to a dwelling to around 700 metres. He is also considering a height to distance matrix as turbines can now reach blade heights of 169m.
2. Kildare County Council recently voted to impose a 1.7km distance from bigger turbines to a dwelling, equal to 10 times the blade height of the largest ones. Curiously, Westmeath County Council did the same thing last year only to have Junior minister Jan O'Sullivan intervene and block the measure saying it was inconsistent with national targets. Kildare might get the same response.