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Why Eirgrids Pylon Grid Link Programme Is Illegal

Submission on Eirgrid Grid Link Programme


by Pat Swords BE CEng FIChemE CEnv MIEMA on behalf of the
European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW)

Grid Link involves over 250km of high voltage lines held up by 750 massive
pylons, running through Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary,
Kilkenny, Laois, Carlow, Wicklow, Kildare and Dublin.
Grid West would have 100km of line and 300 pylons running through Mayo,
Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim. The Meath-Tyrone line would have
140km of line and 410 pylons linking Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Armagh and
Tyrone, while the Laois-Kilkenny line would run for 26km and include 80
pylons.
1. Introduction
2. The Publics Right to Participate in Decision-Making
3. The National Renewable Energy Action Programme (NREAP) and Strategic
Environmental Assessment
4. The Strategic Environmental Assessment Process for Grid25
4.1 General
4.2 Failure to inform the public in an adequate, timely and effective manner
4.3 Failure to taking due account of the outcome of the public participation in
the decision-making
4.4 Failure to provide for early public participation, when all options are open
and effective public participation can take place
5. Current Legal Proceedings in Relation to the Renewable Energy
Programme
6. Conclusion

1. Introduction
Eirgrid is proceeding with its Grid Link Programme in the South and East of
Ireland as part of the massive expansion of the high voltage grid system in
Ireland to facilitate a programme of 40% of electricity to be sourced from
renewables, predominately wind energy, by 2020. It is currently in a public
consultation process in relation to this Grid Link programme and this
Submission has been submitted on behalf of the European Platform Against
Windfarms. The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) was founded
on October 4th 2008 by a small number of federations, associations and other
groups from four EU countries. It now has 621 member organisations, from 24
countries. It is based in Ireland. The Irish Member Groups are listed on the
EPAW website[1]. The aim of EPAW is to defend the interests of its members
which are either:
opposing one or more wind farm proposals;
or questioning the effectiveness of wind farms as a tool for solving the
problems of man and the planet;
or defending the flora, fauna and landscapes from damage caused by wind
farms, directly or through environmental degradation such as erosion, water
contamination and bush fires;
or generally fighting against the damaging effects of wind farms on tourism,
the economy, peoples quality of life, the value of their properties and,
increasingly often, their health;
or a combination of the above.
The Grid Link Programme, with all its unacceptable environmental
impacts, not least the industrialisation of the Irish landscape, is solely to
facilitate the implementation of Irelands renewable energy programme,
which in turn is almost exclusively focused on electricity generation
from windfarms . There is no economic, technical or legal requirement
for this wind energy programme. Indeed, until wind speeds of the order
of double the regions average wind speed are reached, this new
investment in wind turbines and associated grid infrastructure, will not
generate any useful electricity. The existing generation system and its
grid infrastructure will therefore be continued to be required for the
situation, where the wind speed is less than double the average, which
naturally is the majority of the situation. The benefits of this renewable
programme and its 7,145 MW of wind energy, some three thousand wind
turbines, and a doubling of the existing high voltage grid by some 5,000
km of high voltage lines are negligible and complete disproportionate to
its unacceptable impacts, both financial and environmental.
The core issues in this Submission are:

The law requires public participation in decision-making. Consultation as is


currently being conducted by Eirgrid, particularly as it is in the manner of a fait
acompli, does not meet this requirement.

Environmental information has to be made readily available to demonstrate


the suitability of the proposal, i.e. the provision of the necessary information

within the context of effective participation.


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Public participation has to include reasonable time-frames for the different


phases, allowing sufficient time for informing the public and for the public to
prepare and participate effectively during the environmental decision-making.
Public authorities, such as Eirgrid, are required to provide for early public
participation, when all options are open and effective public participation can
take place.
None of the above is being remotely complied with; the national renewable
energy programme, the national programme to expand the grid (Grid25) and
this Grid Link programme are all fundamentally flawed due to systematic noncompliance with the legal framework. Eirgrid should suspend, i.e. halt, its
Grid25 and Grid Link programmes until the necessary legal compliance is
ensured. If it does not do so, it will face increasing legal action from citizens,
who will not tolerate their legal rights and their environment being abused in
this manner.

2. The Publics Right to Participate in


Decision- Making
In simple laymans terms, a roll call (election) is held every five years or so in
which public representatives are chosen. The operative word here is
representatives; they are not chosen to rule us, but to represent us. Political
ideologies and personalities come and go, but the general public are left with
the environment around them, some development which is suitable and
equally some development, which is far from suitable. Recognising this fact, in
1992 the United Nations Rio Declaration [2] stated in Principle 10:
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Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned


citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have
appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by
public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities
in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making
processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and
participation by making information widely available. Effective access to
judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall
be provided.
In other words, the public had to be given robust procedural rights in relation
to Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access
to Justice in Environmental Matters. Indeed this is what formed the title of the
United Nations Economic Commission for Europes Aarhus Convention, which
drafted Principle 10 into a formal legal structure and applied it to the UNECE
region of Europe and Central Asia, as the UNECE website states [3]:
The Convention:

Links environmental rights and human rights

Acknowledges that we owe an obligation to future generations

Establishes that sustainable development can be achieved only through the


involvement of all stakeholders

Links government accountability and environmental protection

Focuses on interactions between the public and public authorities in a


democratic context.
The subject of the Convention goes to the heart of the relationship between
people and governments. The Convention is not only an environmental
agreement, it is also a Convention about government accountability,
transparency and responsiveness.
The Aarhus Convention grants the public rights and imposes on Parties and
public authorities obligations regarding access to information and public
participation and access to justice.
The EU ratified the Convention in February 2005 through Decision 2005/370,
declaring to UNECE[4]:

The European Community wishes to express its great satisfaction with the
present Convention as an essential step forward in further encouraging and
supporting public awareness in the field of environment and better
implementation of environmental legislation in the UN/ECE region, in
accordance with the principle of sustainable development.

Fully supporting the objectives pursued by the Convention and considering


that the European Community itself is being actively involved in the protection
of the environment through a comprehensive and evolving set of legislation, it
was felt important not only to sign up to the Convention at Community level
but also to cover its own institutions, alongside national public authorities.

Moreover, the European Community declares that it has already adopted


several legal instruments, binding on its Member States, implementing
provisions of this Convention.

Finally, the Community reiterates its declaration made upon signing the
Convention that the Community institutions will apply the Convention within
the framework of their existing and future rules on access to documents and
other relevant rules of Community law in the field covered by the Convention.
While Ireland only ratified the Convention in June 2012, it applied here since
2005 based on the primacy of Community Law, as Ireland is a Member State
of the European Union.
If we look at the preamble of the Convention, see below, what one sees is
only what is common sense, that decision-making should be based on sound

logic based on proper consideration of environmental factors:

Recognizing the importance of fully integrating environmental considerations


in governmental decision-making and the consequent need for public
authorities to be in possession of accurate, comprehensive and up-to date
environmental information.
In addition, as previously documented, the environment does not belong to
the State and the importance of the citizen is clearly defined in the preamble
to the Convention:

Recognizing also that every person has the right to live in an environment
adequate to his or her health and well-being, and the duty, both individually
and in association with others, to protect and improve the environment for the
benefit of present and future generations;

Considering that, to be able to assert this right and observe this duty, citizens
must have access to information, be entitled to participate in decision-making
and have access to justice in environmental matters, and acknowledging in
this regard that citizens may need assistance in order to exercise their rights;

3. The National Renewable Energy Action


Programme (NREAP) and Strategic
Environmental Assessment
The development of the EUs 20% renewable energy programme was
conducted in a dysfunctional and legally non-compliant approach. No
environmental assessment was ever completed of what was to be built, where
it was to be built, what it would actually cost, what would be the benefits, what
would be the impacts, what would be the mitigation measures, etc. It therefore
reached the position that the 20% target had to be implemented in the
following manner, as described in Recital 15 of the 2009/28/EC Directive:

The starting point, the renewable energy potential and the energy mix of each
Member State vary. It is therefore necessary to translate the Community 20 %
target into individual targets for each Member State, with due regard to a fair
and adequate allocation taking account of Member States different starting
points and potentials, including the existing level of energy from renewable
sources and the energy mix. It is appropriate to do this by sharing the
required total increase in the use of energy from renewable sources between
Member States on the basis of an equal increase in each Member States
share weighted by their GDP, modulated to reflect their starting points, and by
accounting in terms of gross final consumption of energy, with account being
taken of Member States past efforts with regard to the use of energy from
renewable sources.
In other words, the 20% renewable energy target was dished out to the
Member States based on what level of renewable energy resources they
already had, some like Sweden having considerable existing hydro sources,

and a fudge factor based on GDP. Neither were the proper public
participation procedures followed in the development of this Directive, as not
only was there an absence of environmental information on what was to be
built, why it was to be built and where it was to be built, but also the public
concerned were not contacted and provided with an opportunity to participate
in this decision-making.
This dysfunctional and legally non-compliant process continued throughout its
implementation. Member States were given little more than a year to adopt a
National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) defining how their allocated
National Target would be met. However, EU legislation which implements
Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention[5] requires that such plans or programmes
related to Energy, which lead to future development consent of projects
regulated by the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, must undergo a
Strategic Environmental Assessment before adoption. Note: Wind energy and
high voltage transmissions lines are regulated by the Directive on
Environmental Impact Assessment (87/337/EEC as amended). Therefore, full
compliance with the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive
(2001/42/EC) should have been ensured before the NREAPs were adopted.
This did not happen, not only in Ireland, but also in the other Member States.
The NREAPs were adopted by by-passing the Strategic Environmental
Assessment and associated public participation. Indeed, if one considers the
NREAP template produced by the EU[6], then the only Section which can be
considered related to environmental issues and assessment was Section 5.3:

Nineteen of the Member States left this completely blank failing to fill out the
table in above. The others essentially provided little or limited information,
such as the UK, where the Renewable Energy Strategy predating the NREAP
contained no environmental considerations of the impact of the programme. In
Irelands case the NREAP went from Section 5.2 to Section 5.4. It had no
Section 5.3.
EPAW has repeatedly brought this matter to the attention of both the EU
Commission and the Member State administrations. The EU Commissions
response following a meeting between EPAW members and officials of DG
Environment and DG Energy on the 3rd December 2010 in Brussels was that:

So far as Directive 2001/42 was concerned, the Commission considered that


any NREAP that did not create a framework for specific projects for purposes
of Directive 85/337/EEC did not need to undergo a Strategic Environmental
Assessment but that subsequent more detailed plans might need to do so.
Ireland had confirmed that several plans relevant to renewable energy would
undergo a Strategic Environmental Assessment process, including an
offshore plan for which the Strategic Environmental Assessment process had
already been launched.
However, this position used to justify a refusal to enforce the necessary

provisions of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive is in complete


variance with the position of the European Court. Firstly the NREAP defines
the requirements for the electricity infrastructure development in Section 4.2.6
and the support schemes in Section 4.3. Sectoral targets are laid out in
Section 3 and the measures for achieving those targets are defined in Section
4. In Section 5, the contribution of each renewable technology is defined, as
the template states: For the electricity sector, both the expected
(accumulated) installed capacity (in MW) and yearly production (GWh) should
be indicated by technology, while Table 10 in Section 5 of the Irish NREAP
specifies for 2020 in the Republic of Ireland, 4,649 MW of wind energy on the
non-export scenario, rising to 7,145 MW of wind energy on the export
scenario.
The NREAP is fundamentally a framework for development consent of
projects regulated by the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, as it
defines what wind energy capacity is to be delivered and how it is to be
delivered. Furthermore, it makes multiple references to Grid25, the
programme to double the high voltage grid by more than 5,000 km of lines to
facilitate the grid integration of all of this wind energy. In particular in Section 4
(Table 5), how Grid25 is a measure for achieving the target.
If one considers the Opinion of Advocate General Kokott of the European
Court, as delivered on 4 March 2010 in Terre wallonne ASBL (C-105/09) and
Inter-Environnement Wallonie ASBL (C-110/09) v Rgion wallonne [7], where it
was necessary to consider the meaning of the terms plan and programme
and the circumstances in which they set a framework for development
consent of projects, the Advocate General was very clear:

60. The term framework must reflect the objective of taking into account the
environmental effects of any decision laying down requirements for the future
development consent of projects even as that decision is being taken.

61. It is unclear, however, how strongly the requirements of plans and


programmes must influence individual projects in order for those
requirements to set a framework.

62. During the legislative procedure the Netherlands and Austria proposed
that it should be made clear that the framework must determine the location,
nature or size of projects requiring environmental assessment. In other words,
very specific, conclusive requirements would have been needed to trigger an
environmental assessment. As this proposal was not accepted, the concept of
framework is not restricted to the determination of those factors.

63. The view of the Czech Republic is based on a similarly narrow


understanding of the setting of a framework. It calls for certain projects to be
explicitly or implicitly the subject of the plan or programme

64. Plans and programmes may, however, influence the development consent
of individual projects in very different ways and, in so doing, prevent
appropriate account from being taken of environmental effects. Consequently,

the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive is based on a very broad


concept of framework.

65. This becomes particularly clear in a criterion taken into account by the
Member States when they appraise the likely significance of the
environmental effects of plans or programmes in accordance with Article 3(5):
they are to take account of the degree to which the plan or programme sets a
framework for projects and other activities, either with regard to the location,
nature, size and operating conditions or by allocating resources (first indent of
point 1 of Annex II). The term framework must therefore be construed
flexibly. It does not require any conclusive determinations, but also covers
forms of influence that leave room for some discretion.

66. The wording [of point 1 of Annex II] implies that the various
characteristics may be concerned in varying intensity and, therefore, possibly
not at all. This alone is consistent with the objective of making all preliminary
decisions for the development consent of projects subject to an environmental
assessment if they are likely to have significant effects on the environment.

67. To summarise, it can therefore be said that a plan or programme sets a


framework in so far as decisions are taken which influence any subsequent
development consent of projects, in particular with regard to location, nature,
size and operating conditions or by allocating resources.
Furthermore, the Judgment of the European Court on Terre Wallonne ASBL v.
Rgion Wallone [2010] ECR I-5611[8] was very clear on the obligation of the
National Courts, when it is determined that the Strategic Environmental
Assessment Directive has not been complied with:

Where a national court has before it, on the basis of its national law, an action
for annulment of a national measure constituting a plan or programme
within the meaning of Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and
of the Council of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain
plans and programmes on the environment and it finds that the plan or
programme was adopted in breach of the obligation laid down by that
directive to carry out a prior environmental assessment, that court is obliged
to take all the general or particular measures provided for by its national law
in order to remedy the failure to carry out such an assessment, including the
possible suspension or annulment of the contested plan or programme.
Therefore, the National Renewable Energy Action Plan was adopted in a
manner which was not lawful, having by-passed the Strategic Environmental
Assessment and associated public participation, which was required by EU
and National law. Neither is it lawful to continue with this national renewable
energy programme, in particular as at no stage were environmental
considerations taken into the decision-making. Indeed, the Energy Policy
Framework of 2007, which predated the NREAP and lead to its development,
provided zero information on the environmental impacts and costs of the
renewable programme. As Section 3.10.3 clarified:

We are setting very ambitious targets for expanding the role of renewable
energy notably the target of 33% of electricity consumption to come from
renewable resources by 2020. There are considerable challenges inherent in
realising these ambitious targets. The growth of emerging technologies
remains constrained by their relative cost. (Offshore wind which is capital
intensive and technologically challenging is a case in point). High fossil fuel
prices have contributed to making renewables more cost competitive but
investment costs do remain a key challenge. The Government considers
that the balance of social costs and benefits must be recognised as
positive and that is our starting point.
It is also worth pointing out, that both the Irish Administration and the EU were
well aware in period 2009 to 2010 during the development of the NREAPs,
that a Strategic Environmental Assessment was required. Not only is there
written evidence of this[9], but additionally after the NREAPs had been
submitted to the EU Commission on the 30th June 2010, a formal clarification
was sent jointly by the Unit Heads of DG Energy and DG Environment in the
EU Commission on the 7th July 2010 clarifying that a Strategic Environmental
Assessment on the NREAP was not necessarily obliged at this stage of the
process. Their position being that if a Member State had decided not to
include in its NREAP specific mandatory measures to comply with, then a
Strategic Environmental Assessment was not required at this stage.

Again, this is a non-compliant position and completely contradicts Article 4 of


the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC, which is very clear:
The National Renewable Energy Action Plans shall set out Member States
national targets for the share of energy from renewable sources
adequate measures to be taken to achieve those national overall
targets, including cooperation between local, regional and national
authorities, planned statistical transfers or joint projects, national policies to
develop existing biomass resources and mobilise new biomass resources for
different uses.
While Article 3 of the Directive is entitled:
Mandatory national overall targets and measures for the use of energy
from renewable sources.
Furthermore, if those mandatory targets were not to be adequately met, then
the Commissions position was to refer back those plans with a
recommendation. This demonstrates that the EU Commission was both
informed and clearly complicit in the decision not to complete any
environmental assessment for this programme of enormous scale.
One can also point out, that not only had no such Strategic Environmental
Assessment been completed for the renewable energy programme in Ireland,
but as the Decision from the Commissioner for Environmental Information
CEI/09/0016[10] demonstrated in this regard, there was not even a ranking
system in place for considerations of technology alternatives in terms of their
ability to meet the criteria in the Directive and no options considered to reach
the objectives in the legislation.
Note: These matters in relation to the chronic legal failures in the
implementation of the NREAP are part of the subject of current legal

proceedings in the High Court: Pat Swords v Minister of Communications,


Energy and Natural Resources No. 213/4122P.

4. The Strategic Environmental


Assessment Process for Grid25
4.1 General
The Strategic Environmental Assessment process under Directive
2001/42/EC is part of Member State law since 2004, transposed in Ireland
through S.I. No. 435 of 2004 (as amended)[11]. Eirgrid therefore completed a
Strategic Environmental Assessment for its Grid25 national programme, which
included the required Environmental Report[12]. Section 8.9 of the Grid25
Environmental Report is entitled: Infrastructure Required to strengthen the
National Transmission Network and summarises:

Approximately 828 km of new circuits will be required between now and 2025
to meet the needs of consumers and generators. This represents an increase
of about 14% on the total length of the existing network. Of this, 568 km will
need to be at 400 kV, 92 km will need to be at 220 kV or higher; the remaining
150 km will be at 110 kV. In addition to these circuits, others will be needed to
connect many of the new generators to the Grid

2,530 km of the existing transmission network will need to be upgraded


between now and 2025 to provide greater capacity. This comprises 740 km,
or 29%, of the existing 220 kV network, and 1,790 km of the 110 kV network.
Pylons in size of 110 to 400 kV are extremely large, extremely visually
obtrusive and extremely expensive. In addition to these extremely large high
voltage circuits, additional high voltage circuits will be required to connect to
the new wind energy capacity documented in the NREAP. These will be
primarily 10 kV structures and while less visually obtrusive, still require as a
minimum two large vertical supports with a single horizontal beam on top. In
total, based on the All Island Grid Study, some 5,000 km of new high voltage
lines will be required. It is also beyond doubt that this is a massive
programme, not least in its potential to radically alter the visual landscape of
the Irish countryside.

4.2 Failure to inform the public in an adequate,


timely and effective manner
The Aarhus Convention requires that in relation to public participation in
decision-making the public concerned shall be informed, either by public
notice or individually as appropriate, early in an environmental decisionmaking procedure, and in an adequate, timely and effective manner.
In European legislation, Article 6 of Directive 2001/42/EC in relation to
Consultations sates:

The authorities referred to in paragraph 3 and the public referred to in

paragraph 4 shall be given an early and effective opportunity within


appropriate time frames to express their opinion on the draft plan or
programme and the accompanying environmental report before the
adoption of the plan or programme or its submission to the legislative
procedure.

Member States shall identify the public for the purposes of paragraph 2,
including the public affected or likely to be affected by, or having an
interest in, the decision-making subject to this Directive, including
relevant non-governmental organisations, such as those promoting
environmental protection and other organisations concerned.

The detailed arrangements for the information and consultation of the


authorities and the public shall be determined by the Member States.
Despite the clear obligation above in both the Aarhus Convention and the
Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment to ensure the public are
informed in an adequate, timely and effective manner, Irish legislation failed to
properly transpose these requirements. Instead in S.I. No. 435 of 2004, in
Section 13(1)(b), there is solely an obligation to:

Publish notice, in accordance with sub-article (2), of the preparation of the


draft plan or programme, or modification to a plan or programme, and
associated environmental report in at least one newspaper with a sufficiently
large circulation in the area covered by the plan or programme, or
modification to a plan or programme.
In its response of July 2011 to the questions presented to it by the UNECE
Compliance Committee on Communication ACCC/C/2010/54, in relation to
the compliance of the EU as a Party to the Convention and the Irish
renewable energy programme, the EU replied in relation to the Strategic
Environmental Assessment[13] and its implementation in Ireland:

In 2008, the Commission launched infringement proceedings against 11


Member States, including Ireland. The case against that Member State falls
into two parts. First, it relates to Irelands failure to subject its National
Development Plan for 2007-2013 to a prior environmental assessment.
Second, there are several conformity issues with respect to Irish legislation
purporting to transpose the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive: (i)
Articles 2(a) and 3(2), (3), (5), (6) and (7) in as much as Irish legislation does
not cover all categories of plan and programme or modifications of them or
does not cover them correctly; (ii) Article 6 in as much as the Irish
legislation fails to provide for consultation of all relevant environmental
authorities and the provisions for consulting the public are too limited;
and (iii) Article 5 as there is inadequate provisions for consulting
environmental authorities on the content of environmental reports.

The Commission sent its reasoned opinion on 3 November 2009 and Ireland
replied on 5 February 2010. The new legislation adopted by Ireland on 3 May
2011, the Planning and Development (Strategic Environmental Assessment)

(Amendment) Regulations 2011 (SI 201 of 2011) has yet to be evaluated by


the Commission and indeed Ireland has not even notified it officially to the
Commission.
Indeed, if one considers S.I. No. 200 of 2011[14], as it states itself it has the
aim of making plans, reports and decisions more accessible for public
inspection, including on the website of the competent authority. However, it
does not cure the chronic deficiency of the current legislation, in that it does
not in any way ensure that the public concerned is informed in an adequate,
timely and effective manner. Furthermore, the European Court has already
made it clear in Commission v Ireland in case C-427/07 in relation to access
to justice[15],

In that regard, the obligation to make available to the public practical


information on access to administrative and judicial review procedures laid
down in the sixth paragraph of Article 10a of Directive 85/337, inserted by
Article 3(7) of Directive 2003/35, and in the sixth paragraph of Article 15a of
Directive 96/61, inserted by Article 4(4) of Directive 2003/35, amounts to an
obligation to obtain a precise result which the Member States must
ensure is achieved.

In the absence of any specific statutory or regulatory provision concerning


information on the rights thus offered to the public, the mere availability,
through publications or on the internet, of rules concerning access to
administrative and judicial review procedures and the possibility of access to
court decisions cannot be regarded as ensuring, in a sufficiently clear
and precise manner, that the public concerned is in a position to be
aware of its rights on access to justice in environmental matters.
Indeed, time and time again the European Court has ruled against Ireland in
that as regards Community Legislation, there is an obligation to obtain a
precise result which the Member States must ensure is achieved. This
obligation extends to public authorities, such as Eirgrid as a semi-state
company. However, when Eirgrid completed the Grid 25 Strategic
Environmental Assessment, they failed to ensure the participation of the
public affected. As the Environmental Report documents, only 22 submissions
were received and responded to; of which only three, including that of the
Author, could be attributed to the public.
We now have the situation in November 2013, where right across the country,
the public concerned in the regions where this infrastructure is to be built are
only finding out for the first time what is planned for their area. Naturally, there
is complete outrage, which not only Eirgrid is now aware of, but will also be
self-evident from the content of other Submissions. However, from a legal
perspective, what is clear is that Eirgrid failed to comply with its obligations to
informed the public concerned in an adequate, timely and effective manner.
It is not that the public concerned did not want to participate on the Grid25
decision-making, they were just not aware of what it was and what it was
about.

4.3 Failure to take due account of the outcome


of the public participation in the decisionmaking
The Aarhus Convention requires for both public participation in decision on
individual projects and plans and programmes related to the environment that:

Each Party shall ensure that in the decision due account is taken of the
outcome of the public participation.
Page 158 of the Aarhus Convention: An Implementation Guide [16] further
defines that

The obligation to take into account public participation as far as possible


establishes an objectively high standard to show in a particular case that
public comments have been seriously considered.

It is implicit in Article 6, paragraph 8, that any failure to take due account of


the outcome of public participation is a procedural violation that may
invalidate the decision. In appropriate circumstances a member of the public
whose comments were not duly taken into account will be able to challenge
the final decision in an administrative or judicial proceeding on this basis
under Article 9, paragraph 2. It is therefore very important that authorities pay
serious attention to the requirement that due account be taken of the outcome
of public participation.
In Section 15 of S.I. No. 435 of 2004, it is stated:
The competent authority shall take account of:
(a) the environmental report,
(b) any submission or observation made to the competent authority in
response to a notice under article 13, and
(c) any consultations under article 14, during the preparation of the plan or
programme, or modification to a plan or programme, and before its adoption.
As regards the development of the Grid25 Strategic Environmental
[17]
Assessment, the Author made a concise Submission
during its
development phase. In his submission the issues raised included that; no
Strategic Environmental Assessment had been completed for the renewable
energy programme; there was a failure to comply with the legal binding
requirements in relation to public participation; a failure to quantify the
environmental objective of Grid25 and in particular to quantify the expected
greenhouse gas savings and the alternatives to reach them and finally the
presence of the on-going recourse (or Communication) at the UNECE
Compliance Committee in relation to the non-compliance of the National
Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP). On Section 2 point 2.4 of the

subsequent finalised Environmental Report it is stated with regard to


Submission No. 4 Pat Swords;

Comments on the undertaking of environmental assessment or otherwise of


other policies, plans, programmes or projects is not within the scope of this
report.

The type and extent of future renewable energy projects is unknown and
therefore it is not realistic to quantify impacts upon greenhouse gas
emissions.
From a logical perspective, one can only conclude that the environmental
effects of doubling the network of high voltage lines to accommodate wind
energy should be analysed cumulatively with the effects of the windfarms per
se. For without the NREAP, there would be no need for Grid 25. It is a whole,
and its combined negative effects must be balanced against its benefits as a
whole. Indeed, one can also conclude that apart from a target pulled out of a
hat, which will likely be increased later on by another target also pulled out of
a hat, we dont know how many windfarms we really want to have in the end,
and by way of consequence, we havent got a clue of their effects on the
environment, positive or negative. This is the way we conduct our energy
policy, facilitated by the likes of Eirgrid, who flatly refuse to provide any
environmental information to quantify the objectives of programmes of
enormous scale, financial cost and environmental impact.
However, from a legal perspective, with regards to comments on other
policies, plans, programmes or projects not being within the scope of their
Grid25 report, this is simply ludicrous given that the very same NREAP in
Section 2.5.5 of the Grid25 Environmental Report was part of the Context for
the Implementation Programme and in Section 5.5.3 was part of the
Strategic Environmental Objectives. Indeed, as previously mentioned, the
NREAP repeatedly referenced Grid25 and its implementation.
So Eirgrid trivialised the public participation and failed to take due account of
the outcome of this public participation in its final decision in adopting Grid25.

4.4 Failure to provide for early public


participation, when all options are open and
effective public participation can take place
The Aarhus Convention requires for both individual projects and plans and
programmes related to the environment that public authorities shall ensure;
early public participation, when all options are open and effective public
participation can take place.
However, this did not occur with regard to the renewable energy programme
in Ireland and these and other failures in relation to the public participation
and access to information, led to a Communication from an Irish citizen,
namely the author Pat Swords, being accepted by the United Nations
Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Aarhus Convention Compliance

Committee. As Ireland was not then a Party to the Convention on Access to


Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in
Environmental Matters, the Communication ACCC/C/2010/54 was accepted in
relation to the EU as a Party.
On the 16th August 2012 the Compliance Committee issued its findings and
recommendations[18], in relation to compliance by the EU with the terms of
Convention, which applied to the implementation of the Renewable Energy
Programme in Ireland. The Committee determined that the EU did not comply
with the provisions of the Aarhus Convention in connection with its 20%
renewable energy by 2020 programme (Directive 2009/28/EC) and its
implementation throughout the 27 Member States by the National Renewable
Energy Action Plans (NREAPs), namely:
By not having in place a proper regulatory framework and / or clear
instructions to implement Article 7 of the Convention with respect to the
adoption of NREAPs by Member States on the basis of Directive 2009/28/EC
has failed to comply with Article 7 of the Convention;
By not having properly monitored the implementation by Ireland of Article 7
of the Convention in the adoption of Irelands NREAP also has failed to
comply with Article 7 of the Convention;
By not having in place a proper regulatory framework and / or clear
instructions to implement Article 7 of the Convention with respect to the
adoption of NREAPs by Member States on the basis of Directive 2009/28/EC
has failed to comply also with Article 3, paragraph 1, of the Convention;
The Compliance Committee has therefore recommended that the EU is now
required to put in place the necessary measures, such that they ensure that
the arrangements for public participation in a Member State are transparent
and fair and that within those arrangements the necessary information is
provided to the public. In addition, such a regulatory framework and / or clear
instructions must ensure that the requirements of the Convention are met, in
relation to reasonable time-frames, allowing for sufficient time for informing
the public and for the public to prepare and participate effectively, allowing for
early public participation when all options are open, and ensuring that due
account is taken of the outcome of the public participation. Note: These
measures above relate to compliance with Article 7 of the Convention. Article
7 is less specific than a Strategic Environmental Assessment, the necessary
information being understood in the context of effective participation rather
than a defined environmental report. However, the scope of Article 7 is
broader than that of the Strategic Environmental Assessment.
Therefore, with regard to the NREAP which incorporated the implementation
of Grid25, it did not ensure that public participation occurred when all options
are open. To clarify as to the development of the NREAP, the 2007 Energy
Policy Framework which predated it stated:

3.4.6. The Government is committed to delivering a significant growth in


renewable energy as a contribution to fuel diversity in power generation with a
2020 target of 33% of electricity consumption. Wind energy will provide the
pivotal contribution to achieving this target.
3.4.8. Underpinning the Strategic Goals to enhance the diversity of fuels for
power generation the following actions are underway or planned:

We will achieve 33% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by


2020 through support for research, development, commercialisation, and
technology transfer as well as grid connections and planning issues for
offshore wind, ocean technology and biomass;

We will, together with the NI Authorities, set an all-island 2020 renewables


target during 2007 informed by the All-Island Grid Study;

We will ensure the necessary transmission system planning and development


in support of renewables by EirGrid and SONI and the Regulators in the allisland framework;
3.9.5. Actions:

We will progressively achieve 33% of our electricity consumption from


renewable sources by 2020 with 15% the target for 2010;
This Energy Policy Framework did not comply with either Article 7 of the
Convention or the Strategic Environmental Assessment. As Eirgrids own
website states in relation to The All-Island Grid Study which followed on from
this 2007 Energy Policy Framework:

In January 2008 the Energy Minister Eamon Ryan and his Northern
counterpart Nigel Dodds, published the All-Island Grid Study, the most
advanced and comprehensive of its kind in the world. The study examines: a
range of generation portfolios for Ireland; the ability of the power system to
handle various amounts of electricity from renewable sources; the investment
levels required, and the positive externalities that would accrue with regard to
climate change and security of supply[19].
Following the publishing of this study, through the mechanisms of the 2008
carbon budget:

Minister for Environment, John Gormley T.D. has announced a revised


ambitious target for renewable penetration in the electricity sector. The new
target of 40% is a significant increase from the previous goal of 33% and
exceeds considerably both current EU targets of 20% and the UKs current
target of 15%.

The Minister said: One of the most effective ways of reducing our national
greenhouse gas emissions is to generate as much electricity as possible from
renewable sources rather than from fossil fuels. The previous Government

adopted a target that 33% of electricity consumed would be from renewable


sources by 2020. Today I can confirm that the Government has now agreed,
on the recommendation of my colleague, the Minister for Communications,
Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan, T.D. to increase this target to
40%. The target is underpinned by analysis conducted in the recent All Island
Grid Study which found that a 40% penetration is technically feasible, subject
to upgrading our electricity grid and ensuring the development of flexible
generating plant on the electricity system.
No public participation occurred on this increase in the renewable target, let
alone compliance with Article 7 of the Convention or the Directive on Strategic
Environmental Assessment.
In the case of the NREAP, which according to the requirement of Article 4 of
Directive 2009/28/EC, was notified to the EU Commission on the 30 th June
2010, the limited and totally inadequate public consultation occurred on the
11th to 25th June 2010. As Una Dioxin of the Department of Communications,
Energy and Natural Resources stated in her affidavit of the 7 th March 2013 in
Swords v Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
2012 No. 920/JR:

I say and believe Mr Swords is mistaken in his contention that the NREAP
decided policy on wind energy. I say that new renewable projects cannot be
built without a grid connection and the process for ensuring sufficient grid
connection to meet the 2020 target and the type of renewable technology
concerned was decided well in advance of and before the submission of
Irelands NREAP in July 2010.
As the draft Grid25 Implementation Programme Strategic Environmental
Assessment documents, it was dated March 2011. In other words it was a fait
acompli, no options were open, the type of renewable technology, i.e. almost
predominately wind energy, was decided well in advance, as was process for
ensuring sufficient grid connections.
Grid25 in terms of its legal obligations of effective public participation when all
options were open was a complete farce. Indeed, any competent engineer will
point out how highly inefficient intermittent wind energy is, not least in the
extensive grid connections required. There were a multiple of other
approaches which could have been taken, not least using the other ten
different sources of renewable energy identified in Directive 2009/28/EC and
its 20% renewable energy target, which would have required far less in terms
of grid infrastructure development.
If we refer back to Section 4.2 of this Submission and Article 6 of Directive
2001/42/EC, which in relation to Consultations states:

The authorities referred to in paragraph 3 and the public referred to in


paragraph 4 shall be given an early and effective opportunity within
appropriate time frames to express their opinion on the draft plan or
programme and the accompanying environmental report before the

adoption of the plan or programme or its submission to the legislative


procedure.
The public have never been given an early and effective opportunity to
participate in the decision-making by Eirgrid, who is blatantly running
roughshod over their democratic rights.

5. Current Legal Proceedings in Relation to


the Renewable Energy Programme
Approximately every three years there is a Treaty Conference called the
Meeting of the Parties, where the circa. 45 countries, which have ratified the
Aarhus Convention, convene. In preparation for the June 2014 Meeting of the
Parties, the Compliance Committee wrote to the EU in July 2013 enquiring as
to what progress had been made on its recommendations [20]. The reply
demonstrated that no progress has been achieved on the recommendation
and no progress is envisaged.
The Compliance Committee has prepared, following its meeting in September
2013, its draft compliance report and has issued it for comment to the EU and
the Author. It will finalise this report at its December 2013 meeting and publish
it in advance of the Meeting of the Parties. The following are the conclusions
of that draft report:
10. In its update, the Party concerned stated that the Commission has taken
due note of the findings and recommendations of the ACCC concerning
compliance by the European Union with provisions of the Convention in
connection with the Irish National Renewable Energy Action Plan and the
Commission is preparing letters addressed to all EU Member States,
informing them of the findings and reminding them to respect the provisions of
the Aarhus Convention on public participation should the need to submit an
amended National Energy Action Plan arise.
11. In its comments on the Party concerneds update, the communicant
expressed doubts as to whether the Party concerned was implementing the
recommendations of the Committee.
12. The Committee welcomes the preparation of letters to the Member States
by the Party concerned. However, the Committee is concerned as to whether
such letters will provide a proper regulatory framework and/or clear
instructions for implementing article 7 of the Convention with respect to the
adoption of NREAPs. The Committee is also concerned that it remains
unclear how the Party concerned will adapt the manner in which it evaluates
NREAPs in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee.
13. At its forty-second meeting (24-27 September 2013), the Committee
concluded the draft of the present report and recommendations. The draft
was then sent to the Party concerned and the communicant for their
comments. [Both provided comments]. The Committee, considering the

comments submitted, adopted the report and recommendations [using its


electronic decision-making procedure][at its forty-third meeting (17-20
December 2013)] and agreed to submit it to the Meeting of the Parties.
14. The Committee recommends to the Meeting of the Parties, pursuant to
paragraph 35 of the annex to decision I/7 and taking into account the cause
and degree of non-compliance and measures taken by the Party concerned in
the intersessional period, to:
(a) Endorse the findings and recommendations of the Committee as adopted
at its thirty-seventh meeting;
(b) Welcome the efforts made by the Party concerned in the preparation of
letters to the Member States.
(c) Express its concern to the Party concerned as to whether such letters will
provide a proper regulatory framework and/or clear instructions for
implementing article 7 of the Convention with respect to the adoption of
NREAPs and that it remains unclear how the Party concerned will adapt the
manner in which it evaluates NREAPs in accordance with the
recommendations of the Committee.
(d) Invite the Party concerned to submit to the Committee periodically (in July
2014, July 2015 and July 2016) detailed information on further progress in
implementing the recommendations set out above;
(e) Undertake to review the situation at its sixth session.
It is relevant to consider the position of the Compliance Committee and the
endorsement of their findings by the Meeting of the Parties within the context
of International Law. In Communication ACCC/C/2005/17 in relation to
compliance by the European Community, the Compliance Committee in their
findings ECE/MP.PP/2008/5/Add.10[21] recorded in paragraph 58:
The Committee notes the point made by the Party concerned (para. 23) that
under European Community law, an international agreement concluded by
the Community is binding on the Community institutions and the Member
States, and takes precedence over legal acts adopted by the Community.
According to the Party concerned, this means that Community law texts
should be interpreted in accordance with such an agreement. In this context,
the Committee wishes to stress that the fact that an international agreement
may be given a superior rank to directives and other secondary legislation in
European Community law should not be taken as an excuse for not
transposing the Convention through a clear, transparent and consistent
framework into European Community law (cf. article 3, paragraph 1, of the
Convention).
According to the case law of the European Court of Justice, a provision of an
international treaty is directly applicable[22]: when, regard being had to its
wording and to the purpose and nature of the agreement, the provision
contains a clear and precise obligation which is not subject, in its
implementation or effects, to the adoption of any subsequent measure
Furthermore, the case-law of the Arhus Convention Compliance Committee
and the adoption of its decision by the Meeting of the Parties provides for

relevant legal custom under international law, specifying the broad provisions
of the Aarhus Convention. Ireland has already been made aware of the
position of mixed agreements and their position in Community legal order at
the European Court in Case C-13/00 for failing to comply with the Berne
Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Act of 24
July 1971)[23].

Mixed agreements concluded by the Community, its Member States and nonmember countries have the same status in the Community legal order as
purely Community agreements, as these are provisions coming within the
scope of Community competence. It follows that, in ensuring respect for
commitments arising from an agreement concluded by the Community
institutions, the Member States fulfil, within the Community system, an
obligation in relation to the Community, which has assumed responsibility for
the due performance of the agreement. The Berne Convention creates rights
and obligations in areas covered by Community law, with the result that there
is a Community interest in ensuring that all Contracting Parties to the
Agreement on the European Economic Area adhere to that Convention.
As Article 15 of the Aarhus Convention document, arrangements have been
established for reviewing compliance with the provisions of this Convention.
As the EU and the Irish State has demonstrated complete contempt for these
arrangements and those of the Directive on Strategic Environmental
Assessment, these matters are now the subject of legal proceedings by the
Author against the State in the High Court. It is interesting to observe what
can only be described as the petulance of the State, who already in evidence
presented by their Senior Counsel in the hearing on the preliminary issues on
Swords v Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in
April 2012 in front of the President of the High Court Justice Kearns, stated
that the matters raised and the findings of the Compliance Committee were all
nonsense. Indeed with regard to these findings [24], in particular Points 80 to
85:

83. Nevertheless, with respect to the consultation with the public conducted
by Ireland the Committee finds that it was conducted within a very short time
frame, namely two weeks. Public participation under article 7 of the
Convention must meet the standards of the Convention, including article 6,
paragraph 3, of the Convention, which requires reasonable time frames. A two
week period is not a reasonable time frame for the public to prepare and
participate effectively, taking into account the complexity of the plan or
programme (see findings on communication ACCC/C/2006/16 (Lithuania),
ECE/MP.PP/2008/5/Add.6, para. 69). The manner in which the public was
informed of the fact that public consultation was going to take place remains
unclear; neither the Party concerned nor the communicant provided clarity on
the matter. The Committee furthermore points out that a targeted consultation
involving selected stakeholders, including NGOs, can usefully complement
but not substitute for proper public participation, as required by the
Convention.
The State is now in its legal proceedings denying these findings and that the

two week consultation, conducted without the necessary environmental


information and without taking due account of the public participation in the
final decision, was adequate and in compliance with the Convention. Indeed it
is worth pointing out with regard to the situation of International Law, the
Committee referenced above in relation to the NREAP consultation in Ireland
its previous findings in relation to ACCC/C/2006/16 (Lithuania). These findings
were then endorsed by the Meeting of the Parties in Riga in 2008,
ECE/MP.PP/2008/2/Add.12 [25], with regard to 10 working days (i.e. two
weeks) being inadequate with respect to public participation. Note: In the
Lithuanian case this was for a landfill project, which while complex, is
nowhere near as complex as a national renewable energy programme for
some 7,145 MW of wind energy (circa. three thousand turbines) and a
doubling of the grid by some 5,000 km of high voltage lines.
Following the hearing of preliminary matters brought forward by the State to
quash the relevant proceedings on the initial High Court Judicial Review
proceedings, by order of the President of the High Court of the 16 April 2013,
leave has been given to commence plenary summons proceedings in
substitution for the application for Judicial Review. The following claims are
being made:

A declaration that the Defendants have, in contravention of the Convention on


Access To Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to
Justice in Environmental Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998
(the Aarhus Convention) and in contravention of the law of the European
Union failed to adopt a proper regulatory framework for implementation of
Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention.

In addition to 1 above, a declaration that the Defendants have ,in


contravention of the Convention on Access To Information, Public
Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental
Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998 (the Aarhus
Convention) and in contravention of the law of the European Union and in
contravention of the law of the State, failed, to have in place proper public
participatory procedures, contrary to Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention. Such
framework would provide, in accordance with the requirements of Article 6 of
the Aarhus Convention (and in accordance with the law of the European
Union and of the State) reasonable time frames allowing sufficient time for
informing the public to prepare and participate effectively.

A declaration that (a) the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP)
submitted by Ireland purportedly pursuant to Article 4 of Directive 2009/28/EC
to the Commission of the European Union and (b) the Renewable Energy
Feed In Tariff (REFIT) scheme; and or (c) the Energy Policy Framework 2007
2020 (collectively the plans or programmes) were adopted in
contravention of the Convention on Access To Information, Public
Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental
Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998 (the Aarhus
Convention) and in contravention of the law of the European Union and of
the law of the State. In addition and consequently a Declaration that the plans

and programmes at (a) to (c) above are null and void and of no legal effect.
1

A declaration that the Defendants have, in the circumstances complained of in


these proceedings, failed to take such necessary legislative, regulatory and or
other measures, to ensure proper and adequate implementation of the
provisions of the Aarhus Convention.

A declaration that the Defendants have in contravention of Articles 4 and 5 of


the Aarhus Convention (and by reason of the breach of Article 7 set out
above) and contrary to the law of the European Union failed to provide access
to information requested by the Applicant concerning the NREAP adopted by
the Defendant.

In the alternative and in the event that it is held that the above matters are not
justiciable or that this Honourable Court may make no order(s) in respect
thereof, a declaration that the law, rules and procedures in the State
concerning the complaints made by the Plaintiff have, contrary to Article 9 of
the Aarhus Convention and/or contrary to Article 47 of the Charter of
Fundamental Rights of the European Union (in respect of a matter within the
scope of the law of the European Union and concerning the rights enshrined
by Articles 37, 41 and 42 of the Charter) failed to provide the Plaintiff with an
effective remedy.

An order prohibiting the Defendants from relying upon the plans and
programmes set out at paragraph 3 hereof insofar as the said plans and
programmes may inform any decisions made concerning the Defendants or
third parties until such time as the same plans and programmes (or any new
iterations thereof) conform to the requirements of the Aarhus Convention and
the law of the European Union.

An order directing that in so far as the Defendant adopts or implements the


said plans or programmes Defendant it does so in compliance with the
Aarhus Convention and, inter alia: (a) providing access to all relevant
information about the said plans or programmes; (b) providing adequate
arrangements for public participation in the adoption of the said plans of
programmes; (c) taking due account of the public participation in the adoption
of the final plan or programme; (d) carrying out a Strategic Environmental
Assessment according to Directive 2001/42/EC;

A declaration that the Defendants have in respect of the adoption of NREAPs


and by choosing to incorporate a process for participation contained in
Directive 2009/28/EC as opposed to Directive 2001/42/EC failed to comply
with the law of the European Union and of the State.

A protective Costs Order in respect of the Plaintiffs costs to be made at an


interlocutory stage of the proceedings.

An order providing the Plaintiff with an Order for Costs of the within
proceedings and in respect of proceedings between the parties under record
number 2012 No.920 JR.

Essentially the above relates to an injunction on the national renewable


energy programme until such time as the Directive on Strategic Environmental
Assessment and Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention have been complied with.
The use of the mechanisms of Plenary Summons was based on the
conclusions of President of the High Court in April 2013 that the Convention
did apply in Ireland since its ratification by the EU in 2005, despite a previous
ruling by Justice Hedigan in Klohn -v- An Bord Pleanla [2011] IEHC 196 that
it did not, and that as Article 7 of the Convention was not time limited, it would
not be appropriate to continue with the implementation of the national
renewable energy programme up to 2020, if indeed it was determined that the
relevant procedures related to public participation in Community legal order
had not been complied with. These Plenary Summons proceedings are
currently on-going and expected to be brought before the High Court again
early in the New Year

6. Conclusion
This Submission clearly documents the utter ignorance that Eirgrid has shown
for the legal framework on public participation in decision-making, not least by
failing to adequately inform the public concerned, failing to ensure effective
public participation when all options are open and failing to take due account
of the public participation in their final decision-making. In addition to the legal
ignorance in relation to the rights of the citizen, one can only marvel at the
brazenness of Eirgrid which clearly believes that Irish citizens are going to
tolerate some 5,000 km of unnecessary high voltage lines, at a cost of more
than 4 billion added to their bills.
There are legal mechanisms; Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention on public
participation on plans and programmes related to the environment is both
clear in the necessary obligations on public authorities and in that it is not time
limited.

[1] http://www.epaw.org/organisation.php?lang=en&country=Ireland
[2] http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?
documentid=78&articleid=1163

[3] http://www.unece.org/env/pp/introduction.html
[4] http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?
src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVII-13&chapter=27&lang=en
[5] See Section on Article 7 in EU Implementation Report to UNECE:
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2008/pp/mop3/ece_mp_
pp_ir_2008_EC_e.pdf

[6]
http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/doc/nreap__adoptedversion__30_june
_en.pdf

[7] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?
uri=CELEX:62009CC0105:EN:NOT
[8] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?
uri=CELEX:62011CJ0041:EN:NOT

[9] http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Correspondence%20with
%20communicant/Response_08.01.2012/frCommC54LetterIrishAd2ECreNRE
AP.pdf
[10] http://www.ocei.gov.ie/en/Decisions/Decisions-of-the-Commissioner/MrPat-Swords-Department-of-Communications,-Energy-and-NaturalResources.html

[11] http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2004/en/si/0435.html
[12] http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Environmental%20Main

%20Report.pdf
[13] http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Correspondence%20with%20Party%20concerned/Response
%2028%20June%202011/frComRESPONSE.pdf

[14] http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2011/en/si/0200.html
[15]http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?

text=&docid=72488&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&di
r=&occ=first&part=1&cid=172902
[16] Second Edition of Aarhus Convention: An Implementation Guide:
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/ppdm/Aarhus_Implementation_G
uide_second_edition_-_text_only.pdf

[17] Submission No. 4: http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Environmental%20Main


%20Report.pdf
[18] See UNECE webpage on Communication ACCC/C/2010/54:
http://www.unece.org/env/pp/compliance/Compliancecommittee/54TableEU.ht
ml
[19] In fact the last sentence is highly inaccurate, the positive external costs,
such as avoided environmental degradation, were never assessed or
quantified. Neither was a proper study completed of grid stability, i.e. security
of supply.

[20] See documentation at end of webpage:


http://www.unece.org/env/pp/compliance/Compliancecommittee/54TableEU.ht
ml

[21]http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2008/pp/mop3/ece_
mp_pp_2008_5_add_10_e.pdf

[22] C-240/09 (Lesoochranrske zoskupenie VLK) para 44:


http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf;jsessionid=9ea7d2dc30db
035be8a7137b463ab230af24e9cba277.e34KaxiLc3qMb40Rch0SaxuMaN10?
text=&docid=80235&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&pa
rt=1&cid=83250

[23] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?
uri=CELEX:62000CJ0013:EN:HTML

[24] http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Findings/ece_mp.pp_c.1_2012_12_eng.pdf

[25]http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/mop3/ODS/ece_mp_pp_200
8_2_add_12_e_Lith.pdf

The Minister Must Resign


Posted on September 26, 2016
by Neil van Dokkum

.entry-meta

A convention is essentially a custom or tradition


that has become so entrenched that it is obeyed
almost as if it was a law.
.
The convention of individual ministerial
responsibility requires that a minister be
personally answerable to the Oireachtas for the
exercise of power. The convention arises out of the
democratic principle that only elected officials, and
not the public-service workers (civil servants) who
assist them in formulating policy and administering
programs, should be held accountable for the
functioning of Government. In other words, the
errant civil servant was not elected into the job, and
therefore cannot be voted out. Accordingly, the
Minister as elected official must carry the can and
resign when he no longer deserves the publics
confidence because of maladministration on his
watch.
.
This means that if waste, corruption, or any other
misbehaviour is found to have occurred within a
ministry, the minister is responsible even if the
minister had no knowledge of the actions. A minister
is ultimately responsible for all actions by a ministry
because, even without knowledge of an infraction
by subordinates, the minister approved the hiring

and continued employment of those civil servants. If


misdeeds are found to have occurred in a ministry,
the minister is expected to resign.
.
In its traditional form, the convention even demands
that a minister should face criminal charges for any
criminal conduct under his watch.
.
The principle is considered essential, as it is seen to
guarantee that an elected official is answerable for
every single government decision. It is also
important to motivate ministers to closely scrutinize
the activities within their departments. One rule
coming from this principle is that each cabinet
member answers for their own ministry in the Dails
question time. The reverse of ministerial
responsibility is that civil servants are not supposed
to take credit for the successes of their department,
allowing the government to claim them. Ministers
are always very quick to poach this praise as their
own, but this means they should be as quick to
accept the axe when somebody in their department
messes up.
.
The issue has arisen with the scandal that has
erupted over the handling of Waterfords University
Hospital and the refusal to provide the hospital with

a second cardiac unit based upon an amended risk


rating where it is apparent to even a non-medical
layperson that such a unit is desperately needed.
.
In case you do not know the story, I quote todays
Independent:
Garda are to be asked to investigate how a
critical change in University Hospital
Waterfords (UHW) key risk rating assessment
was made.
The alteration, which was made outside Waterford
and without the knowledge of UHW clinicians, is
feared to have been a critical component in the
subsequent decision by an independent expert not
to sanction an expansion of strategic cardiac
services at Ardkeen.
The Waterford hospital now faces the loss of key
cardiac services and potential funding to Dublin and
Cork.
Campaigner and European Parliament candidate
Kieran Hartley confirmed he is to lodge a formal
complaint with Waterford garda today once he has
obtained legal advice.
This isnt just an issue of public safety, though
clearly it has huge significance in that regard, he
said.
This also potentially amounts to deception because

a critical public health document was changed


without reference to the people responsible for
compiling it.
My understanding is that the person believed to
have made the temporary data change did not have
the authority to do it.
Experts stressed that a risk rating is arguably the
single most important data assessed for a hospital.
The hospital board said it was appalled at the
temporary change in critical cardiac risk
assessment data.
One medic said such a change was absolutely
unprecedented and queried its timing.
.
It remains to be seen whether the DPP considers
that the unauthorised alteration of the Risk Register
was a criminal offence. If this is answered in the
affirmative, then on a strict reading of the
convention the Minister should face criminal
charges. This is unlikely to happen, but at the very
least the Minister should still bear political
responsibility for the actions of senior officials in his
Department.
.
Today ministers frequently use ignorance of
misbehaviour as an argument for lack of culpability,
but I would argue that in the instance of Minister

Simon Harris and the actions of his department, this


is not applicable as the Minister acted directly upon
the product of the malfeasance, namely the
unauthorised tampering of the risk register. Whilst
Minister Harris was not aware of this tampering,
nonetheless he used the reduced risk setting to
justify not providing Waterford with a second cardiac
unit. This was not a malfeasance that was distantly
removed from the Minister, it directly determined his
actions and consequently he was under a higher
duty to ensure the accuracy of the information upon
which he acted.

Open letter to IWEA (and


Messrs White and Coffey)
Posted on January 31, 2016

The practice of lobbying government Ministers and


other influential members of a ruling party is
regarded by many as an integral part of our process
of democracy.
Those in favour would argue that politicians should
look to be educated in specialist areas, and who
better to educate them than those in the business?
Their staff should prepare comprehensive briefings
based on that research. The idealists would argue
that they should look to non-politically affiliated
experts where those are available.
.
Similarly, there is the argument that politicians

should be elected based on their policy positions.


Citizens should be aware of what their government
is working on and should communicate their
positions on these issues to their elected
representatives. Citizens should receive the kind of
education and free flow of information that allow
them to effectively argue their interests in our
democracy.
In theory these arguments sound perfectly logical
and reasonable. That is because the practice is
very different from the theory.
Firstly, certain parts of society (i.e. money) are
privileged in their access to politicians, and are
therefore able to flood politicians offices with
information, usually accomapnied by a campaign
sweetener. Most ordinary people are too busy
trying to earn a living to be able to keep informed on
current issues and debates, let alone attempt to
influence them.
Secondly, in this country the elections are
essentially populist in nature. Politicians get elected
because they seem to be a good guy to have a pint
with, or because they come from a certain family or
have close links with the GAA. Policy be damned.
Finally, where policy is concerned, most research is
conducted by somebody with a vested interest, and
politicians and their staffs often have priorities that

have nothing to do with anyones expertise on a


topic. In the end its about votes. When a politician
is newly elected and so is early in his or her term,
they might show their true colours and pursue
policies that they believe in, or at least that the chief
whip believes in. When the next election looms, its
every man for himself and its all about conning the
voter and collecting popular votes no time for
policy.

Lobbyist from Big Wind here to see you, Senator.

Be that as it may, IWEA is an active lobbyist


pushing the interests of the wind industry, which is
about maintaining or increasing the subsidies that
they receive for generating (or usually for not

generating) electricity from wind. They circulated


this letter (http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?
u=cb704cdc738babe2fa1004335&id=3f35e0e696&
e=6c01c95ced) to their members, urging them to
lobby Ministers Alex White and Paudey Coffey.
Whether they intended this letter to go out on the
internet is a moot point, because it is on the
internet, and has been in the public domain for
some time now, which is why I can use it in my blog.
.
Given the current hostile sentiments towards wind
farms from a large proportion of the Irish public,
whether that be for aesthetic, environmental or
financial reasons, the good Ministers probably want
to steer clear of this one, and continue with their
original legislative intent. After all, the election is just
around the corner.
.
And what are IWEA hoping to achieve? This excerpt
from their letter is a clue:
.
The Oireachtas led by Minister of State at the
Department of the Environment, Paudie Coffey TD
today tabled a Statutory Instrument (SI) on the
Planning and Development (Amendment)
Regulations 2016. The Statutory Instrument, while

almost entirely focused on Irish Water, contains an


amendment (below) which seeks to directly legislate
for the OGrianna Judgement. We believe this
change will potentially have serious implications for
the grid connection of wind energy projects, which
were availing of the exemption set out below.
.
IWEA has written urgently to Minister Coffey,
Minister White, and contacted their officials to seek
urgent direct engagement on the possible
consequences of this legislation, which as we
understand has not yet been signed into force by
the Minister of State. IWEA is also working to clarify
the impacts of this legislation on planning
requirements for overhead and underground grid
connection and its impacts for Exempted
Development requirements.
.
Whether this urgent direct engagement is a
euphemism for derailing the legislative process or
undermining the democratic process is not clear
from the letter, but what IWEA is seeking is to
minimise the impact of the OGrianna judgment,
where the High Court (Peart J.) was satisfied that
the proposed wind farms connection to the national
grid was an integral part of the overall development
of which the construction of the turbines was the

first part. The wind farm on its own serves no


function if it cannot be connected to the national
grid. In that way, the connection to the national grid
is fundamental to the entire project, and therefore
the cumulative effect of both phases must be
assessed by the accompanying EIS in order to
comply with the Directive.
.
This proposed amendment is effectively confirming
that project-splitting is not allowed.
.
One must wonder why IWEA are pushing this so
hard, as An Bord Pleanala is bound by the
OGrianna judgment in any event. In addition to that,
an earlier amendment to the Planning and
Development Act of 2000 has made it clear that any
development that requires an EIS cannot be
exempted. This point is made by Francis Clauson in
his open letter to the IWEA:
Brendan Heneghan
Interim Chief Executive
Irish Wind Energy Association
CC: Ministers Alex White and Paudie Coffey
Dear Mr Heneghan,
With reference to the letter that your organisation
has circulated to its members; IWEA is somewhat
naive if they believe that trying to persuade our

government to not codify the OGrianna judgment


will somehow rescue Irish wind farms from their
current legal and financial predicament.
.
The purpose of Statutory Instrument (SI) on the
Planning and Development (Amendment)
Regulations 2016 is to clarify what is already
present in primary legislation.
.
The clarification of Class 26 and 27 exemptions is
purely to help developers and planners in
determining if an exemption is possible.
.
The Planning and Development Act (PDA 2000)
already provides that any development that requires
an Environmental Impact Statement (EIA) cannot
be granted exemption from obtaining planning
permission.
.
S17 of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions)
Act 2011 amended section 4 of PDA 2000:
Notwithstanding paragraphs (a), (i), (ia) and (l) of
subsection (1) and any regulations under
subsection (2) , development shall not be exempted
development if an environmental impact
assessment or an appropriate assessment of the
development is required.

.
It is also worth noting that roughly thirty years ago
the Supreme Court in its judgment of Dillon v. Irish
Cement Ltd. (unreported, 26 November 1986)
described planning exemption as a privilege and
that the legal burden rests with the respondent to
demonstrate grounds for exemption:
I am not satisfied that this case comes within Class
34 as an exemption. I am satisfied that in construing
the provisions of the Exemption regulations the
appropriate approach for a Court is to look upon
them as being Regulations which put certain users
or proposed development of land into a special and
in a sense privileged category. They permit the
person who has that in mind to do so without being
in the same position as everyone else who seeks to
develop land, namely, subject to the opposition or
views or interests of adjoining owners or persons
concerned with the amenity and general
development of the countryside. To that extent I am
satisfied that these Regulations should by a court
be strictly construed in the sense that for a
developer to put himself within them he must be
clearly and unambiguously within them in regard to
what he proposes to do.
.
Today, the use of these exemptions can be used to

circumvent the Aarhus Treaty, the applicable EU


Directives and corresponding Irish legislation, and
accordingly must continue to be restrictively
applied.
.
There are multiple instances where wind farm
developers have made mistakes (at best) or
attempted to circumvent the planning laws (at
worst). This letter to your members has at least
clarified that IWEA (and accordingly its members) is
well aware of the legal provisions in this respect.
That will be important evidence should any wind
farm seek substitute consent from An Bord
Pleanala, as during their deliberations on
exceptional circumstances as defined in section
177D(2) (b) of the PDA 2000, the Board will have to
consider whether the applicant had or could
reasonably have had a belief that the development
was not unauthorised.
.
It will be difficult for any of your members, indeed
for any wind farm developer, to argue that such a
belief can be held.
.
ABP are already looking at a number of cases
where exemption is being sought. It can be strongly
argued, and your letter reinforces this argument,

that there are no exceptional circumstances to


justify substitute planning permission.
.
Yours sincerely
Francis Clauson.
Hear Hear Francis. I hope that the Ministers
concerned received your message loud and clear,
although the word on the street is that they are both
soon to be ex-Ministers, so perhaps they dont give
a monkeys?
Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit)
Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving
in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that
Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from
1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate
of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister)
in 1992. He published three books in South Africa
on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as
being published in numerous national and
international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently
specialises in employment law, medical negligence
law, family law and child protection law. He
dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil
retired from practice in 2002 to take up a full-time
lecturing post. He has published three books since
then, Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005);
Evidence (2007); and Nursing Law for Students
in Ireland (2011). He is an accredited and
practising mediator and is busy writing a book,
with Dr Sinead Conneely, on Mediation in Ireland.
His current interest is Irelands energy policy and
its impact on the people and the environment. He
is also researching the area of disability as a

politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily


married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and
Ian.
Dear Members,
There has been a significant development around the
OGrianna ruling, which IWEA would like ensure Members
are aware of.
The Oireachtas led by Minister of State at the Department
of the Environment, Paudie Coffey TD today tabled a
Statutory Instrument (SI) on the Planning and
Development (Amendment) Regulations 2016. The
Statutory Instrument, while almost entirely focused on
Irish Water, contains an amendment (below) which seeks
to directly legislate for the OGrianna Judgement. We
believe this change will potentially have serious
implications for the grid connection of wind energy
projects, which were availing of the exemption set out
below.
IWEA has written urgently to Minister Coffey, Minister
White, and contacted their officials to seek urgent direct
engagement on the possible consequences of this
legislation, which as we understand has not yet been
signed into force by the Minister of State. IWEA is also
working to clarify the impacts of this legislation on
planning requirements for overhead and underground grid
connection and its impacts for Exempted Development
requirements.
The Amendment as set out is outlined in the red text
below,
SCHEDULE 2 PART 1 Exempted Development General
of the Planning and Development Regulation 2001 (SI 600
of 2001)
Column 1 Description of Development Column 2
Conditions and Limitations
CLASS 26 The carrying out by any electricity undertaking

of development consisting of the laying underground of


mains, pipes, cables or other apparatus for the purposes
of the undertaking
No such development shall be for the purpose of
connecting a project, which requires an environmental
impact assessment or appropriate assessment, to the
national system for transmission or distribution of
electricity. For the purposes of this class, transmission
and distribution in relation to electricity have the
meanings assigned to them by section 2 of the Electricity
Regulation Act 1999 (No. 23 of 1999).
CLASS 27 The carrying out by any electricity undertaking
of development consisting of the construction of over-head
transmission or distribution lines for conducting electricity
at a voltage not exceeding a nominal value of 20kV.
No such development shall be for the purpose of
connecting a project, which requires an environmental
impact assessment or appropriate assessment, to the
national system for transmission or distribution of
electricity. For the purposes of this class, transmission
and distribution in relation to electricity have the
meanings assigned to them by section 2 of the Electricity
Regulation Act 1999.,
IWEA is working directly on this issue and will continue to
keep Members informed on developments. We would
advise Members, where necessary to seek their own
expert advice on this issue.
Yours sincerely,
Brendan Heneghan
Interim Chief Executive
Irish Wind Energy Association
Tel:
+353 (0)45 899341
Fax:
+353 (0)45 854958
Email: brendan@iwea.com
Web:
www.iwea.com
This confidential communication issued by the Irish Wind
Energy Association is intended for the addressee or his/her
authorised servant or agent only. The sender accepts no

responsibility for unauthorised copying or processing of


this transmission by any third party and disclaims any
liability for any loss or damage arising as a result.
Unauthorised recipients are requested to contact the
sender immediately and to destroy this message

Indigenous Wind Energy Saved Ireland


70 Million in Energy Imports Since
January
12 July, 2016
Over a fifth of Irelands electricity has come from wind energy so
far this year
Wind energy has saved Ireland approximately 70 million in foreign
energy imports since the beginning of 2016, a six month period which
saw the indigenous renewable energy source meet over a fifth (22%) of
Irelands entire electricity demand, according to provisional new figures
compiled by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA).
This figure puts Ireland almost on a par with other leading EU Member
States such as Spain where wind energy produced 23.6% of Spains
power in the six month period, and puts Ireland ahead on a percentage
basis of countries such as Germany where, wind and solar contributed
some 20% to their domestic power demand in the first half of 2016.
Commenting on the figures, Brian Dawson, Head of Communications,
IWEA, said:
While its exciting to see wind energy delivering such high levels of
electricity generation, its critically important that we continue to focus
on developing these clean and indigenous energy sources and focus on
reducing our dangerously unsustainable 85% reliance on expensive
fossil fuel imports.
Apart from easing our dependency on fossil fuel imports, wind energy
is delivering real tangible value to electricity consumers, is promoting
significant investment and jobs in our communities, and is helping to
protect our environment for future generations.
Public interest in wind energy as a clean renewable energy for Ireland
is also high. We always encourage people with questions about wind
energy to visit wind farms for themselves, and this June saw 1,500
people young and old visiting local wind farms, seeing the turbines in
action and learning about the benefits of this home-grown Irish energy.
The peak for the period in terms of wind energy production was
recorded on 28th January when wind energy output hit 2132 MW for
Ireland, representing almost 60% of electricity demand at that time.
In addition, the overall level of wind energy capacity in Ireland has just
reached a new all-time record peak of 2,500MW, which has the
potential to create enough electricity to regularly power over 1.6 million
homes nationwide.

Ireland currently imports 85% of its energy, 35% above the European
average, just behind Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg.
A recent national survey carried out by IPSOS/MRBI showed 70% of
people across Ireland supporting wind energy in Ireland, and this
interest in Irish wind energy was further highlighted in June with over
1,500 people visiting wind farms across Ireland and Northern Ireland
throughout the month of June.
2017 will mark 25 years since the first Irish wind farm started generating
electricity in Co. Mayo, and today there are over 200 wind farms
operating in Ireland, with the wind energy sector employing over 3,400
people nationwide, a figure which is projected to grow to over 8,000 by
2020.
End
For more information:
Robert Brown, ReputationInc
Tel: 01 412 0514
Email: rbrown@reputation-inc.com
About IWEA
Established in 1993, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) is the
national body representing the wind energy sector in Ireland. IWEA is
committed to promoting the use of wind energy in Ireland and beyond
as an economically viable and environmentally sound alternative to
conventional generation and promotes awareness and understanding of
wind power as the primary renewable energy resource. IWEA is also
dedicated to education and awareness building, and to building the
skills base of the renewable energy sector in Ireland. IWEA also
supports the development of other renewable technology, particularly
marine energy. IWEA has more than 200 members who incorporate all
leading industry voices in Ireland. IWEA acts as a central point for
information for its membership as well as a voice to promote wind
energy to government. IWEA is entirely self-funded and relies on the
support of its members.
For more information, please visit www.iwea.com
For more information about Irish wind energy visit www.windenergy.ie

A boost from Ireland. Nordex to supply


turbines to 47.5MW wind farm in County
Londonderry
20.07.2016

Hamburg, 20 July 2016. The Nordex Group has landed another order in
Northern Ireland. The manufacturer will be installing 19 N90/2500
turbines for the "Brockaghboy" wind farm in Country Londonderry,
Northern Ireland in spring 2017. This 47.5 MW project, developed by TCI
Renewables, is owned by the Italian power plant operator ERG Renew one of the major European players, with an installed capacity of 1.7 GW in
seven countries.
"We are pleased to have ERG as a customer in this project. This highlights
the fact that Nordex is once again the first choice among large power
plant operators and energy suppliers," said CSO Patxi Landa. For years
now ERG has been operating N90/2500s in Italy and plans to use this
turbine on an 80-metre tubular steel tower at this very high-yield site with
average wind speeds in excess of 9m/s. The turbines certified for IEC 1a
will be operated and maintained under a 10-year Premium (Full Service)
contract from the Nordex service point in Omagh.

About the Nordex group

The Group has installed wind power capacity of more than 18 GW in over
25 markets. In 2015, Nordex and Acciona Windpower recorded combined
sales of EUR 3.4 billion. The Company currently has over 4,800
employees. The production network comprises plants in Germany, Spain,
Brazil, the United States and soon also India. The product range primarily
concentrates on onshore turbines in the 1.5 - 3MW class addressing the
requirements of developed as well as emerging markets.

Tail wind for Nordex in Germany

Hamburg, 14 October 2016. In September, Nordex was awarded six new


contracts with a combined value of around EUR 64 million in its domestic
market, bringing total new business in this region to over EUR 740 million
in the year to date.
Last month, Nordex customers ordered 17 multi-MW turbines. The orders
were dominated by low and medium-wind (IEC 2 and 3) products, in
which Nordex particularly specialises in Germany. I consider the growing
demand for our Delta series to be a good sign. In this way, we are able to
continue the success of our bestseller, the N117/2400, says Jrg Hempel,
who is in charge of Nordexs German business. The Delta series now
accounts for more than 60 percent of the order intake.
The largest single project in September was the Hengeler-Wendfeld wind
farm. This citizen-financed wind farm is composed of seven N131/3300
turbines installed on 134-meter high hybrid towers, thus making optimum
use of the wind in the Mnsterland region.
About Nordex
The Group has installed wind power capacity of around 20 GW in over 25
markets. In 2015, Nordex and Acciona Windpower recorded combined
sales of EUR 3.4 billion. The Company currently has roughly 5,000
employees. The production network comprises plants in Germany, Spain,
Brazil, the United States and India. The product range primarily
concentrates on onshore turbines in the 1.5 - 3.6 MW class addressing the
requirements of developed as well as emerging markets.

http://www.nordex-online.com/index.php?
id=53&L=2&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=2813&tx_ttnews[backPid]=45&cHash=cbae94
fd9b

G20-Summit: Nordex welcomes China and


US move on COP 21s Climate Agreement
China and the USA, two of the most influential economic and political
powers, but also the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG),
agreed, before the G20-Summit in China, to ratify the Paris Climate
Agreement.
Given the dynamics of international politics, this step can be regarded as
an important move towards enforcing the agreement. The Paris
Agreement will come into force when 55 countries that represent 55
percent of global emissions have ratified the treaty. Currently, just 24
countries, representing one percent of global emissions, have so far
ratified the agreement.
To achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement, the global energy sector
needs to be decarbonised from 2050 onwards according to the findings of
the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCCC). In my view, Chinas
and the USAs move is an important step towards protecting our planet
for future generations, says Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, CEO of Nordex.
Wind power is definitely part of the solution to decarbonise the energy
sector. As an industry we stand ready to support a global energy
transition.

http://www.nordex-online.com/index.php?
id=53&L=2&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=2803&tx_ttnews[backPid]=45&cHash=19153
51234

Nordex: N117/3600 and N131/3600 produce


up to a 12% higher yield at sites with
moderate and light winds
20 percent higher rated output
Hamburg, 3 August 2016. At the worlds leading wind fair, Windenergy
Hamburg, which is being held together with the WindEurope Summit in
Hamburg from 27 to 30 September 2016, Nordex will be presenting two
new turbines from its multi-megawatt Generation Delta platform: the
N117/3600 for moderate-wind sites and the N131/3600 for sites with light
winds. Thanks to a 20 percent increase in rated output and sound
emissions of up to max.106.4 decibels, these turbines set new standards
for the economical production of wind energy at moderate and light-wind
sites.
For sites with moderate winds Nordex is launching the N117/3600 with an
installed capacity of 3.6 MW. This gives the turbine a 20% higher-rated
output than its sister model, the N117/3000. For light-wind sites Nordex
has also raised the rated output by 20 percent by introducing the

N131/3600 with an installed capacity of 3.6 MW to its product portfolio.


The higher-rated output of the two turbines has a positive effect on their
annual energy yields. "With these turbines customers can produce an up
to 12 percent higher yield. It is our declared aim to make electricity
production from wind energy increasingly economical by means of our
technical developments. By 2018 we at Nordex want to reduce the cost of
energy by 18 percent. These two turbines represent a major step in this
direction as ultimately they make wind-generated electricity more
profitable," says Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, CEO of Nordex SE.
The sound emissions of the N131/3600 are limited to a max. 106.4 dB(A),
which, due to the higher rotation speed, makes it highly competitive. At
105 dB(A), the N117/3600 has the same sound emissions as the
N117/3000. Furthermore, Nordex offers both machines with serrations,
which reduce the sound emissions by an additional 1.5 dB(A) in each
case. These serrations can be found on the trailing edge of the rotor
blades and serve to reduce the aerodynamic sound power level overall.
Should the customer require it, the turbines can also be operated in
reduced-noise modes. This means that these turbines are especially
suitable for noise-sensitive markets, such as France, Germany,
Scandinavia and parts of Great Britain.
Due to the strong demand for turbines with high hub heights Nordex is
currently having its 141 metre tower certified for IEC 2 sites as well. The
company therefore offers the N131/3600 with tower heights of 84 to 112
metres, and for Scandinavia, up to 134 metres. The N117/3600 is
available with tower heights of from 91 to 141 metres.
Nordex plans to install the first of each of these turbine types before the
end of 2016. The series ramp-up for both turbines is scheduled for
summer 2017. The type test results will be available this year and the
type certificates are expected in mid-2017.
The N117/3600 and N131/3600 are based on the proven Nordex platform
technology in order to offer customers a high level of technical reliability.
The current light-wind N131/3000 turbine is now fully certified and all
parameters have been confirmed, forming a sound foundation for the
further evolutionary development of the N117/3600 and N131/3600.
Nordex at WindEnergy Hamburg 2016: Hall B6, stand no. B6.346
This year Nordex is "Event Ambassador" at the WindEurope Summit.
WindEurope is the new brand name of the European Wind Energy
Association (formerly EWEA)
Visitors to the fair have the opportunity to gather information not just
about Nordex, but also about the Acciona Windpower product portfolio at
our stand.
The Nordex- Group - a profile
The group has installed more than 18 GW of wind energy capacity in over
25 markets. In 2015 Nordex and Acciona Windpower generated combined

revenues of EUR 3.4 billion. The company currently employs a workforce


of around 5,000. The joint manufacturing capacity includes factories in
Germany, Spain, Brazil, the United States, and in the very near future
India. The product portfolio focuses on onshore turbines in the 1.5 to 3
MW class, which are tailor-made for the market requirements in
developed and emerging markets.

Ministerial Responsibility
and Liability
Posted on October 3, 2016

close group

close group
close row
The ongoing scandal concerning the deliberate
downgrading of what used to be Waterford Regional
Hospital in favour of Cork raises interesting legal
questions, particularly regarding the liability of a
Minister for the actions of his own department, and
in this instance, the omissions of the Minister
himself.
.
For those of you who have not followed the story, it
was revealed last week that a senior HSE official
downgraded the risk rating of the out-of-hours
cardio service at the Waterford hospital shortly
before those figures were sent to an independent

expert to determine whether Waterford Hospital


needed another cardio unit. Not surprisingly, the
expert answered that question in the negative,
despite overwhelming evidence from the hospital
staff, including cardiac surgeons, that another unit
was desperately needed. Attempts under the FOI
Act to gain the terms of reference issued to the
expert have been blocked, with critical
portions redacted.
.
The plot thickened further when it was revealed this
morning that in November last year the previous
Minister of Health, Leo Varadkar, received a
detailed report outlining that patients were at risk
unless another cardio unit was immediately supplied
at Waterford Hospital. Newspaper reports would
suggest that Minister Varadkar, a medical person
himself, put the report in a drawer somewhere and
forgot about it:
Eighteen patients suffered heart attacks while
on the cardiac waiting list at University Hospital
Waterford (UHW) over the past five years.
The revelation came in a special report submitted to
the Health Service Executive (HSE) and
Department of Health last November in support of a
plea for greater resources, including a second

catherisation lab at UHW.


A key element of the audit, details of which were
obtained by the Irish Independent, was the
mounting concern of UHW doctors that waiting
times for both inpatient and outpatient cardiac care
had been steadily increasing since 2010.
The audit was also submitted to the former Health
Minister Leo Varadkar.

The cardiac report submitted last year bluntly


warned that some of the heart attacks in patients
might have been avoided if there was no waiting
list, or a very short one, which pertains in other
centres.
.
This blog has already suggested that Minister Harris
should resign as he is individually responsible for
the actions of officials in his department. But what
about the liability of Leo Varadkar? Can the
subsequent death of patients be laid at his door due
to his failure to act on the very clear warning
contained in the cardiac report of last November?
.
Under the Public Service Management Act of 1997,
cabinet ministers are responsible for the actions of
government departments and offices. Members of
the government are collectively responsible to Dil

ireann for departments of state administered by


them. This is why Minister Harris should resign for
the unauthorized alteration of the risk register, apart
from the parliamentary convention which demands
the same as outlined in the previous blog.
.
Ministers have a duty to inform the Oireachtas of
their actions (and omissions?) and parliamentary
question time is the device used to ask the Minister
those awkward questions about their performance
and the performance of their department. This is
really a political or democratic accountability, it does
not mean they can be sued in court for their
apparent negligence.
.
Judge, Hogwood and McVicar, in their excellent
article The pondlife of executive agencies:
parliament and informatory accountability,
Public Policy and Administration, 12, 2, pp. 95
115. (1997, 97) have identified five levels of
ministerial responsibility:
Redirectory responsibility, requiring that
ministers redirect queries to the appropriate person
dealing with a particular case or issue. Does this
mean that Minister Varadkar was, at the very least,
under a duty to forward the cardiac report to the
CEO of the HSE, with instructions to act?

Informatory responsibility, requiring the minister


to keep parliament informed of what is happening in
his or her department. It might be argued that
Minister Varadkar should have informed the
Oireachtas of the dire situation in Waterford
Hospital, perhaps with a view of securing extra
funding, if indeed his coffers were bare.
Explanatory responsibility, requiring the minister
to make further explanation, particularly in cases of
once-off shortcomings or wrong doings. It has
transpired that of the eighteen patients who had
heart attacks whilst on the Waterford waiting list, six
subsequently died. Would the Minister care to
comment?
Amendatory responsibility, where a minister is
convinced that more than an explanation is
required, requiring correction, amendment or
reparation. One can only imagine how the Minister
was not convinced, as early as November last year,
that Waterford desperately needed additional cardio
resources. One would also ask, with that knowledge
last year, why did they bother to appoint Dr Herity to
do his report (which was compiled on the basis of
an amended risk rating and a gerrymandering of the
population figures).
Sacrificial responsibility, where a minister

accepts an obligation to resign. Whether Minister


Varadkar, along with Minister Harris, should tender
his resignation for omissions that occurred under
his watch, is the million dollar question. Does it
matter that the Minister now has another portfolio
(ironically entitled Social Protection)? Should he
be held accountable for his past actions or
omissions?
.
For us mere mortals, the law says that we need to
owe somebody a duty of care before we can be
held liable. If I perform an action or fail to perform
an action, and this act or omission creates a
dangerous situation, then I am liable for the
foreseeable hurt caused by that dangerous
situation. So if somebody warned me that a cardio
unit was dangerously under-resourced and it was
my duty and within my reasonable power to correct
that, my failure to do so would mean I was liable for
the dangerous situation that I allowed to continue.
In other words, if the relatives of those six deceased
patients could show that, but for my failure to act,
their lives would have been saved, I would be liable
for their deaths.
.
The question is can a Minister be held liable on
the same basis as us mere mortals?

.
Alas, unfortunately not. Because of something
called the Separation of Powers, the courts are not
allowed to tell the Minister how to spend his budget
that is within the Ministers discretion, which we
gave to the Minister when we voted him in as a TD.
So if a Minister decides to build a new cardio unit for
his own constituents in Cork, thereby neglecting to
build one for the citizens in Waterford, there can be
no legal liability attached. All we can do in Waterford
is try and vote the Minister out at the next election,
unless he does the honourable thing and resigns.
Moreover, when we do manage to vote some eejit
out of his ministry, he is replaced by an ever bigger
eejit.
.
Aaah, the challenges of democracy.

Extensive Research on Wind


Turbine Noise
Posted on October 5, 2016

close group

close group
Government Ministers are constantly bewailing the
lack of research, or claiming to be abreast of the
latest research, into the damage caused to humans
by wind turbine noise.

Jerry Punch and Rick James have finally


managed to publish their mega-review on the
damage caused to humans by wind turbines:
http://hearinghealthmatters.org/journalresearch
posters/files/2016/09/Final-Final-16-09-30-WindTurbine-Noise-Final-Manuscript-HHTM-PunchJames.pdf
http://hearinghealthmatters.org/hearingnewswat
ch/2016/wind-turbines-noise-and-health/
And
http://hearinghealthmatters.org/journalresearch
posters/

In Ireland, may I suggest that Minister Naughten


has a lot of reading to do?
Today Hearing News Watch brings readers a special post,
written by contributors Jerry Punch, PhD and Richard
James, INCE, discussing their new article published at the
HHTM Journal.
By Jerry Punch, PhD and Richard James, INCE, BME
We authored an earlier three-part series of articles on the topic of
the effects of wind turbine noise on health on the HHTM website in
the fall of 2014, with links provided below:

Adverse Health Effects from Industrial Wind Turbines


The Negative Health Impact of Noise from Industrial Wind
Turbines: The Evidence
Adverse Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise: How
the Ear and Brain Process Infrasound

Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health


The primary aims of the linked article are to provide our reference
sources for much of the information in that earlier series, as well as
to update that information. We do so by addressing 12 specific
position statements frequently made by the wind industry, its trade
associations, and other surrogates. We address these position
statements, many of which are revealed to be little more than
unfounded talking points, by a comprehensive review of the
literature, including that from industry proponents and from those
who are independent of the industry.

We are hopeful that this information, which we believe to


include some of the most reputable science on the
subject, will be instrumental in highlighting the evidence
needed to refute those positions and ultimately to
advocate for those who are being harmed by industrial
wind turbines.
This article is the culmination of about 15 years of our combined
experience with wind turbine noise issues. We first submitted an
article resembling the current one to an international journal, Noise
& Health, where it received multiple reviews by a single reviewer.
We addressed all but two of that reviewers criticisms, namely that
the manuscript was too lengthy for publication in the journal and
the reviewers insistence that we accept the notion that infrasound
at levels produced by wind turbines cannot cause adverse health
effects. Underlying that reviewers position was the belief that
What you cant hear, you cant feel.
In fact, decades of research have shown that the dynamically
amplitude-modulated short bursts of energy, or pressure
pulsations, are a characteristic of all modern industrial wind turbine
emissions. These pressure peaks can be perceived by humans at
levels far below the commonly accepted thresholds of perception
and can lead to adverse symptoms such as sleep disturbance,

headaches, tinnitus, ear pain, vertigo, and nausea.


The editor of Noise & Health offered an additional review cycle by
a second reviewer. We chose instead to withdraw the manuscript
from consideration because we were unwilling to either shorten it
considerably or to mischaracterize the literature on the subject at
hand.
We are grateful to HHTM for allowing us to share this information
through its widely accessible website.

Peer Reviewed Paper


This paper has been reviewed both by the anonymous Noise &
Health reviewer and by three other reviewers who have substantial
professional experience in the area of wind turbine noise. We
gratefully acknowledge the helpful contributions of Keith Johnson,
Esq., Michael Nissenbaum, MD, and Daniel Shepherd, PhD.
Mr. Johnson provided a review from the perspective of an attorney
who represents interveners in wind turbine siting cases. Dr.
Nissenbaum provided a review from the perspective of a medical
professional and expert in how ionizing and non-ionizing radiation
affects humans. Dr. Shepherd provided a review from the
perspective of a psychoacoustician with experience in how wind
turbine sound affects people. Each of these reviewers comments
on earlier versions of our manuscript led to the final document. The
opinions or assertions contained herein, however, are the personal
views of the authors and are not to be construed as reflecting the
views of Michigan State University or Central Michigan University.
The articles unusual length stems not only from the number of
topics covered, but also from our desire to quote literally and
liberally from researchers and others on matters related to some of
the key points in support of the link between wind turbine noise
and adverse health effects. Given the length, interested readers
will likely require multiple sessions to read the article in its entirety.

Although the article has been reviewed by four qualified


professional peers, we believe that it can stand largely on
the merits of its contents, which can be judged and factchecked by readers.
Even though wind turbine noise does not normally cause hearing
loss, we believe that audiologists, particularly those interested in
community noise, should embrace the notion that all forms of

noise, if sufficiently intense and prolonged, can be detrimental to


public health. Audiologists should also be sensitive to the nonauditory aspects of acoustic energy, including dynamically
modulated infrasound and low-frequency sound.
It is worth noting that two of the seven co-authors of the original
white-paper report of the American Wind Energy Association
(AWEA) and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA),
which promoted the idea that wind turbines were harmless, were
audiologists. We believe that the basic conclusions of that paper,
which was not peer reviewed and written by a panel hand-picked
by wind industry trade associations, unjustifiably favored the wind
industry. It is particularly noteworthy that those major wind industry
associations have acknowledged the audiology profession as
having a credible say on the issue of wind turbine noise.
Interestingly, now that the tide is turning against the wind industry
in many ways and in many places, its advocates are trying to
discredit the views of audiologists, physicians, acousticians, and
others who speak out in opposition of wind-energy development in
populated areas. Concerned audiologists, especially those with
expertise in cochlear and vestibular responses to noise and
vibration, need to be heard on this issue.
Finally, let it not be said that either of us believes in making any
less than the best possible effort to develop clean and efficient
sources of energy. Rather, we hope that our article will be
instrumental in promoting public health through a better
understanding of the issues underlying the potentially harmful
effects of audible and inaudible noise from industrial wind turbines
when the turbines are sited too close to where people live and
work.
Jerry Punch
Richard James
September 23, 2016
We had a dilemma. Thomas' science project was due a few
days back - it's late. He was refusing to do it, and I wasn't
really encouraging it either. They had to build a (you
guessed it)... wind turbine. Yeah, you can imagine how
that went over.
But then a light went on and I said, "You can still do it, but
you have to show them the reality. It isn't a pretty white
thing in the field spinning away free electricity. You need
transmission lines, homes, substation, that kind of shit. Oh
yeah and dead birds". It's called inspiration, anything to

make a science project like this palatable.


The turbine spins well too (when the hair dryer is on), but
it has a tendency to succumb to "component liberation"
now and then. Fairly dramatic when that happens.

This would make a good poster - or perhaps to send to


your elected representatives and those who make the
policies.
The head of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Annette
Smith, is under criminal investigation by the Vermont
Attorney Generals office for alleged "unauthorized
practice of law". Whoever could have imagined helping
people have a voice in regulatory proceedings would lead
to this; it is obviously politically motivated. I am outraged.
The charge is highly unusual; if there is prosecution, it
would be tried at the Vermont Supreme Court. This hasnt
happened since 1962 and only five times in the history of
Vermont. The legal community in Vermont is scratching
their heads, outraged, and various things in between.

Whats wrong with this picture?

statement-of-claim-nexteraNextEra Wont Drop Its


Lawsuit against Esther
Wrightman
http://ontario-windresistance.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/06/stat
ement-of-claim-nextera-andesther.pdf

Turn it off and take it down

Wind Energy Company Sues


To Keep Bird Kill Data Out Of
Public's Hands
Case Highlights Need for More
Openness About Risks to Wildlife

Black-throated Blue Warbler is one of many species


harmed in unknown numbers at wind-energy facilities.
Photo by FotoRequest/Shutterstock.

Contact: Michael Hutchins, Director


of ABC's Bird-Smart Wind Energy
Program, 202-888-7485
(Washington, D.C., Aug. 24, 2016)
An Ohio wind-energy facility doesn't
want to reveal how many birds it
kills, and has gone to court to keep
that information secret. Blue Creek
Wind Farm, owned by the Spanish
company Iberdrola Renewables,

has filed a lawsuit in Ohio to


prevent two state agencies from
making public what it calls trade
secrets. The legal action comes
after an Ohio bird conservation
group, Black Swamp Bird
Observatory (BSBO), asked to see
bird and bat mortality data for Blue
Creek.
The facility went into operation in
June 2012. It occupies about 80
square miles in an agricultural area
of two Ohio counties rich in bird life.
Blue Creek puts larger birds,
including raptors, at risk. But it also
creates a serious hazard for bats
and many smaller bird species,
including several of conservation

concern. The long list of affected


species includes Horned Lark,
Killdeer, Golden-crowned Kinglet,
Golden-winged Warbler, Blackthroated Blue Warbler, Black-andwhite Warbler, Philadelphia Vireo,
Lapland Longspur, American Tree
Sparrow, and Sora, as well as the
federally endangered Indiana Bat.
American Bird Conservancy (ABC)
strongly believes that the public and
environmental groups should have
access to reliable data about how
many of these birds and bats are
killed by the facility, and that the
company's attempt to use the legal
system to block access would set a
dangerous precedent if it succeeds.

Mortality data provided by windenergy companies is notoriously


unreliable. ABC has repeatedly
called for changes in how and by
whom that data is collected, and
urged that the more credible and
transparent data system used in
Hawaii be adopted nationwide.
This is the only state where fatality
data are collected by independent
third-party experts using
standardized methods and where
the public has access to the
information.
We need greater scientific integrity
and transparency in the collection
of bird and bat kill data at U.S. wind
energy facilities, said Dr. Michael

Hutchins, director of ABC's BirdSmart Wind Energy Campaign.


Now Iberdrola has sued to keep
their data hidden from the public
and from conservation
organizations. What are they trying
to hide?
The history of the Blue Creek legal
action goes back to 2013, when
BSBO submitted a Freedom of
Information Act request to the U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to
find out how many birds and bats
were being killed at the site. FWS
denied the request, and in 2014
BSBO petitioned the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources
and the Ohio Power Siting Board to

release the data. That triggered the


company's current lawsuit against
the two agencies.
BSBO is not directly involved in the
lawsuit, but its executive director,
Kimberly Kaufman, says there's a
great deal at stake in the outcome.
Kaufman also sits on ABC's board
of directors. Every citizen
birdwatcher or notshould be
paying rapt attention to this case,
Kaufman said. The wind industry is
actively working to prevent the
public from making informed
decisions about these massive
machines on our landscape. If
they're putting their reputation on
the line to hide bird and bat deaths,

what else aren't they telling us?


Blue Creek and other wind-energy
facilities should not be able to
withhold such vital information
about the nation's natural
resources, including its birds and
bats, Hutchins said. Our native
wildlife does not belong to the wind
industry but is owned by the
American people and held in trust
for future generations, he said.
Related: See ABC's report on 10 of
the worst-sited wind-energy projects
for birds.
###
American Bird Conservancy is the
Western Hemisphere's bird
conservation specialistthe only

organization with a single and


steadfast commitment to achieving
conservation results for native birds
and their habitats throughout the
Americas. With a focus on
efficiency and working in
partnership, we take on the
toughest problems facing birds
today, innovating and building on
sound science to halt extinctions,
protect habitats, eliminate threats,
and build capacity for bird
conservation.

Why Eirgrids Pylon Grid Link Programme Is Illegal


Submission on Eirgrid Grid Link Programme
by Pat Swords BE CEng FIChemE CEnv MIEMA on behalf of the
European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW)

Grid Link involves over 250km of high voltage lines held up by 750 massive
pylons, running through Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary,
Kilkenny, Laois, Carlow, Wicklow, Kildare and Dublin.
Grid West would have 100km of line and 300 pylons running through Mayo,
Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim. The Meath-Tyrone line would have
140km of line and 410 pylons linking Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Armagh and
Tyrone, while the Laois-Kilkenny line would run for 26km and include 80
pylons.
Contents
1. Introduction
2. The Publics Right to Participate in Decision-Making
3. The National Renewable Energy Action Programme (NREAP) and Strategic
Environmental Assessment
4. The Strategic Environmental Assessment Process for Grid25
4.1 General
4.2 Failure to inform the public in an adequate, timely and effective manner
4.3 Failure to taking due account of the outcome of the public participation in

the decision-making
4.4 Failure to provide for early public participation, when all options are open
and effective public participation can take place
5. Current Legal Proceedings in Relation to the Renewable Energy
Programme
6. Conclusion

1. Introduction
Eirgrid is proceeding with its Grid Link Programme in the South and East of
Ireland as part of the massive expansion of the high voltage grid system in
Ireland to facilitate a programme of 40% of electricity to be sourced from
renewables, predominately wind energy, by 2020. It is currently in a public
consultation process in relation to this Grid Link programme and this
Submission has been submitted on behalf of the European Platform Against
Windfarms. The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) was founded
on October 4th 2008 by a small number of federations, associations and other
groups from four EU countries. It now has 621 member organisations, from 24
countries. It is based in Ireland. The Irish Member Groups are listed on the
EPAW website[1]. The aim of EPAW is to defend the interests of its members
which are either:
opposing one or more wind farm proposals;
or questioning the effectiveness of wind farms as a tool for solving the
problems of man and the planet;
or defending the flora, fauna and landscapes from damage caused by wind
farms, directly or through environmental degradation such as erosion, water
contamination and bush fires;
or generally fighting against the damaging effects of wind farms on tourism,
the economy, peoples quality of life, the value of their properties and,
increasingly often, their health;
or a combination of the above.
The Grid Link Programme, with all its unacceptable environmental
impacts, not least the industrialisation of the Irish landscape, is solely to
facilitate the implementation of Irelands renewable energy programme,
which in turn is almost exclusively focused on electricity generation
from windfarms . There is no economic, technical or legal requirement
for this wind energy programme. Indeed, until wind speeds of the order
of double the regions average wind speed are reached, this new
investment in wind turbines and associated grid infrastructure, will not
generate any useful electricity. The existing generation system and its
grid infrastructure will therefore be continued to be required for the
situation, where the wind speed is less than double the average, which
naturally is the majority of the situation. The benefits of this renewable
programme and its 7,145 MW of wind energy, some three thousand wind
turbines, and a doubling of the existing high voltage grid by some 5,000
km of high voltage lines are negligible and complete disproportionate to
its unacceptable impacts, both financial and environmental.

The core issues in this Submission are:


3

The law requires public participation in decision-making. Consultation as is


currently being conducted by Eirgrid, particularly as it is in the manner of a fait
acompli, does not meet this requirement.

Environmental information has to be made readily available to demonstrate


the suitability of the proposal, i.e. the provision of the necessary information
within the context of effective participation.

Public participation has to include reasonable time-frames for the different


phases, allowing sufficient time for informing the public and for the public to
prepare and participate effectively during the environmental decision-making.
Public authorities, such as Eirgrid, are required to provide for early public
participation, when all options are open and effective public participation can
take place.
None of the above is being remotely complied with; the national renewable
energy programme, the national programme to expand the grid (Grid25) and
this Grid Link programme are all fundamentally flawed due to systematic noncompliance with the legal framework. Eirgrid should suspend, i.e. halt, its
Grid25 and Grid Link programmes until the necessary legal compliance is
ensured. If it does not do so, it will face increasing legal action from citizens,
who will not tolerate their legal rights and their environment being abused in
this manner.

2. The Publics Right to Participate in


Decision- Making
In simple laymans terms, a roll call (election) is held every five years or so in
which public representatives are chosen. The operative word here is
representatives; they are not chosen to rule us, but to represent us. Political
ideologies and personalities come and go, but the general public are left with
the environment around them, some development which is suitable and
equally some development, which is far from suitable. Recognising this fact, in
1992 the United Nations Rio Declaration [2] stated in Principle 10:

Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned


citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have
appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by
public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities
in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making
processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and
participation by making information widely available. Effective access to
judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall
be provided.
In other words, the public had to be given robust procedural rights in relation
to Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access

to Justice in Environmental Matters. Indeed this is what formed the title of the
United Nations Economic Commission for Europes Aarhus Convention, which
drafted Principle 10 into a formal legal structure and applied it to the UNECE
region of Europe and Central Asia, as the UNECE website states [3]:
The Convention:

Links environmental rights and human rights

Acknowledges that we owe an obligation to future generations

Establishes that sustainable development can be achieved only through the


involvement of all stakeholders

Links government accountability and environmental protection

Focuses on interactions between the public and public authorities in a


democratic context.
The subject of the Convention goes to the heart of the relationship between
people and governments. The Convention is not only an environmental
agreement, it is also a Convention about government accountability,
transparency and responsiveness.
The Aarhus Convention grants the public rights and imposes on Parties and
public authorities obligations regarding access to information and public
participation and access to justice.
The EU ratified the Convention in February 2005 through Decision 2005/370,
declaring to UNECE[4]:

The European Community wishes to express its great satisfaction with the
present Convention as an essential step forward in further encouraging and
supporting public awareness in the field of environment and better
implementation of environmental legislation in the UN/ECE region, in
accordance with the principle of sustainable development.

Fully supporting the objectives pursued by the Convention and considering


that the European Community itself is being actively involved in the protection
of the environment through a comprehensive and evolving set of legislation, it
was felt important not only to sign up to the Convention at Community level
but also to cover its own institutions, alongside national public authorities.

Moreover, the European Community declares that it has already adopted


several legal instruments, binding on its Member States, implementing
provisions of this Convention.

Finally, the Community reiterates its declaration made upon signing the
Convention that the Community institutions will apply the Convention within
the framework of their existing and future rules on access to documents and

other relevant rules of Community law in the field covered by the Convention.
While Ireland only ratified the Convention in June 2012, it applied here since
2005 based on the primacy of Community Law, as Ireland is a Member State
of the European Union.
If we look at the preamble of the Convention, see below, what one sees is
only what is common sense, that decision-making should be based on sound
logic based on proper consideration of environmental factors:

Recognizing the importance of fully integrating environmental considerations


in governmental decision-making and the consequent need for public
authorities to be in possession of accurate, comprehensive and up-to date
environmental information.
In addition, as previously documented, the environment does not belong to
the State and the importance of the citizen is clearly defined in the preamble
to the Convention:

Recognizing also that every person has the right to live in an environment
adequate to his or her health and well-being, and the duty, both individually
and in association with others, to protect and improve the environment for the
benefit of present and future generations;

Considering that, to be able to assert this right and observe this duty, citizens
must have access to information, be entitled to participate in decision-making
and have access to justice in environmental matters, and acknowledging in
this regard that citizens may need assistance in order to exercise their rights;

3. The National Renewable Energy Action


Programme (NREAP) and Strategic
Environmental Assessment
The development of the EUs 20% renewable energy programme was
conducted in a dysfunctional and legally non-compliant approach. No
environmental assessment was ever completed of what was to be built, where
it was to be built, what it would actually cost, what would be the benefits, what
would be the impacts, what would be the mitigation measures, etc. It therefore
reached the position that the 20% target had to be implemented in the
following manner, as described in Recital 15 of the 2009/28/EC Directive:

The starting point, the renewable energy potential and the energy mix of each
Member State vary. It is therefore necessary to translate the Community 20 %
target into individual targets for each Member State, with due regard to a fair
and adequate allocation taking account of Member States different starting
points and potentials, including the existing level of energy from renewable
sources and the energy mix. It is appropriate to do this by sharing the
required total increase in the use of energy from renewable sources between
Member States on the basis of an equal increase in each Member States

share weighted by their GDP, modulated to reflect their starting points, and by
accounting in terms of gross final consumption of energy, with account being
taken of Member States past efforts with regard to the use of energy from
renewable sources.
In other words, the 20% renewable energy target was dished out to the
Member States based on what level of renewable energy resources they
already had, some like Sweden having considerable existing hydro sources,
and a fudge factor based on GDP. Neither were the proper public
participation procedures followed in the development of this Directive, as not
only was there an absence of environmental information on what was to be
built, why it was to be built and where it was to be built, but also the public
concerned were not contacted and provided with an opportunity to participate
in this decision-making.
This dysfunctional and legally non-compliant process continued throughout its
implementation. Member States were given little more than a year to adopt a
National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) defining how their allocated
National Target would be met. However, EU legislation which implements
Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention[5] requires that such plans or programmes
related to Energy, which lead to future development consent of projects
regulated by the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, must undergo a
Strategic Environmental Assessment before adoption. Note: Wind energy and
high voltage transmissions lines are regulated by the Directive on
Environmental Impact Assessment (87/337/EEC as amended). Therefore, full
compliance with the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive
(2001/42/EC) should have been ensured before the NREAPs were adopted.
This did not happen, not only in Ireland, but also in the other Member States.
The NREAPs were adopted by by-passing the Strategic Environmental
Assessment and associated public participation. Indeed, if one considers the
NREAP template produced by the EU[6], then the only Section which can be
considered related to environmental issues and assessment was Section 5.3:

Nineteen of the Member States left this completely blank failing to fill out the
table in above. The others essentially provided little or limited information,
such as the UK, where the Renewable Energy Strategy predating the NREAP
contained no environmental considerations of the impact of the programme. In
Irelands case the NREAP went from Section 5.2 to Section 5.4. It had no
Section 5.3.
EPAW has repeatedly brought this matter to the attention of both the EU
Commission and the Member State administrations. The EU Commissions
response following a meeting between EPAW members and officials of DG
Environment and DG Energy on the 3rd December 2010 in Brussels was that:

So far as Directive 2001/42 was concerned, the Commission considered that


any NREAP that did not create a framework for specific projects for purposes

of Directive 85/337/EEC did not need to undergo a Strategic Environmental


Assessment but that subsequent more detailed plans might need to do so.
Ireland had confirmed that several plans relevant to renewable energy would
undergo a Strategic Environmental Assessment process, including an
offshore plan for which the Strategic Environmental Assessment process had
already been launched.
However, this position used to justify a refusal to enforce the necessary
provisions of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive is in complete
variance with the position of the European Court. Firstly the NREAP defines
the requirements for the electricity infrastructure development in Section 4.2.6
and the support schemes in Section 4.3. Sectoral targets are laid out in
Section 3 and the measures for achieving those targets are defined in Section
4. In Section 5, the contribution of each renewable technology is defined, as
the template states: For the electricity sector, both the expected
(accumulated) installed capacity (in MW) and yearly production (GWh) should
be indicated by technology, while Table 10 in Section 5 of the Irish NREAP
specifies for 2020 in the Republic of Ireland, 4,649 MW of wind energy on the
non-export scenario, rising to 7,145 MW of wind energy on the export
scenario.
The NREAP is fundamentally a framework for development consent of
projects regulated by the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, as it
defines what wind energy capacity is to be delivered and how it is to be
delivered. Furthermore, it makes multiple references to Grid25, the
programme to double the high voltage grid by more than 5,000 km of lines to
facilitate the grid integration of all of this wind energy. In particular in Section 4
(Table 5), how Grid25 is a measure for achieving the target.
If one considers the Opinion of Advocate General Kokott of the European
Court, as delivered on 4 March 2010 in Terre wallonne ASBL (C-105/09) and
Inter-Environnement Wallonie ASBL (C-110/09) v Rgion wallonne [7], where it
was necessary to consider the meaning of the terms plan and programme
and the circumstances in which they set a framework for development
consent of projects, the Advocate General was very clear:

60. The term framework must reflect the objective of taking into account the
environmental effects of any decision laying down requirements for the future
development consent of projects even as that decision is being taken.

61. It is unclear, however, how strongly the requirements of plans and


programmes must influence individual projects in order for those
requirements to set a framework.

62. During the legislative procedure the Netherlands and Austria proposed
that it should be made clear that the framework must determine the location,
nature or size of projects requiring environmental assessment. In other words,
very specific, conclusive requirements would have been needed to trigger an
environmental assessment. As this proposal was not accepted, the concept of
framework is not restricted to the determination of those factors.

63. The view of the Czech Republic is based on a similarly narrow


understanding of the setting of a framework. It calls for certain projects to be
explicitly or implicitly the subject of the plan or programme

64. Plans and programmes may, however, influence the development consent
of individual projects in very different ways and, in so doing, prevent
appropriate account from being taken of environmental effects. Consequently,
the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive is based on a very broad
concept of framework.

65. This becomes particularly clear in a criterion taken into account by the
Member States when they appraise the likely significance of the
environmental effects of plans or programmes in accordance with Article 3(5):
they are to take account of the degree to which the plan or programme sets a
framework for projects and other activities, either with regard to the location,
nature, size and operating conditions or by allocating resources (first indent of
point 1 of Annex II). The term framework must therefore be construed
flexibly. It does not require any conclusive determinations, but also covers
forms of influence that leave room for some discretion.

66. The wording [of point 1 of Annex II] implies that the various
characteristics may be concerned in varying intensity and, therefore, possibly
not at all. This alone is consistent with the objective of making all preliminary
decisions for the development consent of projects subject to an environmental
assessment if they are likely to have significant effects on the environment.

67. To summarise, it can therefore be said that a plan or programme sets a


framework in so far as decisions are taken which influence any subsequent
development consent of projects, in particular with regard to location, nature,
size and operating conditions or by allocating resources.
Furthermore, the Judgment of the European Court on Terre Wallonne ASBL v.
Rgion Wallone [2010] ECR I-5611[8] was very clear on the obligation of the
National Courts, when it is determined that the Strategic Environmental
Assessment Directive has not been complied with:

Where a national court has before it, on the basis of its national law, an action
for annulment of a national measure constituting a plan or programme
within the meaning of Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and
of the Council of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain
plans and programmes on the environment and it finds that the plan or
programme was adopted in breach of the obligation laid down by that
directive to carry out a prior environmental assessment, that court is obliged
to take all the general or particular measures provided for by its national law
in order to remedy the failure to carry out such an assessment, including the
possible suspension or annulment of the contested plan or programme.
Therefore, the National Renewable Energy Action Plan was adopted in a
manner which was not lawful, having by-passed the Strategic Environmental

Assessment and associated public participation, which was required by EU


and National law. Neither is it lawful to continue with this national renewable
energy programme, in particular as at no stage were environmental
considerations taken into the decision-making. Indeed, the Energy Policy
Framework of 2007, which predated the NREAP and lead to its development,
provided zero information on the environmental impacts and costs of the
renewable programme. As Section 3.10.3 clarified:

We are setting very ambitious targets for expanding the role of renewable
energy notably the target of 33% of electricity consumption to come from
renewable resources by 2020. There are considerable challenges inherent in
realising these ambitious targets. The growth of emerging technologies
remains constrained by their relative cost. (Offshore wind which is capital
intensive and technologically challenging is a case in point). High fossil fuel
prices have contributed to making renewables more cost competitive but
investment costs do remain a key challenge. The Government considers
that the balance of social costs and benefits must be recognised as
positive and that is our starting point.
It is also worth pointing out, that both the Irish Administration and the EU were
well aware in period 2009 to 2010 during the development of the NREAPs,
that a Strategic Environmental Assessment was required. Not only is there
written evidence of this[9], but additionally after the NREAPs had been
submitted to the EU Commission on the 30th June 2010, a formal clarification
was sent jointly by the Unit Heads of DG Energy and DG Environment in the
EU Commission on the 7th July 2010 clarifying that a Strategic Environmental
Assessment on the NREAP was not necessarily obliged at this stage of the
process. Their position being that if a Member State had decided not to
include in its NREAP specific mandatory measures to comply with, then a
Strategic Environmental Assessment was not required at this stage.

Again, this is a non-compliant position and completely contradicts Article 4 of


the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC, which is very clear:
The National Renewable Energy Action Plans shall set out Member States
national targets for the share of energy from renewable sources
adequate measures to be taken to achieve those national overall
targets, including cooperation between local, regional and national
authorities, planned statistical transfers or joint projects, national policies to
develop existing biomass resources and mobilise new biomass resources for
different uses.
While Article 3 of the Directive is entitled:
Mandatory national overall targets and measures for the use of energy
from renewable sources.
Furthermore, if those mandatory targets were not to be adequately met, then
the Commissions position was to refer back those plans with a
recommendation. This demonstrates that the EU Commission was both
informed and clearly complicit in the decision not to complete any
environmental assessment for this programme of enormous scale.
One can also point out, that not only had no such Strategic Environmental
Assessment been completed for the renewable energy programme in Ireland,

but as the Decision from the Commissioner for Environmental Information


CEI/09/0016[10] demonstrated in this regard, there was not even a ranking
system in place for considerations of technology alternatives in terms of their
ability to meet the criteria in the Directive and no options considered to reach
the objectives in the legislation.
Note: These matters in relation to the chronic legal failures in the
implementation of the NREAP are part of the subject of current legal
proceedings in the High Court: Pat Swords v Minister of Communications,
Energy and Natural Resources No. 213/4122P.

4. The Strategic Environmental


Assessment Process for Grid25
4.1 General
The Strategic Environmental Assessment process under Directive
2001/42/EC is part of Member State law since 2004, transposed in Ireland
through S.I. No. 435 of 2004 (as amended)[11]. Eirgrid therefore completed a
Strategic Environmental Assessment for its Grid25 national programme, which
included the required Environmental Report[12]. Section 8.9 of the Grid25
Environmental Report is entitled: Infrastructure Required to strengthen the
National Transmission Network and summarises:

Approximately 828 km of new circuits will be required between now and 2025
to meet the needs of consumers and generators. This represents an increase
of about 14% on the total length of the existing network. Of this, 568 km will
need to be at 400 kV, 92 km will need to be at 220 kV or higher; the remaining
150 km will be at 110 kV. In addition to these circuits, others will be needed to
connect many of the new generators to the Grid

2,530 km of the existing transmission network will need to be upgraded


between now and 2025 to provide greater capacity. This comprises 740 km,
or 29%, of the existing 220 kV network, and 1,790 km of the 110 kV network.
Pylons in size of 110 to 400 kV are extremely large, extremely visually
obtrusive and extremely expensive. In addition to these extremely large high
voltage circuits, additional high voltage circuits will be required to connect to
the new wind energy capacity documented in the NREAP. These will be
primarily 10 kV structures and while less visually obtrusive, still require as a
minimum two large vertical supports with a single horizontal beam on top. In
total, based on the All Island Grid Study, some 5,000 km of new high voltage
lines will be required. It is also beyond doubt that this is a massive
programme, not least in its potential to radically alter the visual landscape of
the Irish countryside.

4.2 Failure to inform the public in an adequate,


timely and effective manner

The Aarhus Convention requires that in relation to public participation in


decision-making the public concerned shall be informed, either by public
notice or individually as appropriate, early in an environmental decisionmaking procedure, and in an adequate, timely and effective manner.
In European legislation, Article 6 of Directive 2001/42/EC in relation to
Consultations sates:

The authorities referred to in paragraph 3 and the public referred to in


paragraph 4 shall be given an early and effective opportunity within
appropriate time frames to express their opinion on the draft plan or
programme and the accompanying environmental report before the
adoption of the plan or programme or its submission to the legislative
procedure.

Member States shall identify the public for the purposes of paragraph 2,
including the public affected or likely to be affected by, or having an
interest in, the decision-making subject to this Directive, including
relevant non-governmental organisations, such as those promoting
environmental protection and other organisations concerned.

The detailed arrangements for the information and consultation of the


authorities and the public shall be determined by the Member States.
Despite the clear obligation above in both the Aarhus Convention and the
Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment to ensure the public are
informed in an adequate, timely and effective manner, Irish legislation failed to
properly transpose these requirements. Instead in S.I. No. 435 of 2004, in
Section 13(1)(b), there is solely an obligation to:

Publish notice, in accordance with sub-article (2), of the preparation of the


draft plan or programme, or modification to a plan or programme, and
associated environmental report in at least one newspaper with a sufficiently
large circulation in the area covered by the plan or programme, or
modification to a plan or programme.
In its response of July 2011 to the questions presented to it by the UNECE
Compliance Committee on Communication ACCC/C/2010/54, in relation to
the compliance of the EU as a Party to the Convention and the Irish
renewable energy programme, the EU replied in relation to the Strategic
Environmental Assessment[13] and its implementation in Ireland:

In 2008, the Commission launched infringement proceedings against 11


Member States, including Ireland. The case against that Member State falls
into two parts. First, it relates to Irelands failure to subject its National
Development Plan for 2007-2013 to a prior environmental assessment.
Second, there are several conformity issues with respect to Irish legislation
purporting to transpose the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive: (i)
Articles 2(a) and 3(2), (3), (5), (6) and (7) in as much as Irish legislation does
not cover all categories of plan and programme or modifications of them or

does not cover them correctly; (ii) Article 6 in as much as the Irish
legislation fails to provide for consultation of all relevant environmental
authorities and the provisions for consulting the public are too limited;
and (iii) Article 5 as there is inadequate provisions for consulting
environmental authorities on the content of environmental reports.

The Commission sent its reasoned opinion on 3 November 2009 and Ireland
replied on 5 February 2010. The new legislation adopted by Ireland on 3 May
2011, the Planning and Development (Strategic Environmental Assessment)
(Amendment) Regulations 2011 (SI 201 of 2011) has yet to be evaluated by
the Commission and indeed Ireland has not even notified it officially to the
Commission.
Indeed, if one considers S.I. No. 200 of 2011[14], as it states itself it has the
aim of making plans, reports and decisions more accessible for public
inspection, including on the website of the competent authority. However, it
does not cure the chronic deficiency of the current legislation, in that it does
not in any way ensure that the public concerned is informed in an adequate,
timely and effective manner. Furthermore, the European Court has already
made it clear in Commission v Ireland in case C-427/07 in relation to access
to justice[15],

In that regard, the obligation to make available to the public practical


information on access to administrative and judicial review procedures laid
down in the sixth paragraph of Article 10a of Directive 85/337, inserted by
Article 3(7) of Directive 2003/35, and in the sixth paragraph of Article 15a of
Directive 96/61, inserted by Article 4(4) of Directive 2003/35, amounts to an
obligation to obtain a precise result which the Member States must
ensure is achieved.

In the absence of any specific statutory or regulatory provision concerning


information on the rights thus offered to the public, the mere availability,
through publications or on the internet, of rules concerning access to
administrative and judicial review procedures and the possibility of access to
court decisions cannot be regarded as ensuring, in a sufficiently clear
and precise manner, that the public concerned is in a position to be
aware of its rights on access to justice in environmental matters.
Indeed, time and time again the European Court has ruled against Ireland in
that as regards Community Legislation, there is an obligation to obtain a
precise result which the Member States must ensure is achieved. This
obligation extends to public authorities, such as Eirgrid as a semi-state
company. However, when Eirgrid completed the Grid 25 Strategic
Environmental Assessment, they failed to ensure the participation of the
public affected. As the Environmental Report documents, only 22 submissions
were received and responded to; of which only three, including that of the
Author, could be attributed to the public.
We now have the situation in November 2013, where right across the country,
the public concerned in the regions where this infrastructure is to be built are

only finding out for the first time what is planned for their area. Naturally, there
is complete outrage, which not only Eirgrid is now aware of, but will also be
self-evident from the content of other Submissions. However, from a legal
perspective, what is clear is that Eirgrid failed to comply with its obligations to
informed the public concerned in an adequate, timely and effective manner.
It is not that the public concerned did not want to participate on the Grid25
decision-making, they were just not aware of what it was and what it was
about.

4.3 Failure to take due account of the outcome


of the public participation in the decisionmaking
The Aarhus Convention requires for both public participation in decision on
individual projects and plans and programmes related to the environment that:

Each Party shall ensure that in the decision due account is taken of the
outcome of the public participation.
Page 158 of the Aarhus Convention: An Implementation Guide [16] further
defines that

The obligation to take into account public participation as far as possible


establishes an objectively high standard to show in a particular case that
public comments have been seriously considered.

It is implicit in Article 6, paragraph 8, that any failure to take due account of


the outcome of public participation is a procedural violation that may
invalidate the decision. In appropriate circumstances a member of the public
whose comments were not duly taken into account will be able to challenge
the final decision in an administrative or judicial proceeding on this basis
under Article 9, paragraph 2. It is therefore very important that authorities pay
serious attention to the requirement that due account be taken of the outcome
of public participation.
In Section 15 of S.I. No. 435 of 2004, it is stated:
The competent authority shall take account of:
(a) the environmental report,
(b) any submission or observation made to the competent authority in
response to a notice under article 13, and
(c) any consultations under article 14, during the preparation of the plan or
programme, or modification to a plan or programme, and before its adoption.
As regards the development of the Grid25 Strategic Environmental
[17]
Assessment, the Author made a concise Submission
during its

development phase. In his submission the issues raised included that; no


Strategic Environmental Assessment had been completed for the renewable
energy programme; there was a failure to comply with the legal binding
requirements in relation to public participation; a failure to quantify the
environmental objective of Grid25 and in particular to quantify the expected
greenhouse gas savings and the alternatives to reach them and finally the
presence of the on-going recourse (or Communication) at the UNECE
Compliance Committee in relation to the non-compliance of the National
Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP). On Section 2 point 2.4 of the
subsequent finalised Environmental Report it is stated with regard to
Submission No. 4 Pat Swords;

Comments on the undertaking of environmental assessment or otherwise of


other policies, plans, programmes or projects is not within the scope of this
report.

The type and extent of future renewable energy projects is unknown and
therefore it is not realistic to quantify impacts upon greenhouse gas
emissions.
From a logical perspective, one can only conclude that the environmental
effects of doubling the network of high voltage lines to accommodate wind
energy should be analysed cumulatively with the effects of the windfarms per
se. For without the NREAP, there would be no need for Grid 25. It is a whole,
and its combined negative effects must be balanced against its benefits as a
whole. Indeed, one can also conclude that apart from a target pulled out of a
hat, which will likely be increased later on by another target also pulled out of
a hat, we dont know how many windfarms we really want to have in the end,
and by way of consequence, we havent got a clue of their effects on the
environment, positive or negative. This is the way we conduct our energy
policy, facilitated by the likes of Eirgrid, who flatly refuse to provide any
environmental information to quantify the objectives of programmes of
enormous scale, financial cost and environmental impact.
However, from a legal perspective, with regards to comments on other
policies, plans, programmes or projects not being within the scope of their
Grid25 report, this is simply ludicrous given that the very same NREAP in
Section 2.5.5 of the Grid25 Environmental Report was part of the Context for
the Implementation Programme and in Section 5.5.3 was part of the
Strategic Environmental Objectives. Indeed, as previously mentioned, the
NREAP repeatedly referenced Grid25 and its implementation.
So Eirgrid trivialised the public participation and failed to take due account of
the outcome of this public participation in its final decision in adopting Grid25.

4.4 Failure to provide for early public


participation, when all options are open and
effective public participation can take place
The Aarhus Convention requires for both individual projects and plans and

programmes related to the environment that public authorities shall ensure;


early public participation, when all options are open and effective public
participation can take place.
However, this did not occur with regard to the renewable energy programme
in Ireland and these and other failures in relation to the public participation
and access to information, led to a Communication from an Irish citizen,
namely the author Pat Swords, being accepted by the United Nations
Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Aarhus Convention Compliance
Committee. As Ireland was not then a Party to the Convention on Access to
Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in
Environmental Matters, the Communication ACCC/C/2010/54 was accepted in
relation to the EU as a Party.
On the 16th August 2012 the Compliance Committee issued its findings and
recommendations[18], in relation to compliance by the EU with the terms of
Convention, which applied to the implementation of the Renewable Energy
Programme in Ireland. The Committee determined that the EU did not comply
with the provisions of the Aarhus Convention in connection with its 20%
renewable energy by 2020 programme (Directive 2009/28/EC) and its
implementation throughout the 27 Member States by the National Renewable
Energy Action Plans (NREAPs), namely:
By not having in place a proper regulatory framework and / or clear
instructions to implement Article 7 of the Convention with respect to the
adoption of NREAPs by Member States on the basis of Directive 2009/28/EC
has failed to comply with Article 7 of the Convention;
By not having properly monitored the implementation by Ireland of Article 7
of the Convention in the adoption of Irelands NREAP also has failed to
comply with Article 7 of the Convention;
By not having in place a proper regulatory framework and / or clear
instructions to implement Article 7 of the Convention with respect to the
adoption of NREAPs by Member States on the basis of Directive 2009/28/EC
has failed to comply also with Article 3, paragraph 1, of the Convention;
The Compliance Committee has therefore recommended that the EU is now
required to put in place the necessary measures, such that they ensure that
the arrangements for public participation in a Member State are transparent
and fair and that within those arrangements the necessary information is
provided to the public. In addition, such a regulatory framework and / or clear
instructions must ensure that the requirements of the Convention are met, in
relation to reasonable time-frames, allowing for sufficient time for informing
the public and for the public to prepare and participate effectively, allowing for
early public participation when all options are open, and ensuring that due
account is taken of the outcome of the public participation. Note: These
measures above relate to compliance with Article 7 of the Convention. Article
7 is less specific than a Strategic Environmental Assessment, the necessary

information being understood in the context of effective participation rather


than a defined environmental report. However, the scope of Article 7 is
broader than that of the Strategic Environmental Assessment.
Therefore, with regard to the NREAP which incorporated the implementation
of Grid25, it did not ensure that public participation occurred when all options
are open. To clarify as to the development of the NREAP, the 2007 Energy
Policy Framework which predated it stated:
3.4.6. The Government is committed to delivering a significant growth in
renewable energy as a contribution to fuel diversity in power generation with a
2020 target of 33% of electricity consumption. Wind energy will provide the
pivotal contribution to achieving this target.
3.4.8. Underpinning the Strategic Goals to enhance the diversity of fuels for
power generation the following actions are underway or planned:

We will achieve 33% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by


2020 through support for research, development, commercialisation, and
technology transfer as well as grid connections and planning issues for
offshore wind, ocean technology and biomass;

We will, together with the NI Authorities, set an all-island 2020 renewables


target during 2007 informed by the All-Island Grid Study;

We will ensure the necessary transmission system planning and development


in support of renewables by EirGrid and SONI and the Regulators in the allisland framework;
3.9.5. Actions:

We will progressively achieve 33% of our electricity consumption from


renewable sources by 2020 with 15% the target for 2010;
This Energy Policy Framework did not comply with either Article 7 of the
Convention or the Strategic Environmental Assessment. As Eirgrids own
website states in relation to The All-Island Grid Study which followed on from
this 2007 Energy Policy Framework:

In January 2008 the Energy Minister Eamon Ryan and his Northern
counterpart Nigel Dodds, published the All-Island Grid Study, the most
advanced and comprehensive of its kind in the world. The study examines: a
range of generation portfolios for Ireland; the ability of the power system to
handle various amounts of electricity from renewable sources; the investment
levels required, and the positive externalities that would accrue with regard to
climate change and security of supply[19].
Following the publishing of this study, through the mechanisms of the 2008
carbon budget:

Minister for Environment, John Gormley T.D. has announced a revised


ambitious target for renewable penetration in the electricity sector. The new
target of 40% is a significant increase from the previous goal of 33% and
exceeds considerably both current EU targets of 20% and the UKs current
target of 15%.

The Minister said: One of the most effective ways of reducing our national
greenhouse gas emissions is to generate as much electricity as possible from
renewable sources rather than from fossil fuels. The previous Government
adopted a target that 33% of electricity consumed would be from renewable
sources by 2020. Today I can confirm that the Government has now agreed,
on the recommendation of my colleague, the Minister for Communications,
Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan, T.D. to increase this target to
40%. The target is underpinned by analysis conducted in the recent All Island
Grid Study which found that a 40% penetration is technically feasible, subject
to upgrading our electricity grid and ensuring the development of flexible
generating plant on the electricity system.
No public participation occurred on this increase in the renewable target, let
alone compliance with Article 7 of the Convention or the Directive on Strategic
Environmental Assessment.
In the case of the NREAP, which according to the requirement of Article 4 of
Directive 2009/28/EC, was notified to the EU Commission on the 30 th June
2010, the limited and totally inadequate public consultation occurred on the
11th to 25th June 2010. As Una Dioxin of the Department of Communications,
Energy and Natural Resources stated in her affidavit of the 7 th March 2013 in
Swords v Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
2012 No. 920/JR:

I say and believe Mr Swords is mistaken in his contention that the NREAP
decided policy on wind energy. I say that new renewable projects cannot be
built without a grid connection and the process for ensuring sufficient grid
connection to meet the 2020 target and the type of renewable technology
concerned was decided well in advance of and before the submission of
Irelands NREAP in July 2010.
As the draft Grid25 Implementation Programme Strategic Environmental
Assessment documents, it was dated March 2011. In other words it was a fait
acompli, no options were open, the type of renewable technology, i.e. almost
predominately wind energy, was decided well in advance, as was process for
ensuring sufficient grid connections.
Grid25 in terms of its legal obligations of effective public participation when all
options were open was a complete farce. Indeed, any competent engineer will
point out how highly inefficient intermittent wind energy is, not least in the
extensive grid connections required. There were a multiple of other
approaches which could have been taken, not least using the other ten
different sources of renewable energy identified in Directive 2009/28/EC and
its 20% renewable energy target, which would have required far less in terms

of grid infrastructure development.


If we refer back to Section 4.2 of this Submission and Article 6 of Directive
2001/42/EC, which in relation to Consultations states:

The authorities referred to in paragraph 3 and the public referred to in


paragraph 4 shall be given an early and effective opportunity within
appropriate time frames to express their opinion on the draft plan or
programme and the accompanying environmental report before the
adoption of the plan or programme or its submission to the legislative
procedure.
The public have never been given an early and effective opportunity to
participate in the decision-making by Eirgrid, who is blatantly running
roughshod over their democratic rights.

5. Current Legal Proceedings in Relation to


the Renewable Energy Programme
Approximately every three years there is a Treaty Conference called the
Meeting of the Parties, where the circa. 45 countries, which have ratified the
Aarhus Convention, convene. In preparation for the June 2014 Meeting of the
Parties, the Compliance Committee wrote to the EU in July 2013 enquiring as
to what progress had been made on its recommendations [20]. The reply
demonstrated that no progress has been achieved on the recommendation
and no progress is envisaged.
The Compliance Committee has prepared, following its meeting in September
2013, its draft compliance report and has issued it for comment to the EU and
the Author. It will finalise this report at its December 2013 meeting and publish
it in advance of the Meeting of the Parties. The following are the conclusions
of that draft report:
10. In its update, the Party concerned stated that the Commission has taken
due note of the findings and recommendations of the ACCC concerning
compliance by the European Union with provisions of the Convention in
connection with the Irish National Renewable Energy Action Plan and the
Commission is preparing letters addressed to all EU Member States,
informing them of the findings and reminding them to respect the provisions of
the Aarhus Convention on public participation should the need to submit an
amended National Energy Action Plan arise.
11. In its comments on the Party concerneds update, the communicant
expressed doubts as to whether the Party concerned was implementing the
recommendations of the Committee.
12. The Committee welcomes the preparation of letters to the Member States
by the Party concerned. However, the Committee is concerned as to whether
such letters will provide a proper regulatory framework and/or clear

instructions for implementing article 7 of the Convention with respect to the


adoption of NREAPs. The Committee is also concerned that it remains
unclear how the Party concerned will adapt the manner in which it evaluates
NREAPs in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee.
13. At its forty-second meeting (24-27 September 2013), the Committee
concluded the draft of the present report and recommendations. The draft
was then sent to the Party concerned and the communicant for their
comments. [Both provided comments]. The Committee, considering the
comments submitted, adopted the report and recommendations [using its
electronic decision-making procedure][at its forty-third meeting (17-20
December 2013)] and agreed to submit it to the Meeting of the Parties.
14. The Committee recommends to the Meeting of the Parties, pursuant to
paragraph 35 of the annex to decision I/7 and taking into account the cause
and degree of non-compliance and measures taken by the Party concerned in
the intersessional period, to:
(a) Endorse the findings and recommendations of the Committee as adopted
at its thirty-seventh meeting;
(b) Welcome the efforts made by the Party concerned in the preparation of
letters to the Member States.
(c) Express its concern to the Party concerned as to whether such letters will
provide a proper regulatory framework and/or clear instructions for
implementing article 7 of the Convention with respect to the adoption of
NREAPs and that it remains unclear how the Party concerned will adapt the
manner in which it evaluates NREAPs in accordance with the
recommendations of the Committee.
(d) Invite the Party concerned to submit to the Committee periodically (in July
2014, July 2015 and July 2016) detailed information on further progress in
implementing the recommendations set out above;
(e) Undertake to review the situation at its sixth session.
It is relevant to consider the position of the Compliance Committee and the
endorsement of their findings by the Meeting of the Parties within the context
of International Law. In Communication ACCC/C/2005/17 in relation to
compliance by the European Community, the Compliance Committee in their
findings ECE/MP.PP/2008/5/Add.10[21] recorded in paragraph 58:
The Committee notes the point made by the Party concerned (para. 23) that
under European Community law, an international agreement concluded by
the Community is binding on the Community institutions and the Member
States, and takes precedence over legal acts adopted by the Community.
According to the Party concerned, this means that Community law texts
should be interpreted in accordance with such an agreement. In this context,
the Committee wishes to stress that the fact that an international agreement
may be given a superior rank to directives and other secondary legislation in
European Community law should not be taken as an excuse for not
transposing the Convention through a clear, transparent and consistent
framework into European Community law (cf. article 3, paragraph 1, of the
Convention).

According to the case law of the European Court of Justice, a provision of an


international treaty is directly applicable[22]: when, regard being had to its
wording and to the purpose and nature of the agreement, the provision
contains a clear and precise obligation which is not subject, in its
implementation or effects, to the adoption of any subsequent measure
Furthermore, the case-law of the Arhus Convention Compliance Committee
and the adoption of its decision by the Meeting of the Parties provides for
relevant legal custom under international law, specifying the broad provisions
of the Aarhus Convention. Ireland has already been made aware of the
position of mixed agreements and their position in Community legal order at
the European Court in Case C-13/00 for failing to comply with the Berne
Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Act of 24
July 1971)[23].

Mixed agreements concluded by the Community, its Member States and nonmember countries have the same status in the Community legal order as
purely Community agreements, as these are provisions coming within the
scope of Community competence. It follows that, in ensuring respect for
commitments arising from an agreement concluded by the Community
institutions, the Member States fulfil, within the Community system, an
obligation in relation to the Community, which has assumed responsibility for
the due performance of the agreement. The Berne Convention creates rights
and obligations in areas covered by Community law, with the result that there
is a Community interest in ensuring that all Contracting Parties to the
Agreement on the European Economic Area adhere to that Convention.
As Article 15 of the Aarhus Convention document, arrangements have been
established for reviewing compliance with the provisions of this Convention.
As the EU and the Irish State has demonstrated complete contempt for these
arrangements and those of the Directive on Strategic Environmental
Assessment, these matters are now the subject of legal proceedings by the
Author against the State in the High Court. It is interesting to observe what
can only be described as the petulance of the State, who already in evidence
presented by their Senior Counsel in the hearing on the preliminary issues on
Swords v Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in
April 2012 in front of the President of the High Court Justice Kearns, stated
that the matters raised and the findings of the Compliance Committee were all
nonsense. Indeed with regard to these findings [24], in particular Points 80 to
85:

83. Nevertheless, with respect to the consultation with the public conducted
by Ireland the Committee finds that it was conducted within a very short time
frame, namely two weeks. Public participation under article 7 of the
Convention must meet the standards of the Convention, including article 6,
paragraph 3, of the Convention, which requires reasonable time frames. A two
week period is not a reasonable time frame for the public to prepare and
participate effectively, taking into account the complexity of the plan or

programme (see findings on communication ACCC/C/2006/16 (Lithuania),


ECE/MP.PP/2008/5/Add.6, para. 69). The manner in which the public was
informed of the fact that public consultation was going to take place remains
unclear; neither the Party concerned nor the communicant provided clarity on
the matter. The Committee furthermore points out that a targeted consultation
involving selected stakeholders, including NGOs, can usefully complement
but not substitute for proper public participation, as required by the
Convention.
The State is now in its legal proceedings denying these findings and that the
two week consultation, conducted without the necessary environmental
information and without taking due account of the public participation in the
final decision, was adequate and in compliance with the Convention. Indeed it
is worth pointing out with regard to the situation of International Law, the
Committee referenced above in relation to the NREAP consultation in Ireland
its previous findings in relation to ACCC/C/2006/16 (Lithuania). These findings
were then endorsed by the Meeting of the Parties in Riga in 2008,
ECE/MP.PP/2008/2/Add.12 [25], with regard to 10 working days (i.e. two
weeks) being inadequate with respect to public participation. Note: In the
Lithuanian case this was for a landfill project, which while complex, is
nowhere near as complex as a national renewable energy programme for
some 7,145 MW of wind energy (circa. three thousand turbines) and a
doubling of the grid by some 5,000 km of high voltage lines.
Following the hearing of preliminary matters brought forward by the State to
quash the relevant proceedings on the initial High Court Judicial Review
proceedings, by order of the President of the High Court of the 16 April 2013,
leave has been given to commence plenary summons proceedings in
substitution for the application for Judicial Review. The following claims are
being made:
2

A declaration that the Defendants have, in contravention of the Convention on


Access To Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to
Justice in Environmental Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998
(the Aarhus Convention) and in contravention of the law of the European
Union failed to adopt a proper regulatory framework for implementation of
Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention.

In addition to 1 above, a declaration that the Defendants have ,in


contravention of the Convention on Access To Information, Public
Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental
Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998 (the Aarhus
Convention) and in contravention of the law of the European Union and in
contravention of the law of the State, failed, to have in place proper public
participatory procedures, contrary to Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention. Such
framework would provide, in accordance with the requirements of Article 6 of
the Aarhus Convention (and in accordance with the law of the European
Union and of the State) reasonable time frames allowing sufficient time for
informing the public to prepare and participate effectively.

A declaration that (a) the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP)
submitted by Ireland purportedly pursuant to Article 4 of Directive 2009/28/EC
to the Commission of the European Union and (b) the Renewable Energy
Feed In Tariff (REFIT) scheme; and or (c) the Energy Policy Framework 2007
2020 (collectively the plans or programmes) were adopted in
contravention of the Convention on Access To Information, Public
Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental
Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998 (the Aarhus
Convention) and in contravention of the law of the European Union and of
the law of the State. In addition and consequently a Declaration that the plans
and programmes at (a) to (c) above are null and void and of no legal effect.

A declaration that the Defendants have, in the circumstances complained of in


these proceedings, failed to take such necessary legislative, regulatory and or
other measures, to ensure proper and adequate implementation of the
provisions of the Aarhus Convention.

A declaration that the Defendants have in contravention of Articles 4 and 5 of


the Aarhus Convention (and by reason of the breach of Article 7 set out
above) and contrary to the law of the European Union failed to provide access
to information requested by the Applicant concerning the NREAP adopted by
the Defendant.

In the alternative and in the event that it is held that the above matters are not
justiciable or that this Honourable Court may make no order(s) in respect
thereof, a declaration that the law, rules and procedures in the State
concerning the complaints made by the Plaintiff have, contrary to Article 9 of
the Aarhus Convention and/or contrary to Article 47 of the Charter of
Fundamental Rights of the European Union (in respect of a matter within the
scope of the law of the European Union and concerning the rights enshrined
by Articles 37, 41 and 42 of the Charter) failed to provide the Plaintiff with an
effective remedy.

An order prohibiting the Defendants from relying upon the plans and
programmes set out at paragraph 3 hereof insofar as the said plans and
programmes may inform any decisions made concerning the Defendants or
third parties until such time as the same plans and programmes (or any new
iterations thereof) conform to the requirements of the Aarhus Convention and
the law of the European Union.

An order directing that in so far as the Defendant adopts or implements the


said plans or programmes Defendant it does so in compliance with the
Aarhus Convention and, inter alia: (a) providing access to all relevant
information about the said plans or programmes; (b) providing adequate
arrangements for public participation in the adoption of the said plans of
programmes; (c) taking due account of the public participation in the adoption
of the final plan or programme; (d) carrying out a Strategic Environmental
Assessment according to Directive 2001/42/EC;

A declaration that the Defendants have in respect of the adoption of NREAPs

and by choosing to incorporate a process for participation contained in


Directive 2009/28/EC as opposed to Directive 2001/42/EC failed to comply
with the law of the European Union and of the State.
2

A protective Costs Order in respect of the Plaintiffs costs to be made at an


interlocutory stage of the proceedings.

An order providing the Plaintiff with an Order for Costs of the within
proceedings and in respect of proceedings between the parties under record
number 2012 No.920 JR.
Essentially the above relates to an injunction on the national renewable
energy programme until such time as the Directive on Strategic Environmental
Assessment and Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention have been complied with.
The use of the mechanisms of Plenary Summons was based on the
conclusions of President of the High Court in April 2013 that the Convention
did apply in Ireland since its ratification by the EU in 2005, despite a previous
ruling by Justice Hedigan in Klohn -v- An Bord Pleanla [2011] IEHC 196 that
it did not, and that as Article 7 of the Convention was not time limited, it would
not be appropriate to continue with the implementation of the national
renewable energy programme up to 2020, if indeed it was determined that the
relevant procedures related to public participation in Community legal order
had not been complied with. These Plenary Summons proceedings are
currently on-going and expected to be brought before the High Court again
early in the New Year

6. Conclusion
This Submission clearly documents the utter ignorance that Eirgrid has shown
for the legal framework on public participation in decision-making, not least by
failing to adequately inform the public concerned, failing to ensure effective
public participation when all options are open and failing to take due account
of the public participation in their final decision-making. In addition to the legal
ignorance in relation to the rights of the citizen, one can only marvel at the
brazenness of Eirgrid which clearly believes that Irish citizens are going to
tolerate some 5,000 km of unnecessary high voltage lines, at a cost of more
than 4 billion added to their bills.
There are legal mechanisms; Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention on public
participation on plans and programmes related to the environment is both
clear in the necessary obligations on public authorities and in that it is not time
limited.

[1] http://www.epaw.org/organisation.php?lang=en&country=Ireland
[2] http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?
documentid=78&articleid=1163

[3] http://www.unece.org/env/pp/introduction.html

[4] http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?
src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVII-13&chapter=27&lang=en
[5] See Section on Article 7 in EU Implementation Report to UNECE:
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2008/pp/mop3/ece_mp_
pp_ir_2008_EC_e.pdf

[6]
http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/doc/nreap__adoptedversion__30_june
_en.pdf

[7] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?
uri=CELEX:62009CC0105:EN:NOT
[8] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?
uri=CELEX:62011CJ0041:EN:NOT

[9] http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Correspondence%20with
%20communicant/Response_08.01.2012/frCommC54LetterIrishAd2ECreNRE
AP.pdf
[10] http://www.ocei.gov.ie/en/Decisions/Decisions-of-the-Commissioner/MrPat-Swords-Department-of-Communications,-Energy-and-NaturalResources.html

[11] http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2004/en/si/0435.html
[12] http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Environmental%20Main

%20Report.pdf
[13] http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Correspondence%20with%20Party%20concerned/Response
%2028%20June%202011/frComRESPONSE.pdf

[14] http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2011/en/si/0200.html
[15]http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?

text=&docid=72488&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&di
r=&occ=first&part=1&cid=172902
[16] Second Edition of Aarhus Convention: An Implementation Guide:
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/ppdm/Aarhus_Implementation_G
uide_second_edition_-_text_only.pdf

[17] Submission No. 4: http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Environmental%20Main


%20Report.pdf
[18] See UNECE webpage on Communication ACCC/C/2010/54:
http://www.unece.org/env/pp/compliance/Compliancecommittee/54TableEU.ht
ml

[19] In fact the last sentence is highly inaccurate, the positive external costs,
such as avoided environmental degradation, were never assessed or
quantified. Neither was a proper study completed of grid stability, i.e. security
of supply.

[20] See documentation at end of webpage:


http://www.unece.org/env/pp/compliance/Compliancecommittee/54TableEU.ht
ml

[21]http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2008/pp/mop3/ece_
mp_pp_2008_5_add_10_e.pdf
[22] C-240/09 (Lesoochranrske zoskupenie VLK) para 44:
http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf;jsessionid=9ea7d2dc30db
035be8a7137b463ab230af24e9cba277.e34KaxiLc3qMb40Rch0SaxuMaN10?
text=&docid=80235&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&pa
rt=1&cid=83250

Clarification (relating to Eirgrid) to the Commissioner for Environmental


http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Communication/Annex%202%20%28a-e%29%20Environmental
%20Information/Annex2d_ClarificationsEirdrid.pdf
Letter to the the Party concerned forwarding the communication
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Correspondence%20with%20Party
%20concerned/toEUC54_2010_fwdcomm%26quest_28Jan2011.pdf

Environment Aarhus Convention Public participation in the


decision-making process and access to justice in environmental
matters Direct effect)
http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf;jsessionid=9ea7d2dc30db
035be8a7137b463ab230af24e9cba277.e34KaxiLc3qMb40Rch0SaxuMaN10?
text=&docid=80235&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&pa
rt=1&cid=83250
High Court decision summary
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Correspondence%20with
%20communicant/frCommC54Annex_Klohn_V_An_Bord_Pleanala_5Sept201

1.pdf
wind turbin and grid complaints Communication
Latest datasheet on the status of the communication
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Communication/CommunicationACCC.pdf

Commission Decision State Aid_Ireland European Commission decision on


state aid (Ireland) (25.09.2007)
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Communication/Annex1_CommissionDecisionStateAid_Ireland.pdf
Appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Communication/Annex%202%20%28a-e%29%20Environmental
%20Information/Annex2a_AppealDecisionCommissionEnvInfoDECNRSEPT2
010.pdf
DECISION-MAKING AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE
IN ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS
Third meeting
Riga, 1113 June 2008
Item 6 (b) of the provisional agenda
Procedures and mechanisms facilitating the implementation of the Convention:
Compliance mechanism
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2008/pp/mop3/ece_mp_
pp_2008_5_add_10_e.pdf

Judgment of the Court of 19 March 2002. - Commission


of the European Communities v Ireland. - Failure by a
Member State to fulfil its obligations - Failure to adhere
within the prescribed period to the Berne Convention
for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris
Act of 24 July 1971) - Failure to fulfil obligations under
Article 228(7) of the EC Treaty (now, after amendment,
Article 300(7) EC) in conjunction with Article 5 of
Protocol 28 to the EEA Agreement. - Case C-13/00.

Judgment of the Court of 19 March 2002. - Commission of


the European Communities v Ireland. - Failure by a
Member State to fulfil its obligations - Failure to adhere

within the prescribed period to the Berne Convention for


the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Act of
24 July 1971) - Failure to fulfil obligations under Article
228(7) of the EC Treaty (now, after amendment, Article
300(7) EC) in conjunction with Article 5 of Protocol 28 to
the EEA Agreement. - Case C-13/00.
European Court reports 2002 Page I-02943
Summary
Parties
Grounds
Decision on costs
Operative part
Keywords
1. Procedure - Intervention - Plea of inadmissibility not
raised by the defendant - Not admissible
(EC Statute of the Court of Justice, Art. 37)
2. Actions for failure to fulfil obligations - Commission's
right to bring proceedings - Action for a declaration that a
mixed agreement concluded by the Commission and the
Member States has not been complied with - Berne
Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
- Area falling within Community competence
(EC Treaty, Art. 228(7) (now, after amendment, Art. 300(7)
EC); Protocol 28 to the EEA Agreement, Art. 5)
3. Actions for failure to fulfil obligations - Examination of
the merits by the Court - Situation to be taken into
consideration - Situation at the end of the period laid down
in the reasoned opinion
(Art. 226 EC)
Summary
1. Under Article 37 of the Statute of the Court of Justice,

an application to intervene must be limited to supporting


the form of order sought by one of the parties. An
intervener therefore has no standing to raise a plea of
inadmissibility not set out in the form of order sought by
the defendant.
( see paras 3, 5 )
2. The requirement of adherence to the Berne Convention
for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Act
of 24 July 1971) which Article 5 of Protocol 28 to the
Agreement on the European Economic Area imposes on
the Contracting Parties comes within the Community
framework in view of the fact that it features in an
agreement concluded, pursuant to Article 228 of the
Treaty (now, after amendment, Article 300 EC) by the
Community, its Member States and non-member countries
and relates to an area covered in large measure by the
Treaty. The Commission is thus competent to assess
compliance with that requirement, subject to review by
the Court.
Mixed agreements concluded by the Community, its
Member States and non-member countries have the same
status in the Community legal order as purely Community
agreements, as these are provisions coming within the
scope of Community competence. It follows that, in
ensuring respect for commitments arising from an
agreement concluded by the Community institutions, the
Member States fulfil, within the Community system, an
obligation in relation to the Community, which has
assumed responsibility for the due performance of the
agreement. The Berne Convention creates rights and
obligations in areas covered by Community law, with the
result that there is a Community interest in ensuring that
all Contracting Parties to the Agreement on the European
Economic Area adhere to that Convention.
( see paras 14-15, 19-20 )
3. Within the context of an action brought under Article
226 EC, the question whether there has been a failure to

fulfil obligations must be determined by reference to the


situation prevailing in the Member State at the end of the
period laid down in the reasoned opinion.
( see para. 21 )
Parties
In Case C-13/00,
Commission of the European Communities, represented by
K. Banks and M. Desantes, acting as Agents, with an
address for service in Luxembourg,
applicant,
v
Ireland, represented initially by M.A. Buckley and
subsequently by D.J. O'Hagan, acting as Agents, with an
address for service in Luxembourg,
defendant,
supported by
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
represented by G. Amodeo, acting as Agent, and M.
Hoskins, Barrister, with an address for service in
Luxembourg,
intervener,
APPLICATION for a declaration that, by failing to obtain its
adherence before 1 January 1995 to the Berne Convention
for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Act
of 24 July 1971), Ireland has failed to fulfil its obligations
under Article 228(7) of the EC Treaty (now, after
amendment, Article 300(7) EC) in conjunction with Article
5 of Protocol 28 to the Agreement on the European
Economic Area of 2 May 1992 (OJ 1994 L 1, p. 3),

THE COURT,
composed of: G.C. Rodrguez Iglesias, President, P. Jann, F.
Macken, N. Colneric and S. von Bahr (Presidents of
Chambers), C. Gulmann, D.A.O. Edward, J.-P. Puissochet
(Rapporteur), M. Wathelet, R. Schintgen, V. Skouris, J.N.
Cunha Rodrigues and C.W.A. Timmermans, Judges,
Advocate General: J. Mischo,
Registrar: R. Grass,
having regard to the report of the Judge-Rapporteur,
after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the
sitting on 27 November 2001,
gives the following
Judgment
Grounds
1 By application lodged at the Court Registry on 14
January 2000, the Commission of the European
Communities brought an action under Article 226 EC for a
declaration that, by failing to obtain its adherence before 1
January 1995 to the Berne Convention for the Protection of
Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Act of 24 July 1971) (the
Berne Convention), Ireland had failed to fulfil its
obligations under Article 228(7) of the EC Treaty (now,
after amendment, Article 300(7) EC) in conjunction with
Article 5 of Protocol 28 to the Agreement on the European
Economic Area of 2 May 1992 (OJ 1994 L 1, p. 3) (the EEA
Agreement).
2 By a statement in intervention in support of the form of
order sought by Ireland, the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland argues that the mixed
character of the EEA Agreement means that the Court has
jurisdiction to rule on it only in relation to matters which
have been the subject of harmonisation measures at

Community level, which is not the case with regard to


intellectual property. Consequently, in the United
Kingdom's view, the Berne Convention is a matter of
international law and the competence of the Member
States and its application cannot be the subject of review
by the Court.
The admissibility of the submissions of the United
Kingdom as intervener
3 Under Article 37 of the EC Statute of the Court of Justice,
an application to intervene must be limited to supporting
the form of order sought by one of the parties.
4 The United Kingdom submits that the Court should
declare that it has no jurisdiction to rule in the dispute and
consequently dismiss the action brought by the
Commission. Ireland accepts that it has failed to fulfil an
obligation and confines itself to requesting the Court to
suspend the case until its legislation has been amended
accordingly.
5 An intervener has no standing to raise a plea of
inadmissibility not set out in the forms of order sought by
the defendant (see Case C-313/90 CIRFS and Others v
Commission [1993] ECR I-1125, paragraphs 21 and 22,
and Case C-225/91 Matra v Commission [1993] ECR I3203, paragraphs 11 and 12).
6 As the United Kingdom confines itself to challenging the
Court's jurisdiction to hear the dispute, it follows that its
submissions as intervener are inadmissible.
The failure to fulfil obligations
7 Under Article 5 of Protocol 28 to the EEA Agreement, the
Contracting Parties undertook to obtain their adherence
before 1 January 1995 to the Berne Convention. As Ireland
is a party to the EEA Agreement, which entered into force
on 1 January 1994, it was required to meet its obligations
under that Agreement, including its adherence to the
Berne Convention.

8 As Ireland failed to adhere within the prescribed period,


the Commission addressed a letter of formal notice to it on
15 April 1998.
9 Ireland replied in a letter of May 1998 that it was in the
course of finalising a new bill which would update its
copyright law and enable it to ratify the Berne Convention.
10 Taking the view that there was still no instrument of
accession by Ireland to the Berne Convention, the
Commission addressed a reasoned opinion to Ireland on
17 December 1998 requesting compliance within two
months.
11 In its letter of reply of 15 February 1999, Ireland
acknowledged its obligation to adhere to the Berne
Convention. It informed the Commission that the draft
legislation on intellectual property was at an advanced
stage of its scrutiny by the Irish Parliament and would be
enacted by the end of 1999 at the latest.
12 It is for this reason that Ireland, in its defence, requests
the Court to grant a further period of six months to enable
a vote to be taken on the draft legislation and to enable it
to be submitted to the Commission in the hope that the
latter might then discontinue the proceedings.
13 The action for failure to fulfil obligations can have as its
subject only the failure to comply with obligations under
Community law, so it is necessary, before deciding
whether there has been a substantive failure, to examine
whether the obligations devolving on Ireland and forming
the subject-matter of the present action come within the
scope of Community law.
14 The Court has ruled that mixed agreements concluded
by the Community, its Member States and non-member
countries have the same status in the Community legal
order as purely Community agreements, as these are
provisions coming within the scope of Community
competence (see, to that effect, Case 12/86 Demirel

[1987] ECR 3719, paragraph 9).


15 From this the Court has concluded that, in ensuring
respect for commitments arising from an agreement
concluded by the Community institutions, the Member
States fulfil, within the Community system, an obligation
in relation to the Community, which has assumed
responsibility for the due performance of the agreement
(Demirel, cited above, paragraph 11).
16 In the present case, there can be no doubt that the
provisions of the Berne Convention cover an area which
comes in large measure within the scope of Community
competence.
17 The protection of literary and artistic works, which
forms the subject-matter of the Berne Convention, is to a
very great extent governed by Community legislation in
matters as diverse as the legal protection of computer
programs, rental and lending rights within the area of
intellectual property, the protection of copyright applicable
to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission, the
legal protection of databases or the terms of protection of
copyright and certain related rights.
18 The Court has, moreover, had occasion to rule that
copyright and related rights fall within the scope of
application of the Treaty (Joined Cases C-92/92 and C326/92 Phil Collins and Others [1993] ECR I-5145,
paragraph 28).
19 The Berne Convention thus creates rights and
obligations in areas covered by Community law. That
being so, there is a Community interest in ensuring that all
Contracting Parties to the EEA Agreement adhere to that
Convention.
20 It follows that the requirement of adherence to the
Berne Convention which Article 5 of Protocol 28 to the EEA
Agreement imposes on the Contracting Parties comes
within the Community framework, given that it features in
a mixed agreement concluded by the Community and its

Member States and relates to an area covered in large


measure by the Treaty. The Commission is thus competent
to assess compliance with that requirement, subject to
review by the Court.
21 With regard to the substantive nature of the failure to
fulfil obligations, it has consistently been held that the
question whether a Member State has failed to fulfil its
obligations must be determined solely by reference to the
situation prevailing in the Member State at the end of the
period laid down in the reasoned opinion (see, inter alia,
Case C-147/00 Commission v France [2001] ECR I-2387,
paragraph 26). Further, a Member State cannot plead
provisions, practices or situations within its internal legal
order in order to justify its failure to fulfil obligations under
Community law.
22 As it has thus been established that Ireland failed to
adhere to the Berne Convention within the period
specified by the reasoned opinion, as required under the
EEA Agreement, the action for failure to fulfil obligations
must be considered to be well founded.
23 Consequently, by failing to obtain its adherence before
1 January 1995 to the Berne Convention, Ireland has failed
to fulfil its obligations under Article 228(7) of the EC Treaty
in conjunction with Article 5 of Protocol 28 to the EEA
Agreement.
Decision on costs
Costs
24 Under Article 69(2) of the Rules of Procedure, the
unsuccessful party is to be ordered to pay the costs if they
have been applied for in the successful party's pleadings.
As the Commission has applied for costs and Ireland has
been unsuccessful, Ireland must be ordered to pay the
costs. Pursuant to Article 69(4) of the Rules of Procedure,
the United Kingdom shall bear its own costs.
Operative part

On those grounds,
THE COURT
hereby:
1. Dismisses the submissions of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland as intervener;
2. Declares that, by failing to obtain its adherence before 1
January 1995 to the Berne Convention for the Protection of
Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Act of 24 July 1971),
Ireland has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article
228(7) of the EC Treaty (now, after amendment, Article
300(7) EC) in conjunction with Article 5 of Protocol 28 to
the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May
1992;
3. Orders Ireland to pay the costs;
4. Orders the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland to bear its own costs.
The end
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?
uri=CELEX:62000CJ0013:EN:HTML
Findings and recommendations with regard to communication
ACCC/C/2010/54 concerning compliance by the European Union
ECE/MP.PP/C.1/2012/12 Distr.- General 2 October 2012
Prepared by the Compliance Committee and adopted on 29 June 2012
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/compliance/C201054/Findings/ece_mp.pp_c.1_2012_12_eng.pdf

ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE MEETING OF


THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON ACCESS TO
INFORMATION, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN DECISIONMAKING AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN
ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS

http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/mop3/ODS/ec
e_mp_pp_2008_2_add_12_e_Lith.pdf

Irish People Encouraged to Get Up-Close


and Personal with Enough Wind to Power
325,000 Homes
15 June, 2015
- Record number of Wind Farms across Ireland open to the public
through June.
- Turbines on show represent almost a fifth of Irelands Wind
Generation Capacity
A record number of 24 wind farms across the Island of Ireland are open
to the public and schools

through the month of June as part of an initiative to encourage Irish


people to experience wind turbines first hand, ask questions and learn
more about the how wind energy works.
The wind farm openings have been organised by 16 separate
companies and the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) as part of
Global Wind Day, which is marked in countries across Europe and the
globe on June 15th, and will include a range of activities including
school and family tours, turbine look & learn experiences, charity runs,
walking tours, and other family fun events.
The wind farms hosting events comprise almost 250 individual wind
turbines and represent over 500MW of electricity generation capacity,
enough to power over 325,000 local homes.

Kenneth Matthews, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA)


which every year encourages its members to open their wind farms to
the public, said:
Wind energy is Irelands fastest growing energy source but also our
cleanest, most cost effective and most abundant source of indigenous
renewable energy.
We believe it is very important that all of us operating in the industry do
more to inform people about the benefits of wind energy, and answering
any questions and concerns they may have. The wind farm openings
this week and through the month of June are a great opportunity to do
just that.
Last year saw over 1,000 people young and old visiting Irish wind
farms, this year we expect even more. Im encouraging people to come,
see and learn for yourself about the benefits of Irish wind energy.
Philomena Kenealy, manager at Irish wind energy developer Ecopower,
which operates two wind farms open to the public as part of Global
Wind Day said:
Were delighted to welcome visitors to the wind farms to mark Global
Wind day. Were very proud of our role in producing clean renewable
energy for Ireland and are delighted to have the opportunity to meet
with the local community and those interested in the windfarms to show
them how the power of the wind is harnessed and hopefully the visitors
will enjoy the experience of being on a windfarm.
Wind energy has delivered record output for the first five months of
2015 to the start of June, hitting a new Irish peak of 1969 MW in
February, while delivering an average of 25% of Irelands entire
electricity demand through the period.
Details about any of the wind farm events taking place throughout the
country and specific details regarding opening times are available on
www.iwea.com and www.windfacts.ie
Windfacts.ie is a new website launched recently to provide anyone
interested in learning more about wind energy with a range of
information including a real-time live feed of Irish wind energy
generation.
Ends
For more information:
Robert Brown
ReputationInc
01 4120500 rbrown@reputation-inc.com
About Global Wind Day
Wind farms with events taking place as part of the Global Wind Day
celebrations include:
Slieve Kirk Wind Farm, Co. Derry ;

Grouselodge Wind Farm, County Limerick;


Mountlucas Wind Farm, Mount Lucas, Co. Offaly;
Gruig Wind Farm, Corkey, Co. Antrim;
Ballincollig Hill Wind Farm, Co. Kerry;
Carn Hill Wind Farm, Co. Antrim;
Beallough Wind Farm, Co. Waterford;
Shannagh Wind Farm, Kilcar, Co. Donegal;
Thornog Wind Farm, Co. Tyrone;
Raheen Barr/Derrynadivva Windfarm, Castlebar, Co Mayo;
The Wind Turbine at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, Co Louth;
Faughary Wind Farm, Co. Leitrim;
Knockaneden Wind Farm, Co. Kerry;
Carrickatane Wind Farm, County Derry;
Ballycurreen Windfarm, County Waterford;
Bawnmore Wind Farm, Co. Cork;
Knocknagoum Wind Farm, Co. Kerry;
Ballymartin Wind Farm, Co. Kilkenny;
Leitir Gungaid Wind Farm, Co. Galway;
Tournafulla Wind Farm, Co Limerick;
Gibbet Hill Wind Farm, Bunclody, Co. Wexford;
Mountain Lodge Wind Farm, Co. Cavan;
About IWEA
Established in 1993, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) is the
national body representing the wind energy sector in Ireland. IWEA is
committed to promoting the use of wind energy in Ireland and beyond
as an economically viable and environmentally sound alternative to
conventional generation and promotes awareness and understanding of
wind power as the primary renewable energy resource. IWEA is also
dedicated to education and awareness building, and to building the
skills base of the renewable energy sector in Ireland. IWEA also
supports the development of other renewable technology, particularly
marine energy. IWEA has more than 200 members who incorporate all
leading industry voices in Ireland. IWEA acts as a central point for
information for its membership as well as a voice to promote wind
energy to government. IWEA is entirely self-funded and relies on the
support of its members. For more information, please visit
http://www.iwea.com

Energyunits
Aprimerontheunitsonetendstoencounterinresearching
energyissues

Thewatt(W)isameasureofelectricpower.(Poweristherate
ofdoingworkorproducingorexpendingenergy.)Onewattis
equalto1joule(J)persecond.Amegawatt(MW)isone
millionwatts.

Thejouleisameasureofenergy,ortheabilityorcapacitytodo
work.Othermeasuresofenergyare
kilowatthour(kWh),athousandwattsofpowerproducedor
usedforonehour,equivalentto3.6millionjoules(MJ).
Onequadrillionjoules(PJ)=278millionkWh.
Whena1MW[maximumrateofenergygeneration]wind
turbineproducesat25%ofthatcapacityasaveragedovera
year,itsannualoutputis
1MW0.25365days24hours=2,190MWh.
Britishthermalunit(Btu),equivalentto1,055Jor0.293Wh.
Million(MM)Btu=1,055MJ=293kWh.
QuadrillionBtu=1,055PJ=293billionkWh=293TWh.
Intheproductionofelectricityfromthermalsources,however,
onlyathirdmayconvertedtoelectricalenergy,theresttoheat.
Therefore,1quadBtumayalsobeexpressedasequivalentto
only98billionkWh,averagingtheefficiencyofvarious
generators.
milliontonneoilequivalent(mtoe),equivalentto41,868MJ
or11,630GWh.
Themetricsystemprefixes:
K(ork)meanskilo,athousand,or10
Mmeansmega,amillion,or10
3

Gmeansgiga,abillion,or10
Tmeanstera,atrillion,or10
Pmeanspeta,aquadrillion,or10
Emeansexa,athousandtimesmorethanpeta,or10
9

12

15

18

Otherfiguresandconversions
Windspeedisoftenexpressedinmeters/second(m/s)orknots.
1m/s=2.237miles/hour(mph)
1knot=1nauticalmile[1longitude=1,852meters]/hour=
1.151mph
Thesweepareaoftherotorbladesisusuallygiveninsquare
meters(m ).
2

1,000m =0.247acre
2

ThesweepareaAcanbecalculatedbymultiplyingthesquareof
thebladelengthr(ormoreaccurately,halfoftherotor
diameter)bypi(,3.1416):A=r
2

1,000squarefeet(ft )=0.023acre
2

Thespeedatthebladetipinmphis:rotordiameter(inmeters)
rpm26.82
Theareaofafacilitymaybeexpressedinacres,square
kilometers(km ),orsquaremiles(mi ).
2

1mi =640acres
1km =247acres
2

Noiselevelisexpressedindecibels(dB),usingalogarithmic
scale.Adifferenceof3dBisthesmallestthatcanbedetected

bythehumanear,whileanoisethatis10dBlouderthan
anotherisperceivedtobetwiceasloud,althoughitisphysically
10timeshigherinpressure.Anincreaseinnoiselevelof6dBor
morecauseswidespreadannoyanceanddisruption.Theusual
measurementisindB(A),whichemphasizestherangeofsounds
easilyheard(consciously)byhumans.Aquietruralnightmay
haveanambientsoundlevelof2030dB(A).Fifteenhundred
feetfromanindustrialwindturbine,thesoundlevelmaybe45
70dB(A),atleastfourtosixteentimesasloud.Another
measurementisdB(C),whichincludeslowerfrequenciesthat
arenotsomuchheardasfeltandhaveadversemedicaland
psychologicaleffects.Lowerfrequencysoundsmoreeasily
penetratewallsandwindowsandareasignificantcomponentof
windturbinenoise.YetanothermeasurementisdB(G),which
includesverylowfrequencyinfrasound,whichrecentresearch
showstheinnereartobesensitiveto.
NoisemeasurementsmaybeexpressedasL ,thelevel
exceeded10%ofthetime(generallytakenasthelevelwhich
willbefoundannoying),L ,thelevelexceeded90%ofthetime
(generallytakenasthebackgroundambientlevel),andL ,the
averagelevelovertime.TheL ,ordaynightaverageover24
hours,with10dBaddedtothenighttimelevels,isusedto
comparenoiselevelsbeforeandafteranewsourceisaddedto
theenvironment.FollowingANSIstandards,5dBshouldbe
addedtorecordedlevelsofunfamiliarsoundsand10dBshould
beaddedinruralareaswherethereisanexpectationofpeace
andquiet.Studiesofwindturbinenoisefindthat"high
annoyance"occursatlevels2030dBlowerthanothernoises.
Furthermore,inpredictingnoiselevelsmultiplesourcesmustbe
considered(notjustthenearestturbine),and"linesource"
decay,whichishalftherateof"pointsource"decay,mustbe
usedforfacilitiesinaline,asonamountainridge.
10

90

eq

dn

Notethattheswishingorthumpingsoundofwindturbinesin
timewiththeirrotationfrequency,whichisassociatedwith

higherannoyance,isnotusuallyreflectedintheabove
measures,becauseoftherelativebrevityofthepeaks.This
characteristicnoiseiscalled"bladeswish"or"bladethump"and
sometimesreferredtowiththenonspecificterm"amplitude
modulation".Itislikelycausedprimarilybydifferentair
densitiesand/orwindspeedsbetweenthetopandbottomofthe
sweepareaoftheblades.IntherulingsallowingtheDenBrook
WindFarminEnglandtoproceed,conditionsincluded
considerationofexcessamplitudemodulationuponcomplaint
asanychange,outsidethedwelling,inLA of>3dBinany2
secondperiod5timesinanyminutewithLA 28dBand
suchexcessoccurringin6minutesinanyhour.
eq,125ms

eq,1min

Emissionsmaybeexpressedinshorttons(U.S.),metrictons
(tonnes),orlongtons(U.K.).
1shortton=2,000pounds
1metricton(tonne)=1,000kilograms=2,204.6pounds1.1
shorttons
1longton=2,240pounds
Insuchfiguresforcarbon,itshouldbecleariftheyarefor
carbondioxide(CO )orjustcarbon(whichmayalsobeemitted
withothercompounds,suchasmethane).Theweightofa
moleculeofcarbonis12/44(0.27)thatofthecompoundCO .
2

In2002,accordingtotheU.N.,theU.S.anditsterritories
emitted5.9billion,theE.U.3.7billion,andChina3.3billion
metrictonsofCO .Theworldwidetotalwas23.8billionmetric
tons.
2

Thegreenhouseeffectsofmethane(CH )andnitrousoxide
(NOx)areoftenexpressedas"CO equivalence"or"global
warmingpotential"(GWP).Thus,theeffectofatonofmethane
istypicallyconsideredtobeequivalenttothatof25tonsofCO ,
4

andatonofNOxto300tonsofCO .Thisequivalencemay
vary,inparttoreflecttheestimatedpersistenceofthedifferent
gasesintheatmosphere:~10yearsformethane,morethan100
yearsforNOx,and1000'sofyearsforCO .
2

Capacityfactorissimplytheactualenergyoutputfroma
generatingplantoveraperiodoftime,usuallyayear,asa
fractionorpercentageoftheplant'scapacity.For"conventional"
plants,thecapacityfactorgenerallyreflectshowmuchtheplant
isusedandnotshutdownformaintenanceormalfunction.For
windturbines,thecapacityfactorismostlyamatterofhow
muchthewindblows,sincetheturbineoutputvarieswithwind
speed.InNorthAmerica,thecapacityfactorforwindisusually
2030%.
Forexample,ifa1MWwindturbinehadacapacityfactorof
25%forthepreviousyear,thatmeansthatitsoutputthatyear
was
1MW365days24hours0.25=2,190MWh.
Note:Itisincorrecttoequatecapacityfactorwith"efficiency"
or"uptime".Windturbinesareinfactreasonablyefficient(upto
~50%attheaveragewindspeedsforwhichtheyaredesigned)
inconvertingtheenergyfromthewindandaretypically
"available"over90%ofthetime.It'stheirfuelsource(wind)
thatisfickle.
Capacityvalue,capacitycredit,oreffectivecapacityishow
muchofageneratingplant'scapacityislikelytobeavailableat
timesofpeakdemand.Forwind,itisvirtuallyzero,because
windturbinesrespondtothewindinsteadofdemand.Wind's
lowcapacityvaluemeansthatothersourcesarestillrequiredto
maintaincapacityandprovidereliablepower.

Windfarmsprovidenousefulelectricity
RichardSCourtney
ThispaperistheexplanationprovidedbyRichardSCourtneyof
whyitisnotpossibleforelectricityfromwindfarmstobeuseful
totheUKelectricitygrid.Theexplanationwaspresentedatthe
2004Conferenceof"GroupsOpposedtoWindfarmsinthe
UK."Itincludesexplanationofwhyuseofwindfarmsis
expensiveandincreasespollutionfromelectricitygeneration.

Acompanionpresentationexplainedthatwindfarms(i.e.,local
assembliesofwindturbines)destroytheenvironmentby
coveringitinconcrete.Andtheyareveryefficientatswatting
birds.Thesesevereenvironmentalcostsmaybeworthsuffering
ifwindfarmsweretoprovidecheap,clean,usefulelectricity.
Thispresentationexplainsthat
windfarmsaddalarge,unnecessarycosttoprovisionof
electricityintheUK,
windfarmscannotprovideanyusefulelectricitytotheUKgrid
atanytime,and
theuseofwindfarmsincreasesemissionsfromconventional
powersystems.*
Thermalpowerstations
Conventionalpowerstationsfissionamaterialorburnafuelto
obtainheatthatisusedtoboilwaterandsuperheattheresulting
steamwhichisfedtothesteamturbines(somepowerstations
alsousegasturbinesincombinationwithsteamturbines).The
turbinesdriveturbogeneratorsthatmakeelectricity.
Apowerstationtakesdaystostartproducingelectricityfroma

coldstart.Timeisneededtoboilthewater,tosuperheatthe
steam,towarmallthecomponentsofthepowerstation,andto
spintheturbogeneratorsuptooperatingspeed.
Eachpowerstationisdesignedtoprovideanoutputof
electricity.Itcanonlyprovideverylittlemoreorverylittleless
thanthisoutput(i.e.,apowerstationhasa"lowturndown
ratio").
Electricitydemandmatching
Electricityiswantedallthetimebutthedemandforelectricity
variesfromhourtohour,daytoday,andmonthtomonth.The
electricitygridhastomatchthesupplyofelectricitytothe
demandforitatalltimes.Thisisdifficultbecausepower
stationscannotbeswitchedonandoffasdemandvaries.
Theproblemofmatchingelectricitysupplytovaryingdemand
isovercomebyoperatingpowerstationsinthreemodescalled
"baseload,""generation,"and"spinningstandby."
Somepowerstationsoperateallthetimeprovidingelectricityto
thegrid,andtheyaresaidtoprovide"baseload."
Otherpowerstationsalsooperateallthetimebutdonotprovide
electricityallthetime.Theyburn(orfission)theirfueltoboil
waterandsuperheattheresultingsteamwhichisfedtothe
steamturbinesthatarethuskepthotandspinningallthetime.
Ofcourse,theyemitalltheemissionsfromuseoftheirfuelall
thetime.Butsomeofthistimetheydumpheatfromtheir
coolingtowersinsteadofgeneratingelectricity,andtheyare
thensaidtobeoperating"spinningstandby."
Oneormorepowerstationscanbeinstantlyswitchedfrom
spinningstandbytoprovideelectricitytomatchanincreaseto
demandforelectricity.Itissaidtobeoperating"generation"

whenitisprovidingelectricity.Powerstationsareswitched
betweenspinningstandbyandgenerationasdemandfor
electricitychanges.
Thusthegridoperatormanagesthesystemtomatchsupplywith
demandforelectricitybyswitchingpowerstationsbetween
"generation"and"spinningstandby."
Windfarminputtoelectricity
Windfarmsonlyprovideelectricitywhenthewindisstrong
enoughandnottoostrong.So,theysuddenlyprovideelectricity
whenthewindchanges.Thegridoperatormustmatchthis
changedsupplyofelectricitytotheexistingdemandfor
electricity.Ofcourse,thegridoperatorachievesthematchby
switchingapowerstationtospinningstandbymode.Thatpower
stationcontinuestooperateinthismodesoitcanprovide
electricitywhenthewindfarmstopssupplyingelectricity
becausethewindhaschangedagain.
Windfarmsonlyforcepowerstationstooperatemorespinning
standby.Theyprovidenousefulelectricityandmakeno
reductiontoemissionsfrompowergeneration.Indeed,the
windfarmisthetruesourceofemissionsfromapowerstation
operatingspinningstandbyinsupportofthewindfarm.
Windfarmshavecapital,maintenanceandoperatingcoststhat
addtothecostofelectricity.Thesecostsaretheironly
contributiontoelectricitysupply.
Powersurges
Asudden,largeadditiontoelectricityinpartofthegridiscalled
a"powersurge."Itcanoverloadacomponentofthegridwith
resultingwidespreaddamagetothegrid.Forexample,during
thepresentyearpowersurgeshavedamagedcomponentswith

resultinglossofpowertotheLondonUndergroundsystem,the
cityofTurin,andmostofNorthAmerica.
Windturbinesprovidepowerwhenthewindisstrongenough
andnottoostrong.Itisverydifficulttopredicttheprecise
momentwhenawindfarmwillstarttoprovideelectricitytothe
grid.Andthewindcanchangeoveralargearea.Hence,the
presenceofmanywindfarmsinalocalitycausespowersurges.
Denmarkhasmanywindfarmsandsoissubjectedtopower
surgesfromthem.TheDanishgridmanagesthisproblemby
dumpingtheelectricityacrossitsbordersasafreegiftto
Denmark'sneighbours.Butsomecountriescannotdothat.For
thisreasoninDecember2003theIrishgridoperatorannounced
thathewouldacceptnomoreelectricityfromwindfarmsonto
theIrishgrid.Additionalwindpowerwouldbesounmanageable
thatgridfailureswouldbeinevitable.
TheUKhasasimilarproblem.TheinterconnectorwithFrance
couldnothandlethedumpingofapowersurge.Hence,large
useofwindpowerintheUKwouldcausedamageto
componentsoftheUKgridandfrequentpowercutsthroughout
theUK.
Managingsupplyrisk
Asearlierexplained,powerstationsoperatespinningstandbyto
matchelectricitydemandtosupply.Inadditiontothis,other
powerstationsoperatespinningstandbytomanageriskof
supplyfailures.Thereisariskoffailureofabaseloadpower
stationorthetransmissionsystemfromit.Suchfailureswould
causepowercutsintheabsenceoftheadditionalspinning
standby.
Windfarmsonlyprovidepowerwhenthewindisstrongenough
andnottoostrong.Hence,windfarmsincreasetheriskofsupply

failures.Indeed,theygivethecertaintyofsupplyfailureswhen
thewindistoostrongornotstrongenough.Theincreasedrisk
ofsupplyfailuresfromwindfarmsisinsignificantwhenthereis
smallcontributionofelectricitytothegridfromwindfarms.All
theoutputfromthewindfarmsforcesthermalpowerstationsto
operatespinningstandbythatcancopewiththerisk.
Buttheproblemofmanagingtheriskincreasesastherisk
increases.Electricityisnotwantedinthesameamounts
everywhere,andelectricityislostwhenitistransmittedover
longdistances.Theadditionalmanagementdifficultiesrequire
additionalspinningstandbywhentheriskofsupplyfailuresis
verylarge.Otherwiseitwouldbeimpossibletomatchsupply
withdemandthroughoutthegridwhenalargesupplyfailure
occurred.
Additionalpowerstationsmustbebuiltandoperatedon
spinningstandby(usingtheiradditionalfuelandprovidingtheir
additionalemissions)tomanagetheincreasedriskofpowercuts
fromsupplyfailureswhenwindpowercontributes20%ormore
ofthepotentialelectricitysupply.
Theconstructionofwindfarmsinsteadofpowerstationshas
causedtheseproblemsinCaliforniawherescheduledvoltage
reductionsarecontinuouslyprovidedaroundtheStateasan
alternativemethodtomanagetheriskofpowercutsfromsupply
failures.
Summary
Windfarmsareexpensive,polluting,environmentallydamaging
birdswattersthatproducenousefulelectricitybutthreaten
electricitycuts.
*"Whenplantisdeloadedtobalancethesystem,itresultsinasignificant

proportionofdeloadedplantwhichoperatesrelativelyinefficiently....Coal

plantwillbepartloadedsuchthatthelossofageneratingunitcanswiftlybe
replacedbybringingotherunitsontofullload.Inadditiontoincreasedcostsof
holdingreserveinthismanner,ithasbeenestimatedthattheentirebenefitof
reducedemissionsfromtherenewablesprogrammehasbeennegatedbythe
increasedemissionsfrompartloadedplantunderNETA."DavidTolley
(HeadofNetworksandAncillaryServices,Innogy(subsidiaryofGerman
energyconsortiumRWE)),keynoteaddress,January15,2003,"NETAThe
Consequence,"InstitutionofMechanicalEngineers.[NETAstandsforNew
ElectricityTradingArrangements,theUK'sderegulatedpowermarket.]ED.

AProblemWithWindPower
[www.aweo.org/windbackup.html]

byEricRosenbloom

Outputfiguresfromwinddevelopersaretypicallyannual
averagesexpressedinthevaguefigureof"numberofhomes
providedfor."Homes,however,accountforonlyathirdofall
electricityuse,andelectricityrepresentsonlyathirdofall
energyconsumption(onlyafifthinVermont).Further,home
useofelectricityvarieswidelythroughtheday,week,andyear,
butwindplantsgenerateelectricitybythewhimsofthewind
ratherthantheactualneedsofthegrid.
Asaverages,thefiguresignorethefactthathourtohour,dayto
day,seasontoseason,eventhemostwindysitesexperience
periodsofcalmwhentheturbinesareproducingnoelectricityat
allandcyclesofslowerwindwhentheyareproducingfarless
thantheirmaximumcapacity.Whenthewindistoofast,the
turbinesmustshutdowntoavoiddamage.
Thisvariability,theysay,isbalancedbywiringupamultitude
ofsites,oneofwhichatanytimemustsurelybeproducing
significantpower.Insteadofa"freeandclean"sourceof
energy,then,thenecessaryproposalisanexpensivenetworkof
redundantinstallationsthatmustfillmostofourlandand
seascapestomakeanymeaningfulcontribution.

Despitelocalvariabilities,however,theoverallriseandfallof
thewindisgenerallythesameoverthelargerregion.Thegrid
mustplanforthelikelylowpoint,i.e.,theleastpoweritmay
seefromalloftheattachedwindplants.Largepowerplants
cannotrespondquicklytothehourlyvariationsofthewind,so
theymustbealreadygoingwhenthepowerfromthewind
plantsdropsoff.
Therearesolutionstothisonasmallscale,butformostgrid
systems,anypowerproducedbywindplantsisthereforein
practicesuperfluous.Thebackupgenerationisalready
providingit.
Ontopofthisuselessness,theturbinesuseagreatdealof
electricitythemselves.Mostofthemcannotevenrunwithout
inputfromthegrid.Althoughtheyproduceelectricity
intermittently,theyconsumeitcontinuously.IneveryreportI've
seen,inputfromthegridisnotaccountedforinthefiguresof
netoutput.Specificationsfromturbinemanufacturersdonot
includetheamountofelectricitytheyrequire.
Itmaybethatlargewindturbinesuseasmuchelectricityasthey
produce.Whetherthewindisblowinginthedesiredrangeor
not,theyneedpowertokeepthegeneratormagnetized,tokeep
thebladeandgeneratorassembly(92tonsona1.5MWGE)
facingthewind,toperiodicallyspinthatassemblytounwindthe
cablesinthetower,toheatthebladesinicyconditions,tostart
thebladesturningwhenthewindisjustgettingfastenoughto
keepthemgoing,tokeepthebladespitchedtospinataregular
rate,andtorunthelightsandinternalcontroland
communicationsystems.
Itisclearthatindustrialwindgenerationisnotabletocontribute
anythingagainsttheproblemsofglobalwarming,pollution,
nuclearwaste,ordependenceonimports.InDenmark,withthe

mostpercapitawindturbinesintheworld,theoutputfrom
windfacilitiesequals15%20%oftheirelectricityconsumption.
TheCopenhagennewspaperPolitikenreported,however,that
windprovidedonly1.7%oftheelectricityactuallyusedin
1999.ThegridmanagerforwesternDenmarkreportedthatin
200284%oftheirwindgeneratedelectricityhadtobeexported,
i.e.,dumpedatextremediscount.Theturbinesareoftenshut
down,becauseitissorarethatgoodwindcoincideswith
peakingdemand.AdirectorofthewesternDenmarkutilityhas
statedthatwindturbinesdonotreduceCO emissions,the
primarymarkeroffossilfueluse.
2

Butindustrialwindfacilitiesarenotjustuseless.Theydestroy
theland,birdsandbats,andthelivesoftheirneighbors.Off
shore,theyendangershipsandboatsandtheirlowfrequency
noiseislikelyharmfultoseamammals.Theyrequiresubsidies
andregulatoryfavorstomakeinvestmentviable.Theydonot
moveustowardsmoresustainableenergysourcesandstand
insteadasmonumentsofdelusion.
http://www.aweo.org/windbackup.html
The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines Chief Medical Officer of Health
(CMOH) Report May 2010
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/ministry/publications/reports/wind_tur
bine/wind_turbine.pdf

Wind turbine collapses in Northern


Ireland

Investigation after 328-foot turbine buckles at wind


farm in County Tyrone despite only light winds

By Emily Gosden, Energy Editor


1:57PM GMT 04 Jan 2015

A 328-foot tall wind turbine worth more than 2 million has buckled
and collapsed on a mountainside in Northern Ireland.
Unconfirmed reports suggested the blades of the turbine had spun
out of control - despite only light wind speeds - before the structure
came crashing to the ground on Friday.
Locals claimed the sound of the turbine hitting the mountain could
be heard up to seven miles away from the Screggagh wind farm,
near Fintona in County Tyrone.
Some people compared it to an explosion while others claimed to
have heard the sound of metal grinding throughout the day.
No-one was injured in the incident, which left debris scattered
across the wind farm site.
Wind turbine collapses in high wind 30 Jan 2013

The turbine was one of eight at the site, which opened in 2011 at a
total cost of 26 million, implying a project cost of more than 3
million per turbine.
The actual turbine equipment itself cost just over 2m, Screggagh
wind farm's owners said. Each has a nominal power-generating
capacity of 2.5 megawatts.
Each turbine's tower is almost 200 feet tall, with the rotor blades
spanning a diameter of more than 260 feet, giving a total height
from base to tip of 328 feet, Screggagh wind farm's owners said.
The remaining seven turbines have been shut down while
manufacturers investigate what went wrong. Wind speeds were
"medium" or 10 to 12 metres per second, they added.

Doreen Walker, director of Screggagh Windfarm Ltd, said: "There


were fortunately no injuries and no personnel on site at the time."
She said: "We are currently investigating the circumstances that
led to the collapse of the turbine at Screggagh wind farm.
"We are however satisfied that the site's precautionary health and
safety alert processes worked well with local emergency services
in attendance within minutes of the incident taking place."
She said officials were "working closely" with Nordex UK, the
supplier of the wind farm turbines, to ensure the site is safe.

Buckled metal was left strewn on the mountainside (pic: Niall Carson/PA).

"A further statement will be made once the investigation has been
completed and the reasons for the failure confirmed," she added.
German manufacturer Nordex is currently delivering a new, even
bigger turbine design for other sites in the UK.

The collapsed wind turbine (pic: Niall Carson/PA).

The accident is not the first safety incident involving Nordex


turbines.
In 2012 the company was fined 26,000 after admitting health and
safety failings at a site in Stirlingshire where a 19-year-old worker
fell 100ft down a turbine to his death.
The company had previously been told to upgrade to a lift system
instead of ladders, but the court found there was no link between
the safety breaches and the teenager's death.
Defence lawyers in the case said that Nordex UK had been
"practically insolvent" in the preceding years.
And in September 2013 an eight-year-old Nordex turbine in a
German wind farm reportedly caught fire.
A spokesman for Nordex was unavailable for comment on the
Northern Ireland case.
Previous incidents of wind turbines collapsing in the UK include
one that fell during a gale in Devon in 2013, which was later
blamed on sabotage after it emerged bolts were missing from
its base.
Chris Streatfeild, director of health and safety for wind industry
body RenewableUK, said: A thorough investigation is already
underway into what happened in this extremely rare incident. The
wind industry takes health and safety issues very seriously, and
the lessons learned from this will be implemented as swiftly as
possible.

No member of the public has ever been injured by wind turbine


operating in the UK. As the trade body representing the wind
industry
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/windpower/11324119/Windturbine-collapses-in-Northern-Ireland.html

Sabotage suspected at toppled wind


turbine as second is brought down
A 115ft wind turbine which collapsed last week may
have been sabotaged, officials have claimed as it was
revealed that a second has been brought down less
than 20 miles away.

By Nick Collins
11:41AM GMT 01 Feb 2013

An investigation into the collapse of the first turbine in Bradworthy,


Devon, during a 50mph gale last weekend has revealed that bolts
are missing from its base.
The turbine was initially thought to have been brought down by the
wind, despite being designed to withstand winds of up to 116mph,
but the new evidence could suggest a case of foul play, councillors
said.
It came as a second, 60ft turbine was spotted "lying crumpled on
the ground" just 18 miles away in Cornwall, on a farm owned by
the family of a Lib Dem councillor.

Officials from Dulas, which installed the 250,000 turbine at East


Ash Farm in Bradworthy in July 2010, and Health and Safety
Executive representatives are investigating what caused it to
collapse last weekend.
Local residents had campaigned fiercely against the installation of
the Endurance Wind Power E-3120 50kW turbine, which was the
first of its kind to be erected in the country, claiming it would spoil
the landscape.
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Margaret Coles, the chairman of Bradworthy Parish Council,


revealed that an examination of the turbine had found that a
number of bolts were absent from its base.
She said: "We know the bolts are gone but don't know what
caused it. It was a windy night we do suffer lots of high winds but
you would have thought the structure would cope with that.
"People that end of the parish were woken up by the crash it made
when it came down. Some people think the bolts had been
removed from the turbine which is why it was brought down.
"Others have said they saw charring on the turbine so they think it
caught fire or was set fire to. We don't know what happened and
we want to find out."
Bradworthy Parish Councillor Keith Tomlin added: "The short
answer is that these turbines are designed to withstand winds of
116mph and the winds for this area for Saturday night were
50mph."
But a spokesman for Torridge District Council which oversees
Bradworthy, said it would not investigate the incident because the
turbine is not a building.
Experts who carried out the initial examination of the toppled tower
had suggested that winds had been so strong the blades span out
of control, causing the whole structure to fall.
Dulas, the installer, said the turbine had not caught fire and
claimed the company had never experienced a similar incident but
would not comment further.
On Friday the second turbine was discovered to have collapsed at
Winsdon Farm, in North Petherwin, Cornwall, which is owned by
the family of local councillor Adam Paynter.
The 11kw Gaia turbine is one of two on the farm.
A spokesman for Gaia-Wind said: "There has been an incident

where a turbine tower has been damaged. No other injury or


damage is involved and we are investigating the cause."
Meanwhile there are two applications pending to erect 16 new
turbines on the two highest points on Cornwall's Bodmin Moor,
known as the "Twin Peaks".
Campaigners fear the wind farm will "interrupt and destroy" the
remote beauty spot, famous for its Iron Age and Bronze Age
settlements.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/9841848/Sabotagesuspected-at-toppled-wind-turbine-as-second-is-brought-down.html

Down with wind: Group outlines


problems with proposed wind
farm
Nearly 170 people turned out for a public meeting held Tuesday by Auglaize
Neighbors United (ANU) to gather information about the proposed wind
turbine project in the county.
ANU member Mike Burton used a PowerPoint presentation to provide a
different outlook on how the proposed wind turbine project will affect Auglaize
County residents when compared to statistics being put forward by
representatives of Mainstream Renewable Power Inc., the private company
investigating the possibility of putting a wind farm in the county.
Our viewpoint is that Ohio is a low capacity wind generation state, Burton
told the audience.
Burton also noted the countys landscape is not conducive to such a project
and the industry has largely been artificially created to support state mandates
and federal and state tax credits or abatements in an effort to increase the
use of renewable energy across the country.
A current mandate initiated by former Gov. Ted Stricklands administration
calls for Ohio to produce or to purchase 25 percent of its power from
renewable energy sources by 2025, with half of that coming from sources
such as wind and solar power.
Burton said what began as a $5 million per year subsidy has now grown to $1
billion per year. He remarked 80 percent of the money is going to foreign
countries and the mandate has created 6,000 jobs in foreign countries.
Burton touched on several key issues other communities have faced due to
wind turbine farms, including landscape problems, reduction in property
values, health concerns, lack of local control and zoning and economics.
You are basically talking about building 75 skyscrapers around Buckland,
Burton said of the 450-foot structures.
For comparison, Burton showed heights of other structures, such as
transmission towers, that stand approximately 125 feet. The turbines put in
place if the project goes forward would stand nearly four times that height.
Burton said sightlines would be hampered for the Land of the Cross Tipped
Churches, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. St. Joseph

Catholic Church in Wapakoneta and St. Patricks Catholic Church in


Glynnwood are in the proposed area to build the towers.
Burton said the population density of Auglaize County is approximately 84
people per square mile, more than two to four times the normal 20 to 40
person density in Iowa, where wind farms are common.
He also discussed shadow flicker from the turbines, which has been said to
not only cause a source of annoyance to residents living in close proximity,
but they could also potentially trigger epileptic seizures.
Milo Schaffner, a township trustee in Hoaglin Township in Van Wert County,
also spoke and re-enforced many of Burtons comments based on the wind
turbines that have sprung up in his area.
At the time a landowner signs a lease, he has given up a significant amount
of control of his land, Schaffner said.
Schaffner showed pictures of roads in his township in disrepair from
construction crews putting up the turbines.
A lot of people wanted me to tell you about this, Schaffner said of problems
with the wind turbines. Its tearing up a lot of communities. My wife doesnt
want to live there any more.
Burton said residents had to make it apparent they didnt want the turbines
constructed in the area.
Its important that people sign the petitions, Burton said. Talk to the
politicians and your neighbors. You have to be vigilant.
After the meeting, residents questioned appeared to be overwhelmingly
against the project.
I am opposed to the project, Rollie Wellington said, who lives on Kohler
Road in Moulton Township. I am opposed from the standpoint of the
economic and environmental impact and the loss of control of the land and
our land value. I support this organization fully.
I dont agree with it, John Schlegel said. There is too much unforeseen in
the future.
The group plans to have another meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria
at the elementary school in Cridersville.
U.S. Mainstream Renewable Power Inc., headquartered in Chicago with its
parent companys headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, is looking at potentially
building wind turbines on 60 to 70 sites in Ohio. The company is focusing on
an area that includes large portions of Duchouquet, Logan and Moulton
townships in Auglaize County, as well as parts of Noble Township and
Shawnee Township in Allen County.
Company executives set a target of approximately 8,000 to 10,000 acres of
property to lease from interested owners to build wind turbines that would
generate about 1.5 to 2.5 megawatts of power per turbine.
Company executives said they are looking at generating between 100 and
150 megawatts of power per year in the area. The company has already
signed up more than 5,000 acres in property from owners interested in leasing
their land. At the earliest, the wind farm plans would begin being laid out in
2014-2015.
Homeowners must sign a long-term lease and would receive approximately
$7,000 to $10,000 per year for each turbine plus a small per acre land usage
stipend of approximately $30 per acre per year.
Company officials claim they have already signed leases for approximately

half of its intended target of property.


Auglaize Neighbors United is to hold a meeting on windfarms at 7 p.m.
Thursday at the Cridersville Elementary School cafetorium.
http://www.wapakdailynews.com/content/down-wind-group-outlines-problemsproposed-wind-farm#

Irish Times
06/05/2016
emerging as major public health concern, particularly affecting
children and older people
Health studies into the effect of wind turbines on those living in
their vicinity must be explored to prevent potential health
problems, a conference on public health heard yesterday.
Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology in Queens
University, Belfast was speaking at the 2014 Summer
Scientific Meeting at the Royal College of Physicians the
second day of which was held in Dublin yesterday.
http://rethinkpylons.org/conference-warns-health-effects-of-wind-turbinesshould-be-taken-seriously-the-irish-times/

CATEGORY ARCHIVES: NEWS


.archive-header

After years of campaigning, pylons in


Lucan and Adamstown are being
moved: The Journal, 1 July 2016
01/07/2016
.entry-meta
.entry-header
LOCAL COUNCILLOR FOR Lucan William Lavelle has
welcomed the news that controversial pylons and overhead
cables are to be moved from Lucan and Adamstown.
After years of campaigning by locals, the cables and pylons
are to be moved as part of Eirgrids West Dublin Project, a
project which aims to build a new 220 kV gas insulated
switchgear substation to supply energy to the Grange Castle
Business Park in west Dublin.

14/06/2016
Decisions of public bodies must be clear enough for people to
decide if there is legal basis to challenge them, court hears.
A woman has won a High Court order overturning a grant of
permission for a development of four wind turbines near her
home in Co Clare.
In a judgment strongly critical of absence of clarity and
specificity in An Bord Pleanlas grant of permission, Mr
Justice Max Barrett said decisions of public bodies must be
clear enough for people to decide if there is a legal basis to
challenge them.
Proper planning was never intended to be, nor can it be
allowed to become, a perk reserved for the few who can afford
expert lawyers, with something less than best being the lot of
the many who cannot.

farms

17/05/2016

The National Institute of Public Health National Institute of


Hygiene is of the opinion that wind farms situated too close to
buildings intended for permanent human occupation may have
a negative impact on the comfort of living and health of the
people living in their proximity.
The human health risk factors that the Institute has taken into
consideration in its position are as follows:
-the emitted noise level and its dependence on the technical
specifications of turbines, wind speed as well as the landform
and land use around the wind farm,
-aerodynamic noise level including infrasound emissions and
low-frequency noise components,
-the nature of the noise emitted, taking into account its
modulation/impulsive/tonal characteristics and the possibility
of interference of waves emitted from multiple turbines,
-the risk of ice being flung from rotors,
-the risk of turbine failure with a rotor blade or its part falling,
-the shadow flicker effect,
-the electromagnetic radiation level (in the immediate vicinity
of turbines),
-the probability of sleep disruptions and noise propagation at
night,
-the level of nuisance and probability of stress and depression
symptoms occurring (in consequence of long exposure),
related both to noise emissions and to non-acceptance of the
noise source.
In the Institutes opinion, the laws and regulations currently in
force in Poland (regarding risk factors which, in practice,
include only the noise level) are not only inadequate to
facilities such as wind turbines, but they also fail to guarantee
a sufficient degree of public health protection. The
methodology currently used for environmental impact

assessment of wind farms (including human health) is not


applicable to wind speeds exceeding 5 m/s. In addition, it does
not take into account the full frequency range (in particular, low
frequency) and the nuisance level.
In the Institutes view , owing to the current lack of a
comprehensive regulatory framework governing the
assessment of health risks related to the operation of wind
farms in Poland, an urgent need arises to develop and
implement a comprehensive methodology according to which
the sufficient distance of wind turbines from human habitation
would be determined. The methodology should take into
account all the above-mentioned potential risk factors, and its
result should reflect the least favourable situation. In addition
to landform and land use characteristics, the methodology
should also take into consideration the category, type, height
and number of turbines at a specific farm, and the location of
other wind farms in the vicinity. Similar legislative
arrangements aimed to provide for multi-criteria assessment,
based on complex numerical algorithms, are currently used in
the world.
The Institute is aware of the fact that owing to the diversity of
factors and the complicated nature of such an algorithm, its
development within a short time period may prove very
difficult. Therefore, what seems to be an effective and simpler
solution is the prescription of a minimum distance of wind
turbines from buildings intended for permanent human
occupation. Distance criteria are also a common standardsetting arrangement.
Having regard to the above, until a comprehensive
methodology is developed for the assessment of the impact of
industrial wind farms on human health, the Institute
recommends 2 km as the minimum distance of wind farms

from buildings. The recommended value results from a critical


assessment of research results published in reviewed
scientific periodicals with regard to all potential risk factors
for average distance usually specified within the following
limits:
-0.5-0.7 km, often obtained as a result of calculations, where
the noise level (dBA) meets the currently acceptable values
(without taking into account adjustments for the
impulse/tonal/modulation features of the nose emitted),
-1.5-3.0 km, resulting from the noise level, taking into account
modulation, low frequencies and infrasound levels,
-0.5-1.4 km, related to the risk of turbine failure with a broken
rotor blade or its part falling (depending on the size of the
piece and its flight profile, rotor speed and turbine type),
-0.5-0.8 km, where there is a risk of ice being flung from rotors
(depending on the shape and mass of ice, rotor speed and
turbine type),
-1.0-1.6 km, taking into account the noise nuisance level
(between 4% and 35% of the population at 30-45 dBA) for
people living in the vicinity of wind farms,
-the distance of 1.4-2.5 km, related to the probability of sleep
disruptions (on average, between 4% and 5% of the
population at 30-45 dBA),
-2,0 km, related to the occurrence of potential psychological
effects resulting from substantial landscape changes (based
on the case where the wind turbine is a dominant landscape
feature and the rotor movement is clearly visible and
noticeable to people from any location),
-1.2-2.1 km, for the shadow flicker effect (for the average wind
turbine height in Poland, including the rotor, of 120 to 210 m).
In its opinions. the Institute has also taken into account the
recommended distances of wind farms from buildings, as

specified by experts, scientists, as well as central and local


government bodies around the world (usually 1.0-5.0 km).
The Danish government said on Friday it wanted to scrap
plans to build five offshore wind farms as their output would
become too expensive for consumers.
The government estimates it would cost consumers 70 billion
Danish crowns ($10.63 billion) to buy electricity from the
plants with a total combined capacity of 350-megawatts.
Since 2012 when we reached the political agreement, the
cost of our renewable policy has increased dramatically, said
Lars Christian Lilleholt, energy minister in Denmarks Liberal
party government.
We cant accept this, as the private sector and households
are paying far too much. Denmarks renewable policy has
turned out to be too expensive, he said.
Denmark produced more than 40 percent of its electricity from
wind power last year, a world record, and it has a goal of
increasing this share to 50 percent by 2020.
Subsidies for wind power producers had to increase as power
prices fell sharply since 2012, and producers had to get more
money to make production profitable.
Nordic average power prices fell to 21 euros per megawatthour (MWh) in 2015, down from 31 euros/MWh on 2012. ($1 =
6.5876 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Erik Matzen; Editing by
Jon Boyle)
Judge rules that EirGrid oral hearing on plan for North-South
pylons can go ahead.
An action aimed at halting an oral hearing for EirGrid plcs
application to erect about 300 pylons as part of the proposed
North-South electricity interconnector has been rejected by the
High Court.
The challenge was brought by North East Pylon Pressure

Campaign Ltd, representing almost 200 landowners in Cavan,


Meath and Monaghan.
Mr Justice Richard Humphreys refused to grant the group
permission to challenge An Bord Pleanlas decision to hold
an oral hearing as part of the process concerning EirGrids
application to erect the pylons. He said such processes should
be allowed to conclude.
New wind turbines could be built in Bavaria only by a large
margin to settlements. This was decided by the Bavarian
Constitutional Court. The Federal Environment Agency
already warning of an off the energy transition. In Bavaria wind
turbines can continue to be only two kilometers away from
settlements. With this decision, the Bavarian Constitutional
Court rejected several lawsuits including the opposition.
In February 2014, the CSU had succeeded in ensuring that
the distance of a wind turbine to the nearest settlement should
be at least ten times (10H) the height of the wind turbine. In
modern 200-meter wind turbines this limit is quickly reached.
However, municipalities may decide one exception to the rule.
The judges argued: The lower new wind turbines are that
more can still be built even if they are not so profitable.
However, it is not necessary to look to the best possible use of
the technical possibilities, the court ruled. It alone depends on
whether a reasonable scope for wind power remains and you
must not forget about the wind turbines with a height below
200m.
Decision already in Hessen
As early as last September, the minimum distance of wind
turbines has been clarified to settlements in the highest court
in Hessen. New wind turbines could be built in the State only if
they are at least 1000 meters from the nearest settlement. The
Hessian Administrative Court rejected an action brought by a

company that wanted to impose a shorter distance as laid


down in the 2013 National Development Plan. A revision is not
allowed to the court.
In the case of Bavaria, the Federal Environment Agency had
warned the other provinces do likewise: The potential of wind
power development in Germany would almost zero sink with
a minimum distance of 2000 meters for residential buildings,
the Authority has calculated. The energy transition would
probably be at an end.
Translation: German to English Click here to read the

: The Irish Times


06/05/2016
Sleep disturbance emerging as major public health concern,
particularly affecting children and older people
Health studies into the effect of wind turbines on those living in
their vicinity must be explored to prevent potential health
problems, a conference on public health heard yesterday.
Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology in Queens
University, Belfast was speaking at the 2014 Summer
Scientific Meeting at the Royal College of Physicians the
second day of which was held in Dublin yesterday.

Wind funds used to buy


neighbours silence
Landowners who accept the lengthy
contracts must agree to allow the wind
farm projects to exceed their permit
conditions on noise levels, shadow flicker
and other potential impacts.

Sue Dean, at Mount Egerton, west of Melbourne, says she will not
sign an agreement with WestWind because it is like stealing your
property.
Picture: Aaron Francis

By Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor, Sydney


Wind farm developers are offering tens of
thousands of dollars in one-off and annual
payments to neighbouring properties in a new
bid to silence objectors and help break the
funding drought for renewable energy
investments.
Developers claim the offers are an attempt to
combat jealousy between neighbours over personal
cash benefits but affected residents claim it is an
offer to share and shut up.
Landowners who accept the lengthy contracts must
agree to allow the wind farm projects to exceed their
permit conditions on noise levels, shadow flicker
and other potential impacts.
Neighbours must give up their rights to make formal
objections to wind farm company planning
applications and agree not to talk to the media
about the contracts without the written permission of
the wind-farm company.
WestWind has confirmed it is offering neighbour
agreements to residents near its Moorabool Wind
Farm in Victoria. The company denies the contracts
are an attempt to gag complaints.
But landowners who have been offered upfront
payments of $25,000 and $8000 a year say they
have been told to keep the existence of the contract

and its details secret.


Sue Dean said she had been given to the end of
this month to sign an agreement with WestWind, but
had decided to blow the whistle instead.
No amount of money would make me want to sign
that agreement, she said. That agreement is like
stealing your property from under your nose.
Ms Dean moved into her double-glazed property
with its own renewable energy system about nine
years ago. But she now wants to leave the property,
half-way between Ballarat and Bacchus Marsh,
because of the wind farm development that will put
a turbine within 1km of her house.
If a property owner signs a neighbourhood
agreement they will not be able to sell their property
unless the purchaser also agrees to accept the
conditions.
You are signing away all of your rights, Ms Dean
said. If you sign this agreement you will not be able
to complain at all about them exceeding any limits,
nothing under the Health Act, the Planning Act, you
cant write objection letters.
You are signing away an awful lot of rights and it
allows them to exceed every permit condition that
they have.
WestWind managing director Tobi Geiger said the
company was frustrated by the level of objections to

its $600 million project, which is expected to


generate more than 843,588 MWh of electricity a
year.
They treat us like we are proposing a nuclear
power station in their back yard, Mr Geiger said. He
said the agreements were seen as a way of
overcoming perceived jealousy between
landowners who received a direct benefit from
turbines and those who did not.
We have been criticised as an industry and a
company about how we spread the benefits of our
projects, Mr Geiger said. We have always had a
community fund that spent money in the community,
but immediate neighbours have complained that is
not enough. Often they will not see the benefit
because they are not active community members.
Mr Geiger said the amount of money offered to
neighbours would depend on how close they were
to the wind farm and the amount of disruption they
could expect. Offers are expected to be made to
residents up to 2km from the wind turbines.
http://en.friends-against-wind.org/realities/windfunds-used-to-buy-neighbours-silence
Participation Agreement Moorabool Wind Farm Pty Ltd
http://en.friends-against-wind.org/doc/Participation_Agreement.pdf
Participation Agreement with the Moorabool Wind Farm Basic Terms

http://en.friends-againstwind.org/doc/Participation_Agreement_Basic_Terms.pdf

Peadar Tibn TD introduces bill to


'underground' North-South
Interconnector
Jan 18, 2016
A bill introduced by Sinn Fin TD for Meath West, Peadar Tibn
will seek to have the North-South Interconnector
undergrounded in residential areas and public spaces.
Deputy Tibn stated:
The threat of the imposition of huge 45 metre high pylons
adjacent to family homes and public spaces has caused fear,
anguish and worry for over a decade up and down the length
of county Meath.
Families are worried about the health effects of living a few
dozen meters to some of the most powerful electricity lines in
the state. The European Commissions Scientific Committee on
Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks reasserted the
finding that there are possible links between ELF magnetic
fields and the prevalence of childhood leukemia.
Families are also terrified that they will be trapped living
beside this industrial sized pylons unable to sell their houses
due to a collapse in the price of their homes.
For hundreds of ordinary decent Meath people 9 years of their
lives have been taken up fighting for their families, homes,
livelihoods and communities. They have had to fight two
separate governments. The Fianna Fil/Green coalition and
then Fine Gael and Labour and after all of that here we are
again. In front of an unaccountable planning body who will
make a decision on the bases of a strategic infrastructural
planning act designed to circumvent the will of the people.
Furthermore these imposing pylons are a very real threat to
the important role tourism has to play in the future. In the past
we were told that tourism had had its day and yet here we are
in a tourism boom. Meath is an area of major heritage value
and one that is not being harnessed for its potential
employment and jobs. The pylons will end that.
I am appealing to my fellow Fine Gael and Labour TDs in
County Meath to make a stand and do their job of representing
the needs of the people of Meath by supporting this bill.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bxJYPVfPSo

Inspectors Report on guidelines for trans-European energy


infrastructure November 24, 2014
http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Inspectorsreport-on-N-S-PCI-decision-RCI0001.pdf
EU Commission Guidance Document Streamlining
environmental assessment procedures for energy
infrastructure Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) November
24, 2014
http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/wpcontent/uploads/20130919_pci-en-guidance.pdf

ABP Direction on PCI decision SCI0001


http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/ABPDierction-on-PCI-decision-SCI0001.pdf
Projects of Common Interest Manual of Permit Granting Process
Procedures Article 9 of Regulation 347/2013 on Guidelines for
Trans-European Energy Infrastructure.
http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Manual-ofprocedures-updated-September-2014.pdf
ABP letter to EIRGRID Feb 2014 ABP letter to EIRGRID Feb
2014 tpo Des Cox
http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/ABP-letterto-EIRGRID-Feb-2014.pdf
ABP letter to MEATH Coco Feb 2014 ABP letter to MEATH Coco
Feb 2014
http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/ABP-letterto-MEATH-Coco-Feb-2014.pdf

Undergrounding high-voltage cables can be


justified says MEP, Marian Harkin
November 20, 2015 at 10:23am <em class="author">admin</em>

At a breakfast discussion in the European Parliament organised by


Independent MEP Marian Harkin yesterday, Wednesday, November 18th, it
was indicated that the undergrounding of high-voltage electricity transmission
cables could be more affordable than previously thought.
Full Document in MS Word
In a statement following the discussion, which included representatives of the
European cable manufacturing industry, the European Commission and
MEPs, Marian Harkin said that new information, especially from Germany,
indicated that undergrounding of interconnectors and other planned overhead
transmission lines could cost the end consumer from as little 3.40 to 9.10
extra per annum. This compares very favourably with the exaggerated claims
of those who have dismissed the possibility of undergrounding high-voltage
cables on the basis that the capital cost would be unaffordable she said.
She continued: eliminating fears about health risks associated with highvoltage overhead cables, and avoiding the huge controversy around land

acquisition and landscape infringement would be major benefits that would


derive from undergrounding, or partial undergrounding of projects such as the
cross border interconnector or Grid West. It would also help to ensure a
speedy process because of the avoidance of planning appeals, and court
cases, and it would allay peoples health concerns. The cost factor in
undergrounding would also be positively affected by the employment created
and the taxes derived from the construction of projects. Todays meeting made
it very clear the technology is there and it is affordable. In the past four
years alone, 3,000 high voltage direct current cables (HVDC) and 5,000 high
voltage alternating current cables (HVAC) have been installed globally.
An example of the growing importance of undergrounding is the draft
legislation in Germany which will give priority to undergrounding a 700 km
direct current (DC) line from northern to southern Germany as well as sixteen
pilot projects where approximately 20km of alternating current (AC) cables will
be undergrounded. Ireland can no longer bury its head in the sand and
neglect the real concerns of citizens and communities. We should be following
Germanys lead as well as that of the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark and
indeed many European countries. If we want the North South Interconnector
or Grid West to proceed in a timely and efficient way then undergrounding
must be integral to the process, Marian Harkin concluded
http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/?p=1358

Manipulation and abuse of democratic process


by EirGrid will not be tolerated by local
communities
November 30, 2015 at 10:33pm <em class="author">admin</em>

28 October 2015
Government and An Bord Pleanla intervention demanded by NEPPC.
The arguments surrounding the North-South Interconnector Project (NSIP)
are well known and well rehearsed in affected communities across the NorthEast, given that the project has been in the public domain for the last 8 years.
The public will happily accept underground cable technology along public
roads, but will not accept the unjustified and unnecessary imposition of
massive pylons and extra high voltage electricity lines across our landscape,
with all of the attendant health risks and degradation of community assets.
EirGrid has been given this message loudly and clearly for many years, but
refuse to budge and so have submitted to An Bord Pleanla (ABP), for a
second time in 6 years, an application involving the erection of over 400
pylons. The planning application in June of this year was greeted with over
2,000 submissions of objection to ABP from the public and from community
groups and business enterprises from all walks of life. ABP proceeded to
forward all of the public submissions to EirGrid. The public await a decision
from ABP as to when an Oral Hearing will be held, which will facilitate airing
many of the arguments and concerns outlined.
In the meantime, EirGrids latest brainwave, in its determination to force
through the North-South Interconnector Project (NSIP), is to hire a bunch of
consultants make contact with many of those people and groups who lodged

an objection to ABP, requesting to meet with them and to offer financial


funding, using the Governments so-called Community Gain initiative. Groups
already contacted include Parent and Toddler groups, Community support
groups, Village Fair committees, Farm machinery businesses and Hunt
associations. Additionally, some businesses have been approached and have
been informed that the planning application will be approved and that they will
obtain business when construction commences.
NEPPC wishes to make the following statements:
The objections to the planning application by the public were made in good
faith to ABP, not to the applicant-EirGrid. It is an abuse of the democratic
process that these people are now being pestered by paid consultants of
EirGrid in the midst of a planning process. The people who made
submissions, did not pay 50 to be harassed by EirGrid.

The irony of EirGrids manipulation of and lack of respect for the planning
process is not lost on local communities. EirGrid has steadfastly refused to
appear at any public meeting to present its case. It has refused to debate its
application on the airwaves with any of the public in the last 8 years. It refuses
to discuss its application with elected representatives because the application
is in the planning process. Yet it conducts a strategy of trying to pressurise
individuals and or individual groups with the objective of dividing and
conquering communities. This is a road to nowhere.

The direct offer of potential Community Gain funding by EirGrid to various


groups prior to the application even being considered is reprehensible and
requires Government intervention. The concept of Community Gain in general
is viewed by local communities as a cheap shot at trying to soften peoples
resolve and cause division. The opposite is true, stated a spokesperson for
NEPPC. Nobody is going to be bought by EirGrid, with what is in essence
our own taxpayers monies anyway. Nobody is going to risk the health of their
families for a pittance

Open statements by the EirGrid consultants and by EirGrid itself that the
application is a foregone conclusion and will be passed is an unacceptable
abuse of the ABP planning process.
NEPPC calls on the Government and ABP to make written public requests to
EirGrid, demanding that they desist from targeting those who made public
submissions in good faith to ABP.
http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/?p=1367

NEPPC group to canvass against local


Government TDs for failing to represent the
people of the North-East on the North-South

Interconnector issue
November 21, 2015 at 10:28pm <em class="author">admin</em>

Government complicit with EirGrid in discrimination of communities in NorthEast


This week NEPPC is launching its campaign of active opposition to the reelection of existing Government TDs in the Meath and Cavan-Monaghan
constituencies, for their abysmal failure to represent the people of the NorthEast in relation to the North-South Interconnector project. The campaign will
include a series of peaceful rallies outside all of the constituency offices from
now until election day, door to door canvassing and a major public meeting 10
days before the election date. The first rally will take place outside the
constituency office of deputy Damien English in Navan this Monday, 23 rd
November, at 10.30 am.
The political campaign is a response to the exasperation being felt by local
communities, who have recently seen EirGrid perform complete U-turns on
Grid Link and Grid West, but refuse to re-examine the North-South
interconnector, further highlighting the lack of any political pressure being
placed on the state company. This inconsistent and non-credible position has
been met with nothing but a deafening silence from our Government
representatives in the North-East, signalling strong Government support for
EirGrids plans.
Eight of the 11 elected representatives in Meath/Cavan/Monaghan are
Government TDs. This project is planned to tear through the heart of these
counties, yet there has been no collective stance or dissent from the TDs. In
fact, statements have been made that they will support the party line instead
of the people they represent. They obviously feel comfortable that they can sit
this one out and then blame An Bord Pleanla for the outcome of the planning
application.
This campaign is now running close to 8 years. Patience is running very thin
at local community level, when it comes to local Government TDs making
claims of supporting the campaign. Talk is cheap, achieving a result is a
different story, stated Aime Treacy, chairperson of NEPPC. We now have the
ludicrous situation whereby EirGrid is reviewing its national grid strategy, but
excluding the North-East, whilst our local Government TDs sit idly by, tonguetied and subservient to EirGrid and to their party whips. Let me make it clear
that it is our intention that every member of the affected communities are
made fully aware of how badly they have been let down, despite all of the
great promises made in opposition.
It is not too late for the Government to act. We yet again call on the
Government to do 2 simple things instruct EirGrid to withdraw its flawed
application and establish an independent expert group to re-evaluate the
practical options that are acceptable to the public
In parallel, NEPPC is calling on opposition parties and candidates to have
clear party policy positions in place by the end of this year in relation to
undergrounding the project, so that the public will have viable alternative
candidates to consider for election. NEPPC will be making it very clear to the
electorate what options exist when it holds a major public meeting 10 days
before the election.
North East Pylon Pressure Campaign Limited 087- 680 36 66
pjboreilly@eircom.net

http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/?p=1363

ESB procedure for serving notice of works ruled


unlawful (Irish Times article)
July 20, 2016 at 12:34am <em class="author">admin</em>

Decision by Court of Appeal to have significant effect on way wayleave


notices are served
Irish Times 12 July, 2016-07-12 Mary Carolan
Word Doc: Irish Times article: ESB procedure for serving notice of works ruled
unlawful
The Court of Appeal has ruled that a procedure under which the Electricity
Supply Board served a notice to enter private lands to carry out works on
electricity lines is unlawful.
The three judge court upheld an appeal by Killross Properties Ltd over the
legality of a wayleave notice authorising temporary entry onto the companys

lands in Co Kildare as part of planned upgrading works to electricity lines.


In a significant unanimous judgment, the court agreed with Peter Bland SC,
for Killross, the procedure used by the ESB for serving wayleave notices
under Section 53 of the Electricity Supply Act 1927 on his client involved an
unlawful delegation of the boards powers under Section 9 of the Act.
The board was entitled to delegate the power to issue wayleave notices to its
chief exective but was not entitled to sub-delegate to the chief executive
power to authorise such other persons as he deemed appropriate to issue
wayleave notices, Mr Justice Brian Cregan held. Any such persons had to be
directly authorised by the board.
Mr Justice Cregan, with whom Mr Justice Michael Peart and Mr Justice
Gerard Hogan agreed, said the wayleave notice was served by a person who
had no lawful authority to do so.
The wayleave notice served by the ESB on June 28th, 2013 on Killross was
signed by Eoin Waldron, described as an authorised officer of the board.
Mr Waldron was not authorised by the board but rather authorised by the chief
executive, Mr Justice Cregan said. That authorisation was in excess of the
provisions of Section 9, the way leave notice was thus served unlawfully and
must be set aside.
Upgrading works
On that ground, the court allowed the appeal by Killross, with registered
offices at Celbridge, Co Kildare, over a wayleave notice permitting the ESB
and Eirgrid enter onto the firms lands at Collinstown, Co Kildare, to erect a
temporary diversion to the Dunfirth-Kinnegad-Rinawade 110kv electricity line
as part of line upgrading works.
Killross bought the lands in 2007 and they were re-zoned in 2010 for use as a
town centre development.
Killross claimed it bought the lands from the previous owner with benefit of
existing representations from the ESB it would divert electricty lines to
facilitate the town centre development then being contemplated, or else pay
compensation. The ESB denied any such representation. That dispute was
not an issue before the Court of Appeal.
Following High Court orders, the ESB entered onto the lands in March 2015 to
erect the temporary line and completed the works, and removed the
temporary line, by August 2015.
Unanimous judgments
Yesterday ( Monday), the Court of Appeal issued three unanimous judgments
on various issues arising for the dispute between the ESB, Eirgrid plc and
Killross concerning the works. The appeal court upheld Killross claim
concerning unlawful delegation of powers but dismissed all other claims.
Giving the other two judgments, Mr Justice Hogan said it was important to
note Killross had not challenged the constitutionality of Section 53 of the 1927
Act which meant the court could not address whether that was valid or not.
He dismissed Killross claims the wayleave notice was issued in breach of fair
procedures or had certain defects on its face rendering it invalid.
He also rejected claims the upgrading of the capacity of six electricity lines in
the east Kildare area was unauthorised development requiring separate
planning permission. Those works did not affect the 110kv voltage of the lines,
he noted.
The High Court correctly found it could not, in proceedings under Section 160

of the Planning Act 2000, go beyond otherwise valid decisions of the planning
authorities those works were exempt development, he held.
http://www.nepp.ie/wordpress/?p=1483
Filed under- EirGrid Planning Application Resubmission 2014-2015 Eirgrid
Planning Application Material
http://www.eirgridnorthsouthinterconnector.ie/media/Volume%201A
%20Planning%20Application%20Form.pdf
North-South 400 kV Interconnection Development Application Form for
Approval Schedule 1 Drawings Register and OSI Licence Details
http://www.eirgridnorthsouthinterconnector.ie/media/Volume%201A
%20Schedule%201%20-%20Drawings%20Register%20and%20OSI
%20Licences.pdf
North-South 400 kV Interconnection Development Application Form for
Approval Schedule 6 Prescribed Authorities Notified of the Making of the
Application and Copies of Notification Letters
http://www.eirgridnorthsouthinterconnector.ie/media/Volume%201A
%20Schedule%206%20-%20Prescribed%20Authorities%20Notified%20and
%20Letters.pdf

North-South 400kV
Interconnection
Development
http://www.eirgridnorthsouthinterconnector.ie/media/Volume%203A%20Non
%20Technical%20Summary.pdf

Bord Pleanala admits the publication


of Eirgrids Draft Application File for
the North South Interconnector was
an internal mistake
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 at 8:02 am.

An Bord Pleanala has admitted the publication of Eirgrids Draft


Application File for the North South Interconnector on its
website was an internal mistake. The matter came to light
after the Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee expressed concerns
about the information being in the public domain without the
public being informed.
The North South Interconnector has being designated an EU
Project of Common Interest under EU Regulations, this
requires that the public must be continually informed and
updated by the project developer. Files uploaded on the site
were dated from February 16th and include hundreds of
volumes, figures and drawings.
Eirgrid say they were unaware the information was public on
the Bord Pleanala website. An Bord Pleanala say due to the
size of the file testing was being carried out but the
information was intended only for internal consumption.
http://www.northernsound.ie/news/bord-pleanala-admitts-the-publication-of-

eirgrids-draft-application-file-for-the-north-south-interconnector-was-aninternal-mistake/

Plan for 'monster rally'


underlines 70 per cent
opposition to pylon plan:
poll
SHANE DORAN and JOHN DRENNAN
PUBLISHED
02/03/2014

AN overwhelming 70 per cent of voters want


the State to abandon controversial plans to
erect giant pylons across the countryside
and instead put the project underground, a

new Sunday Independent/ Millward Brown


reveals.
This is despite the fact that the underground option will
likely be more expensive.
The poll findings will heap further pressure on
Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, who has faced a
major cross-party revolt on the issue from backbench TDs
ahead of the local elections.
And they will provide more ammunition to anti-pylon
groups who have vowed to block EirGrid's 3.2bn plan to
upgrade the State's electricity infrastructure by
constructing a 'super-highway' of 45-metre pylons through
some of our most scenic areas.
Just 11 per cent of those polled in our survey are in favour
of the power lines being built overground. A further 11 per
cent said "it depends" on where the pylons would be
located. EirGrid's chairman John O'Connor came under
fire earlier this year when he admitted during questioning
at the Public Accounts Committee that he wouldn't like to
live near one the giant pylons.
And, unsurprisingly, the vast majority of householders
agree, with some 83 per cent of those surveyed saying they
would not like to live near the giant metal structures.
Just eight per cent said they would be "happy" to live close
to a pylon, while nine per cent either didn't know or had
"no opinion" on the matter.
Opposition to the over-ground pylons is high across all age
groups, and among Fianna Fail supporters (80 per cent)
and, adding to Mr Rabbitte's difficulties, Labour
supporters (78 per cent). It is also high among members of
the farming community (73 per cent), in spite of promises
that farmers and rural residents living near the pylons will
be paid compensation.
Three-quarters of people living in Munster want the power
lines to be put underground, backed by a similar number
of Leinster residents (73 per cent).

The vast majority (80 per cent) of people agreed the


pylons would have a negative effect on the value of their
homes. The same number of those polled also agreed that
the massive metal structures would damage scenic areas of
the country.
And despite the findings of a recent EU report which failed
to uncover evidence of a major health threat to humans
from high-voltage power lines, 74 per cent of those polled
either "strongly agree" (47 per cent) or "somewhat agree"
(27 per cent) that there are possible health concerns
associated with pylons.
EirGrid and Minister Rabbitte have borne the brunt of a
massive public backlash over the plans to erect almost
500km of high-voltage power lines over-ground.
The Government recently announced an expert group to
help decide if undergrounding was technically feasible and
affordable, but it won't report back until later in the year.
Some 35,000 submissions alone were made for one
project, Grid Link, which runs from Cork to Kildare via
Wexford.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Independent has learnt that a
'monster' rally of all anti-pylon and anti-wind farm groups
is planned for Tuesday, April 15 in the capital.
The rally was originally planned to take place on March 5.
However, one organiser told the Sunday Independent:
"We decided on a change of tactics, April 15 is the week the
Dail goes into recess and we intend to show the politicians
we haven't gone away you know."
Another source added: "Everyone is coming together for
this. It will be a monster rally, we want to send them off
with a flea in their ear a month before the locals.
"The schools are also closed that week, it will allow parents
from Donegal to Mayo to Waterford to come up."
Mr Rabbitte is now coming under severe pressure from
both Fine Gael and his own party to resolve the issue.
The Sunday Independent has learnt that, at a private
briefing of Labour TDs and senators by anti-wind-farm
protest groups, "serious concerns were raised by the

groups over how they could have confidence in the


Government's plans while this situation exists".
Mr Rabbitte is also facing renewed pressure to resolve the
position of the chairman of Sustainable Energy Ireland
(SEAI), Brendan Halligan, who is also on the board of the
private wind energy company Mainstream.
The CEO of Mainstream, Eddie O'Connor, has claimed in
response to earlier concerns that "none of the services
offered by SEAI have been availed of by Mainstream. If
they were, Brendan would have to absent himself from any
decision-making forum at SEAI because there would be a
conflict of interest".
However, in a scathing attack on the floor of the Seanad,
Labour Senator John Whelan recently warned that Mr
Halligan's other position as "a consultant for the wind
industry'' who "works for the biggest wind-farm developer
in the country, Mainstream energy'' meant his position on
the board of SEAI is "untenable''.
Labour's communications spokesperson in the Seanad
added: "I thought we had left that kind of politics, policy
making and strategy behind us or have we replaced the FF
Galway tent with a new tepee of cosy cronies."
One Government source told the Sunday Independent:
"Poor Pat. He thought he'd put the pylons to bed, now he
finds he's under attack on three fronts.
"This really is the story that won't go away
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/plan-for-monster-rally-underlines-70-percent-opposition-to-pylon-plan-poll-30054296.html

Kenny wants North-South


interconnector included in
pylon review
Taoiseach questioned in the Dil on FG backbenchers
claim

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he would like to see the


proposed North-South electricity connector included in
the review of EirGrids plans to erect a network of
pylons.
Mr Kenny was replying to questions in the Dil today
on a claim by the Monaghan TD Sean Conlon he had
been told by the Taoiseach that the expert panel would
have the power to commission a new report on the
interconnector if deficiencies were found in a 2012
report on the project.
What I have said to deputies I have met, as the
Minister has agreed, that the public would be very

reassured if they knew that the overhead and the


underground options have both been fully investigated
and the already published studies in the case of NorthSouth are sufficient to enable a similar comparison to
be made by An Bord Peleanala when they come to
decide on the merits of the planning application, said
Mr Kenny.
The Taoiseach said that Minister for Energy Pat
Rabbitte would meet with the chairwoman of the
expert panel, former Supreme Court judge Catherine
McGuinness, on Friday to discuss the programme of
work.
That programme of work by EirGrid includes the two
grid link and grid west and the already advanced work
done on the North-South connector, he added.
And I would like to see the commission have its remit
extended to cover that so that there is equality of
assessment and fairness for all the people all over the
country so that whatever the decision, at the end of
the day, is based on cost and all those other factors,
that people will clearly understand the nature of the
decision to be made.
Mr Kenny said the interconnector was needed as a
critical piece of infrastructure.
The Taoiseach rejected claims by Sinn Fein leader
Gerry Adams and Darragh Calleary (FF) that the
Government had set up the review because of next
Mays European and local elections.
We are not alone across Europe in our opposition to
400KV overhead Powerlines and Pylons. If you were
watching Primetime last night some very interesting facts
came across:
1: Germans are re-looking at the whole renewable energy
sector as the average German family has to pay 260 each
year to subsidise the renewable energy industry through
their energy bills, and wind energy is not economically

viable without subsidies.


2: Wind turbines and 400KV overhead Powerlines &
Pylons are intrinsically linked as the wind farms need the
Powerlines to transmit their power to the national
transmission grid network and then on for export by
private companies.
3: Groups like us are opposing similar projects in Germany
with similar concerns as we have like health concerns,
visual impact, etc...
4: In Denmark new Powerlines are constructed
underground and there is little or no opposition to these
projects.
We will continue with our opposition to Eirgrid's current
proposals for the Gridlink project and there are many
battles ahead which we hope you will fully support us in.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has revealed a new application for
a north-south electricity connector, stretching from
Tyrone, through Armagh and on to Meath, is imminent.
But an Irish Government commission will investigate
burying cables underground. For years local lobby group
SEAT has been campaigning for this in the north on the
grounds of health and environment. Hit LIKE if you agree
that the Armagh landscape should remain pylon-free
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irishnews/kenny-wants-north-south-interconnector-includedin-pylon-review-1.1672111

North-South Interconnector

The 288m project runs between Woodland in Co Meath


and Turleenan in Tyrone. It will provide a second highcapacity electricity transmission line between The
Republic and Northern Ireland.
The project was launched in autumn 2007, and a planning
application was submitted to An Bord Pleanala in
December 2009. It was withdrawn in July 2010. About
100km of the line is in the Republic, and up to 300
homeowners will qualify for a payment. The cost of the
community gain scheme will be 4m, with another 4m
expected to be paid to homeowners.
2 Grid West
Expected to cost 240m, Grid West will provide a highcapacity power line linking north Mayo to Flagford in
Roscommon. Between 200 and 300 homeowners are
expected to qualify for a payment.
A planning application is due to be lodged in 2015. The
cost of the community gain scheme will be some 5.2m,
with another 4m set aside for homeowners.
3 Grid Link
The largest of the three projects, some 35,000 submissions
were made on plans to run a 260km line from Knockraha
in Cork to Great Island in Wexford and terminating at
Dunstown, near Kilcullen in Co Kildare.
The project is expected to cost 500m, but a final route

has not been decided which means the number of affected


homeowners is unknown. However, based on the figures
expected for Grid West and Grid Link, up to 800
households may qualify. The cost of the community gain
will be some 10.4m. If 800 households qualify for the
maximum payment of 30,000, the cost will be an
additional 24m. Planning permission is due to be sought
in 2016.

Poll in today's paper: 70% of people think Eirgrid's Overhead Pylon


plan as is should be scrapped or else put underground.
83% of people would not like to live beside a Pylon.
Also a date for the diary, national rally planned for Dublin on April
15th during mid term week.

The Environment Minister


says he wouldnt want to live
beside a wind turbine
The Labour Party deputy leader was speaking to local radio in

Waterford this morning.


Sep 15th 2014

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER ALAN Kelly has admitted


that he would not want to live beside a wind turbine.
The Labour Partys deputy leader questioned who would
want a wind turbine beside their house as he answered
questions about the governments renewable energy policy
on local radio this morning.
Several wind farm projects across the country have faced
opposition in recent months with local action groups
opposed to wind farms and electricity pylons in their area
aiming to change the governments energy policy.
Kelly recently told councillors in Donegal to drop changes
to the county plan which had been aimed at increasing the
minimum distance between pylons and homes.
Speaking on WLR FM this morning, Kelly was asked
specifically about plans for 12 wind turbines to be
constructed in Dungarvan and was then asked if he would
have a turbine near his house. He responded:
Personally, you wouldnt want a turbine beside your
house, of course not. Who would say that they would?, he
told the station.
He said that the government has laid down renewable

energy targets and that it is his job to ensure the planning


process for any turbine construction is fair and balanced.
He said that the Department of Environment will be
releasing guidelines in relation to how and where turbines
should be placed in the coming months which he claimed
would bring some clarity to the matter.
Kelly also insisted that the planning process needs to be
independent of the minister and that the rules around
planning permission need to be clear, adding: That clarity
will be brought into place in the very near future.
http://www.thejournal.ie/alan-kelly-live-beside-windturbines-1671765-Sep2014/

1,000m wind farm


distance sought
PUBLISHED
07/11/2015

Wind Energy was a hot topic during


discussion of the Draft Wicklow County
Development Plan 2016-2022 in Wicklow
County Chambers after a proposal was
tabled by Cllr Shay Cullen that wind farms
should be at least 1,000m away from
residential dwellings.
Whilst I am in favour of renewable and green energy, we
must as public representatives listen to and represent the
concerns of the public. Wind farms, whilst on paper seem
to be a logical way to go about generating renewable
energy, but there is a cost to communities that are located
in or beside wind farms, and I believe that these
communities have to be listened to and helped,' he said.
Cullen outlined the health concerns surrounding wind

turbines and said that nobody wants to live next to them.


'We would never consider placing commercial wind
turbines close to an urban setting but we are willing to
place them close to rural homes and as far as I am
concerned, this is unacceptable. It is well documented
recently in the media that there are serious health
concerns with regarding to wind turbines. There is also
visual flicker, there is noise pollution, there is disturbance
to wildlife habitats, concern over the impact on rural
landscape, negative impact on tourism, devaluing family
homes, a little bit like pylons, nobody wants a wind
turbine beside their home because it virtually leaves it that
it's unsaleable,' he said.
Cllr Pat Kennedy supported the proposal and said that
1,000 metres is a 'realistic distance'.
'These commercial developments on the tops of mountains
in rural areas are causing stress, division and the splitting
of rural communities and families and I fully support what
Cllr Cullen has put forward here today.'
European energy targets which Ireland is obliged to meet,
was a point raised by Cllr Derek Mitchell who questioned
if a compensation scheme is open to those who would see
windfarms built near their homes.
'We do have an objective to meet in terms of energy and
we have very substantial wind assets here which other
countries don't have. Obviously if it's beside your house,
it's a problem. We do have other things that go through
rural areas for national objectives, such as motorways, and
there is a scheme of compensating people who have
motorways next to them.'
http://www.independent.ie/regionals/braypeople/news/1000m-wind-farmdistance-sought-34166490.html

EIRGRID IS TO invest 500 million in a new high voltage


power power line linking Leinster and Munster.
The project will connect Knockraha in Co. Cork to Great
Island in Co. Wexford to Dunstown, Co. Kildare.
Eirgid is begin a 12 week consultation process as it begins

considering a number of 1km wide corridors along which


the new 400 KV power line could be located.

(Route options for the proposed 500mn Eirgid power


line. Source Eirgrid)
The project is at an early stage and Eirgrid say they do not
expect to submit an application to An Bord Pleanla for
planning approval before 2015.
Eirgrid says the new powerline forms part of a planned
investment of 3.2 billion in the period up to 2025 and
will help towards Irelands goal of using 40% of its energy
from renewable sources by 2020.
As part of the consultation period Eirgrid will hold a
twelve information days over the next month to allow
locals to give their opinions on what factors should be
considered when determining the least constrained

corridor.
EirGrid says that it recognises that some individuals are
genuinely concerned about issues regarding electric and
magnetic fields and health but says worldwide research
has shown no conclusive evidence that exposure is
harmful to public health.

THE CHAIRMAN DESIGNATE of Eirgrid has said that he


will discuss with the minister whether or not to reconsider
his nomination.
John OConnor made his comments after a bruising
encounter with the Oireachtas Committee on Transport
and Communications in which he admitted that he
personally would not like to live beside an electricity
pylon.
The committee were questioning him on his proposed
appointment as the chair of the state-owned electricity
transmission company.
Asked by Fine Gael TD Patrick ODonovan whether he
personally would like to live beside an electricity pylon,
OConnor responded, I wouldnt like to live close to a
pylon, but who would?

Pushed later on his response by Independent TD Luke


Ming Flanagan, OConnor said that he would not like to
live beside a pylon because it would affect the amenity of
the house and would be visually intrusive. This would
only be the case if it were too close, said OConnor.
Questioned by Flanagan what he considered close to be,
OConnor answered maybe 50 metres.
The new appointment appointment comes as Eirgrid plans
to erect large electricity pylons, as part of an update to the
countrys energy infrastructure.
OConnor also refuted emphatically that he would have a
conflict of interest in his new position having previously
been the chairman of An Bord Pleanla.
Speaking before the committee this morning, OConnor
said that he left An Bord Pleanla in June 2011 and his
standing with the company was now the same as any
other citizen.
OConnor was chairman of An Bord Pleanla for 11 years
from 2000 but he said today that the doesnt feel he has
any unique knowledge of the planning process.
OConnor said that when approached by Environment
Minister Phil Hogan who gauged his interest in the
position, OConnor said that the Minister did not make
any specific reference to his experience in An Bord
Pleanla.
He said that that this was likely a deliberate decision by
the Minister not to mention his previous role as head of
the state planning board.

Incoming chairman of Eirgrid John OConnor pictured at


committee today. Pic: Oireachtas/Screengrab
Fianna Fil TD Timmy Dooley said that his party will not
be supporting OConnors nomination as he felt that there
was a mismatch between the his experience and his
suitability for the role as it currently exists.
There is a concern among community groups that your
knowledge of the planning process will effect communities
acting against Eirgrid, he said.
Dooley told OConnor that he believes he has unique
insight into how decisions are taken, something which
could put Eirgrid in a dominant position in disputes
with communities.
OConnor flatly rejected all of these charges, saying that he
would not be taking a hands-on role in individual planning
applications. He said that his role would primarily be in
setting policy for Eirgrid and that there wont be any back
door phone calls.
Dooley asked OConnor for a commitment to dissociate
yourself totally from the planning and application
processes.
OConnor responded by saying that that, once a proposal
is made, he will have no involvement but that he couldnt

as chairperson of the company have nothing to do with the


main issues around the proposals.
Before his tenure with An Bord Pleanla OConnor worker
for 30 years in the Department of the Environment and he
said that he has consistently worked to protect the
environment. If anyone thinks Im going into Eirgrid to
damage my lifes work then I would have a problem with
that, he said.
A public consultation on the Leinster-Munster power
line scheme has been undertaken and OConnor said that
he believes strongly that engagement as a rule is
meaningful. He requested that communities wait for the
report of the consultation process before making any
judgments.
Sinn Fin deputy Michael Colreavy said that the main
point on the agenda of consultations should be on whether
the power lines go overground or underground and if this
decision has already been taken consultations are
meaningless

THE MINISTER FOR Communications, Energy and


Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte said tonight that he would
like to see Eirgrid do everything it reasonably can to

secure community acceptance.


EirGrid, the body responsible for the development and
maintenance of the States electricity grid, is constructing
a number of large overground pylons for electricity lines as
part of its countrywide EuroGrid 25 project to update
Irelands electricity infrastructure.
Protests
There have been a number of protests throughout the
country, with 1,000 people attending a public meeting in
County Meath last week in opposition to EirGrids plans.
In an address to the Energy Institute in Dublin this
evening Rabbitte said the government does not make
arbitrary decisions directing where power lines are to be
built or not built.
He said that the government will not direct Eirgrid to
particular sites or routes or technologies, government does
require Eirgrid to take account of all relevant national and
international standards, to follow best practice and ensure
value for money.
Rabbitte said the government has full confidence in the
competence, professionalism and technical abilities of
Eirgrid and in the impartial discharge of their onerous
functions.
He added:
The engagement between company and community
must be reasonable and must be tempered by what
constitutes the public interest.
However, no Government can walk away from its
responsibility to provide the country with a secure energy
supply.
Nor can any Government wantonly inflict unnecessary
costs on energy consumers to allay concerns that are not
well founded.
Rabbitte said that people need to understand that Ireland
cannot attract investment and provide jobs without a
modern energy system.
http://www.thejournal.ie/eirgrid-pat-rabbitte-1172503-Nov2013/

AN BORD PLEANLA is to hold its first public hearings


on what is seen as a key test case for EirGrids plans to roll
out electricity powerlines and substations across the
country.
EirGrid, the body responsible for the development and
maintenance of the States electricity grid, is constructing
a number of large overground pylons for electricity lines as
part of its countrywide EuroGrid 25 project to update
Irelands electricity infrastructure.
A number of local groups have protested against the
construction of the pylons with hearings in Portlaoise
today, which will last for three days, focussing on the plans
for an electricity substation in the Laois Kilkenny area,
including the installation of over a dozen high-powered
powerlines.
EirGrid argues that the project is justified because of
quality and security of supply issues in the areas of
Kilkenny, Carlow, Kildare and Loias.
These problems are caused by the increase in load
demand in the area over the last number of years ,
together with the growth in forecast demand in future,
the company says on its website.
To alleviate these concerns, EirGrid has identified the
proposed Laois-Kilkenny reinforcement scheme as the
most efficient solution.
However, the Ratheniska, Timahoe and Spink Substation
Action Group argues the project is too large and there is a
lack of information from EirGrid about why such a large
project is needed in the area.

Image: kev_bite, via Flickr

/Photo Text content


A REPORT HAS found that putting a north-south
electricity interconnector underground as opposed to
overground would be more expensive though it would be
technically possible.
The International Expert Commissions Meath-Tyrone
Report, carried out last year, says that the cost of linking
the electricity grids of the Republic of Ireland and the
North by means of underground cables would rise from
167m to 500m.
Residents along the Monaghan-Tyrone border have
expressed opposition to the construction of electricity
pylons across the countryside in their area. The
interconnector line would be some 140 kilometres long.

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte commissioned a


three-man panel to carry out a report after the planning
process collapsed. The company proposing the
interconnector, Eirgrid, has argued that it would be too
expensive and difficult to maintain an underground line.
The report bases the increased cost of the project going
underground on recent projects in Europe which dealt
with similar terrains to that which are involved in the Irish
project.
It also says that the overground innterconnector could be
made more attractive by the use of new pylon designs
rather than the steel lattice towers which are currently
proposed and are common in Ireland.
These are some of the possible designs contained in the
report:

The traditional lattice steel tower will still offer the lowest
cost, the report notes. Alternative designs with reduced
EMF [Electro Magnetic Fields] and/or less visual impact
will offer somewhat higher costs.
The authors say they did not examine any possible health
implications, the potential impact on nearby property
value or land devaluation caused by the potential
construction of overhead cables.
The Commission is not recommending any solution as
such, the report also says.

Nonetheless, Rabbitte welcomed the reports publication


and indicated that after a brief consultation period he
would go back to the government with a memorandum on
Security of Energy Supply, to which Eirgrid and the
planning process will have regard.
http://www.thejournal.ie/putting-north-southinterconnector-underground-more-expensive-report330768-Jan2012/

Public Consultation on draft


Guidance for Offshore Renewable
Energy Development
Draft Guidance on the preparation of Environment
Impact Statements and Natura Impact Statements
and Draft Guidance on Marine Baseline
Assessments and Monitoring Activities.
The Minister for Communications, Climate Change and
Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., has launched a 12 week
public consultation on draft Guidance documents to help
support the development of offshore renewable energy in
Ireland.
The two draft documents one on the preparation of
Environment Impact Statements (EIS) and Natura Impact
Statements (NIS) for offshore renewable energy projects and
the other on Marine Baseline Assessments and Monitoring
Activities - have been progressed by the Environment Working
Group of the Offshore Renewable Energy Steering Group,
which was established in 2014 to oversee the implementation
of the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan.
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and
Environment is committed to engaging with stakeholders in a

clear and transparent manner. The draft Guidance documents


build on a workshop organised by the Department in 2015
involving key stakeholders. This public consultation provides
the opportunity for further participation by stakeholders and
the public. It is hoped that this consultation will help ensure
that the Guidance documents are, when finalised, as
comprehensive and relevant as possible to developers and
practitioners in the offshore renewable energy field.
The public consultation will close at 5pm on Friday 16
December, 2016. Submissions can be sent electronically to
the following mailbox: oredp@dccae.gov.ie
Freedom of Information
The Department is bound by the Freedom of Information
legislation and reserves the right to publish all submissions
received. Where confidential or commercially sensitive material
is included in submissions, this information should be clearly
marked as confidential. The non-confidential elements of all
submissions received will be published in response to the
consultation.

Guidance on EIS and NIS Preparation for Offshore


Renewable Energy Projects
Prepared for the
Environmental Working Group of the Offshore Renewable
Energy Steering Group and the Department of
Communications, Climate Action and Environment
http://www.dccae.gov.ie/energy/Lists/Consultations
%20Documents/OREDP%20Public
%20Consultation/Draft%20Guidance%20on%20EIS
%20and%20NIS.pdf
Guidance on Marine Baseline Assessments and
Monitoring Activities for Offshore Renewable Energy
Projects PART I
http://www.dccae.gov.ie/energy/Lists/Consultations
%20Documents/OREDP%20Public
%20Consultation/Draft%20Guidance%20on
%20Monitoring%20%20Part%201.pdf

Guidance on Marine Baseline Assessments and


Monitoring Activities for Offshore Renewable Energy
Projects PART II
http://www.dccae.gov.ie/energy/Lists/Consultations
%20Documents/OREDP%20Public
%20Consultation/Draft%20Guidance%20on
%20Monitoring%20%20Part%202.pdf

Public Consultation on the


implementation of the UNECE
Aarhus Convention in Ireland
The Department of the Communications, Climate Action and
Environment invites comments from interested parties on the
implementation in Ireland of the United Nations Economic
Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to
Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access
to Justice in Environmental Matters (known as the Aarhus
Convention) in Ireland.
A draft National Implementation Report 2017 has been
prepared and comments on this draft are now invited in
accordance with the recommendations of the Aarhus
Convention secretariat. It is an edited, updated version of the
previous first National Implementation Report for Ireland,
which was completed in 2014.
Article 10 of the Aarhus Convention requires the Meeting of the
Parties (MOP) to keep the implementation of the Aarhus
Convention under continuous review through regular reporting
by the Parties to the Convention in the format of National
Implementation Reports. Ireland submitted its first National

Implementation Report 2014 to the Aarhus Convention


secretariat in December 2013.
The purpose of this consultation is to provide the United
Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the Aarhus
Convention Secretariat and the Aarhus Convention Compliance
Committee with the widest possible range of views and
opinions on issues related to the implementation of, and
practical arrangements for the promotion of, the Aarhus
Convention in Ireland. The outcome of this consultation will
feed into the work being carried out by the Aarhus Convention
MOP and into the effective implementation of the Aarhus
Convention by the Parties to the Convention, as well as proving
useful for wider policy development. A synthesis report for
each session of the MOP summarising the progress made and
identifying significant trends, challenges and solutions will be
prepared on the basis of the National Implementation Reports.
Comments on the draft NIR 2017 should be submitted no later
than 5pm on Friday 28 October 2016 by email or post to:
Email: ACConsultation@dccae.gov.ie
Post: Environment Policy Section
Department of the Communications, Climate Action and
Environment
Newtown Road
Wexford
Y35 AP90
Please note that all submissions and comments submitted to
the Department of the Communications, Climate Action and
Environment are subject to release under the Freedom of
Information Act 2014 and under the European Communities
(Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations (2007
to 2014) and may also be published on the Department's
website.
More Information

Aarhus Convention information on this website


Aarhus Convention information on the UNECE website

Any questions should be referred to


ACConsultation@dccae.gov.ie.
Format for the Aarhus Convention implementation report in
accordance with Decision IV/4 (ECE/MP.PP/2011/2/Add.1) The
following report is submitted on behalf of Ireland in accordance
with decisions I/8, II/10 and IV/4.
http://www.dccae.gov.ie/news-and-media/Lists/Consultations
%20Documents/2017%20NIR%20First%20Draft.pdf
Format for the Aarhus Convention implementation report in accordance
with Decision IV/4 (ECE/MP.PP/2011/2/Add.1)
http://www.dccae.gov.ie/SiteCollectionDocuments/Corporate
%20Consultations/Ireland%27s%20NIR%202014.pdf

Twenty two individual submissions were received on draft 1,


with twelve submissions received on the second draft. All
submissions have been considered and amendments have been
included in the final report, as appropriate. All submissions are
available on the website of the DECLG. Furthermore, decisionmaking tables which outline the main points made in the
submissions were prepared. These tables detail why certain
issues raised in submissions were not reflected in the final draft.
wenty two individual submissions were received on draft 1, with
twelve submissions received on the second draft. All
submissions have been considered and amendments have been
included in the final report, as appropriate. All submissions are
available on the website of the DECLG. Furthermore, decisionmaking tables which outline the main points made in the
submissions were prepared. These tables detail why certain
issues raised in submissions were not reflected in the final draft.

To raise public awareness of the consultation process, DECLG


developed a page on the Aarhus Convention section of its
website; issued a press release at each stage of the consultation
and issued reminders of the consultation through the RSS feed
of DECLG and its twitter account.
Government Consultation:
All government departments and a number of key other public
authorities such as local authorities; the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), An Bord Pleanala and the Office of
the Attorney General were consulted as part of the consultation
process.
Public/Stakeholder Consultation:
A number of environmental organisations and networks such as
the Irish Environmental Network, the Environmental Pillar, the
Environmental Legislation Implementation Group, An Taisce
and Friends of the Irish Environment, amongst others, were
directly notified of the each phase of the consultation process,
provided with an opportunity to participate and asked to
disseminate details of the public consultation to their members,
constituent bodies and other interested parties.

Ballymanus Wind Farm BLOWN


AWAY
Posted by: WicklowNews.net in Latest News March 27, 2015

Last Monday 23rd March was the final day for ABO Wind to lodge
an Appeal against Wicklow County Councils refusal to grant
permission for the Ballymanus Wind Farm plan to erect twelve 150
metre high Industrial Wind Turbines.
SWWAG is delighted to announce that An Bord Pleanala reports
that NO APPEAL had been received by the close of business last
Monday, thus ensuring that Ballymanus Wind farm has been
BLOWN AWAY! Once again we say THANK YOU to everyone for
a magnificent effort in coming on board this campaign and staying
with it.
YOU HAVE PROVED THAT AMAZING RESULTS DO HAPPEN
WHEN ENOUGH PEOPLE DO ORDINARY THINGS
EXTRAORDINARILY WELL.
Our Committee will meet shortly to determine how best to tidy up a

few financial loose ends and to set out future short- and mediumterm strategy. Once this is agreed we will arrange an Information
Event to advise everyone and seek their support for it.
As regards strategy, until we know otherwise. there is nothing to
prevent ABO Wind making a new application for a similar -but
different project in the same locality. That possibility, and other
possible applications in the wider locality including applications
for approval of Grid connection routes for BALLYCUMBER and
RAHEENLEA (Croghan)- are reasons why SWWAGs work is far
from done and we therefore remain on full alert.
One thing is certain, folding our tent and going away is NOT
an option!
http://www.wicklownews.net/2015/03/ballymanus-wind-farmblown-away%E2%80%8F/

This is a scale 1: 50 model of the proposed wind farm they


want to build in my back garden, in the picture i also have

a scaled model of b 2 story house, normal turbine and a


normal spruce tree. The windmills will be 156 meters tall
and they want to build 49 of them , please help us stop
this monster development by sharing this picture.

Pylon pressure group loses action


against EirGrid
An action aimed at halting an oral hearing for EirGrids
application to erect approximately 300 pylons as part of
the proposed North-South electricity interconnector has
been dismissed by the High Court.

The challenge was brought by the North East Pylon


Pressure Campaign (NEPPC), which represents almost 200
landowners in counties Cavan, Meath, and Monaghan.
The group opposes the pylons claiming they pose health
risks to communities and will damage the environment.
In his judgment yesterday, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys
refused to grant the group permission to bring the
challenge against An Bord Pleanlas decision to hold an
oral hearing as part of the process concerning Eirgirds
application to erect the pylons, which commenced in
March in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.
The group has also challenged the validity of the North-

South 400kv Interconnector application submitted by


EirGrid in June 2015.
An Bord Pleanla and EirGrid, a notice party to the
proceedings, opposed the groups challenge. The
challenge was brought shortly before the oral hearing was
due to commence on March 7.
In a preliminary ruling Mr Justice Humphreys refused to
grant the group an injunction preventing that hearing from
proceedings until the High Court challenge had been
heard.
Mr Justice Humphreys processes, like the oral hearing at
the centre of the challenge, should be allowed proceed to
their conclusion. Judicial review proceedings should only
be sought if parties are dissatisfied with the final result.
The judge said if all intermediate steps in a process were
subjected to challenges then the stage would be set for
enormous disruption.
No benefit to the public interest could be served by
unnecessary multiplication of judicial reviews, he added.
He said his decision did not prejudice the group from
including any matters raised in the application in any
challenge it may bring should the board decide to grant
planning permission for the pylons.
The court heard EirGrid had applied for permission to build
the pylons to the planning appeals board under strategic
infrastructure development (SID) legislation.
In its action, the group claimed there are difficulties which
render the application invalid on grounds including there
are difficulties with the applications environmental impact
and natura impact statements and the application does
not comply with planning and development legislation.
http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/pylon-pressure-group-loses-actionagainst-eirgrid-399332.html

Pylons would cause


600m devaluation in
farms, land and
property - opponents
By Amy McShane on 06 April 2016

Pylon opponents say they would devalue land and property.

A protest group at the centre of a dispute with Eirgrid over


the north-south interconnector have said the pylons would
cause a devaluation of 600m to farms, land and property.
http://www.farmersjournal.ie/pylons-would-cause-600m-devaluation-in-farmsland-and-property-opponents-205309

Ireland has third highest


electricity prices in OECD
Paul Melia Twitter
EMAIL
PUBLISHED
28/10/2015

1
Irish electricity prices are almost twice the international average

Irish electricity prices are almost twice the


international average, with each megawatt
hour costing $307 (277) compared with
$167 (151).
A new report from the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development says that of 32 countries,
Ireland and Italy rank joint third behind Denmark and
Germany as having the highest household electricity
prices.
It also highlights that Ireland must make huge strives to
improve our environmental performance as part of efforts
to prevent dangerous climate change. The 'Environment at
a Glance 2015' report says that we produce 13 tonnes of
greenhouse gas emissions per head of population,
compared with an OECD average of nine tonnes.
We also generate 587kg of waste, compared with an
average of 483kg across European states.
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/ireland-has-third-highestelectricity-prices-in-oecd-34147981.html

Do we really want this to happen in Ireland?


Bord Pleanala and former president of the Irish Planning
Institute
speaking at the Protect Rural Ireland launch in Dublin on
27th Oct. 2015. on planning issues with Wind Turbines

https://soundcloud.com/lwig2012/amulcr
one-271015
This is an almost 59th minute of 23rd hour APPEAL to as many of
you as possible to respond to the Wexford branch of PAA's appeal to
allow them to add your name and address to their submission to An
Bord Pleanla arising from the recent north east pylon project
application. They must have their submission with ABP before close
of business Monday 24th so TIME IS CRITICAL!
If people would respond with their names and addresses (only) and
add any friends or family who would also be willing.
Please Email Mary at wexfordenergyactiongroup@gmail.com
confirming your name and address and requesting them to add it to
their submission in respect of this very critical part of the wholly
unnecessary GRID 25 project.

Well done to all those that fought for the victory in


stopping the Slieveard mountain wind farm. .... People who
love where they live ....and are willing to stand up and
speak out to protect their community! Please stand up and
fight the destruction of our remarkable and precious
Sperrin landscapes, were high levels of naturalness and
wilderness still remain relatively intact.

Wind Energy Guidelines still not released

In Spink tonight, Galetech / Coillte were sent packing.


Their PR spin was removed and incinerated.

This is why Fine Gael and labour have postponed the


guidelines - Very very scary pipeline of wind projects. Big
business comes before you and your family - RING YOUR
TD - WE WANT GUIDELINES NOW !

Developers getting away with murder, being facilitated by our


government. There won't be a towns land in the midlands that won't

be effected. Underhand skulduggery, no guidelines, no rules,


developers doing what they want at the moment. Please contact
your local TD and put another bit of pressure on. We can't let our
rural landscape and health be destroyed like this.

Turbines whipping up a
storm as TDs begin to feel
force of 'rural power'
Lise Hand Twitter
EMAIL
PUBLISHED
28/10/2015

1
Wind farms

Dorothy Keane had remained composed and


articulate as she recounted how the quiet,
content lives of herself and her husband had
been shattered by the arrival of wind
turbines into their peaceful rural idyll in Co
Roscommon.
It culminated in the couple quitting the home they had
bought for their retirement years. But towards the end of
her story, she broke down in tears. "Our lives were turned
upside down," she said. "It's heartbreaking to see what was
to be our retirement home now abandoned, neglected,
overgrown and unsold."
Dorothy and her husband Michael were both speaking at
the launch of the latest national political group, the Protect
Rural Ireland organisation.
Its electoral strategy is simple - to target any TDs or
candidates who support (or who have not openly decried)
the construction of wind farms across Ireland. And they
intend to come out with all guns blazing; at the launch in
Buswell's Hotel yesterday, arrivals were handed sample
'Vote Out!' leaflets.
These will be deployed in constituencies featuring an
initial six TDs: Environment Minister Alan Kelly
(Tipperary), Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan
(Laois), Communications Minister Alex White (Dublin
Rathdown), Labour's Emmet Stagg (Kildare North)and
Fine Gael deputies Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (Offaly)
and Bernard Durkan (Kildare North).
Threat

"We want to unseat them," declared the group's chairman,


Henry Fingleton, who said the threat to rural heartland
industries from the planned construction of up to 2,000
more wind turbines "has been ignored - at every
opportunity they alienate us, push us to one side, try to

walk over us".


The group had lined up some expert speakers, such as Dr
Christopher Hanning, an international sleep disorder
specialist. He presented research which showed that
turbines positioned at a distance of up to 1.5km away can
"adversely affect sleep".
Ann Mulcrone, a former inspector with An Bord Pleanla,
said she believed "we're at a crossroads in relation to the
rural landscape". Ann, who has notched up 35 years'
experience as a town planner, added that a current
application for a wind farm in north Meath was for 46
wind turbines, each of which would be 170 metres in
height. "It's difficult to comprehend the scale of that - we
can compare it to Liberty Hall, which is 60 metres," she
explained.
Attention

There were facts and figures galore, but it was Dorothy


and Michael Keane's story which really caught the
attention of the room.
They moved to their dream home in 2004. "It was facing a
beautiful hill, we had ancient ring-forts beside us," said
Dorothy. They knew there was planning permission to
build turbines, "but the worst we thought that could
happen was that we'd have to look at them for the rest of
our lives".
However, after the turbines were constructed in 2011, "as
soon as they started to spin, we realised we had a big
problem with the noise".
The Keanes noticed they developed problems with
sleeping, concentration and low energy levels, and both
experienced "pressure in the ears and chest".
Eventually in January 2013, they sought medical help.
"The only advice the GP could give us was to leave our
home, remove ourselves from the problem. He said he was
from Mayo and he knew about the problems caused by the
noise from wind farms. We were devastated."
After sticking it out for the rest of the year, and seeking
further medical advice, they moved out in December 2013.

Michael also spoke of their ordeal. "We're not 'nimbys',


we're not moaners or whingers," he said. "The wind farm
operators don't own our country. We own our country. We
will not stand by."
The Government argues that wind turbines are safe, that
they save money and create jobs and benefit both local and
national coffers.
But rural power of a different kind is gearing up for battle.
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/turbines-whipping-up-a-storm-astds-begin-to-feel-force-of-rural-power-34147996.html

Losses widen at ESB


windfarm subsidiary
Paul O'Donoghue
PUBLISHED
30/10/2015

1
Photo: Bloomberg

THE ESB subsidiary responsible for the


early stage development of windfarms in
Ireland saw losses widen to 4.2m last year.
ESB Wind Development Limited focuses on the early stage
development of wind farms while construction or
operation takes place in other wholly or partially owned
ESB companies. The projects may be funded by internal or
external finance.
Newly filed accounts for the firm show that losses rose
from 33,000 to 4.2m while revenue stayed broadly in
line at 3.5m compared to 3.1m the year before, although
this was a significant decrease versus the 11.3m turnover
booked in 2011.
The loss was due to an increase in "development
expenses", which rose from 3.2m to 8.3m. Regarding
the losses, a spokesman for ESB said: "The accounts
reflect increased development activity during 2014."
The company's borrowings, largely from fellow group
companies, relate to the financing of windfarm projects.
At the end of last year, the company owed 11.7m to other
ESB subsidiaries compared to 12m the year before.
One of the company's main projects is in Oweninny Power
Ltd, a joint venture of which ESB owns 50pc. It is involved
in the development and construction of a windfarm in
Bellacorrick, Co Mayo, and the company advanced 1.8m
to OPL during the year compared to 3.25m the year
before.
ESB Wind Developments had liabilities of 28.2m. It is
financed by borrowings from subsidiaries of its ultimate
parent company, ESB. 12m of its liabilities are
attributable to group undertakings, which the company
directors expect to repay from "cashflows generated by
relevant wind farms".
The ESB has about 15 windfarms in operation both north

and south of the border.


The latest, Woodhouse in Waterford, was opened earlier
this month, bringing the company's total installed wind
generation capacity in Ireland to almost 300MW. The new
20MW windfarm will provide enough green energy to
power 10,000 homes.
ESB has also provided wind farm engineering services to
international clients in the UK, South Africa, Jordan,
Poland and Spain. Wind energy now generates almost
20pc of all electricity demand in Ireland.
http://www.independent.ie/business/losses-widen-at-esb-windfarm-subsidiary34153465.html

BlackRock has 'serious'


concerns around Irish
renewable investment
after business rate hikes
Gavin McLoughlin Twitter
EMAIL
PUBLISHED
28/06/2015

1
200pc - Size of the increase in the average rates paid by Wind
Farms in the Limerick area

The world's largest asset manager has


"serious" concerns about a steep hike in
business rates for wind farms, raising the
prospect of an investment drought in the
sector with Ireland set to miss its renewable
targets.
Teresa O'Flynn, director of BlackRock's renewable energy
investment portfolio, said that there was "no uplift in
return that will ever compensate you for that type of
change".
"I hate to scaremonger - but it's really, really serious.
Return levels and targets are irrelevant if you've got a
fundamental concern over regulatory stability," she said.
O'Flynn's comments were sparked by a recent change in
the rate valuation process which has trebled the average
rates paid by wind farms in Limerick. The Valuation
Office, the State body responsible for valuing commercial
and industrial property for ratepayers and rating
authorities, is conducting a programme that will revalue
all such properties to "reflect modern rental values" and
"bring more uniformity and transparency into the local
authority rating system."
O'Flynn, who was speaking at the Sustainability Gathering
in Dublin Castle on Wednesday, said she found the steep
hike embarrassing.
"Frankly it becomes a little bit embarrassing - as an Irish
person - whereby we've assets in France, we've got some
wind farms in Sweden, we've got investments in Mexico,
the US and Canada, but unfortunately you've got to say:
'Sorry investment committee, 200 to 300 basis points less
than we told you in Ireland because of this fundamental
business change'.

"Rates of return become a secondary issue because the


first thing you've got to get over is regulatory stability," she
added. "Up to now, Ireland was absolutely knocking it out
of the ball park. Because of that we've faced increased
competition in Ireland over the last number of years,
because you've had institutional investors from Germany
pour into Ireland because they were going 'strong
fundamentals, strongest wind resource in Europe'. As a
result, returns have been falling - good for developers and
utilities," O'Flynn said.
"If you're investing in a project and you expected a
particular profile for 25 years... you expect that there's
going to be some ups and downs.
"We're equity, we take risks. But one risks that we didn't
factor into the equation was a threefold increase in
business rates - because we felt Ireland was a good place to
do business."
Minister Brendan Howlin told the Dail that appeals
against the Limerick changes have been lodged with the
Valuation Commissioner. He said that the appeal process
should be allowed to take its course before considering a
legislative change.
Ken Spratt, the civil servant who leads the energy arm of
the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural
Resources, said the issue was an example of one arm of
government not acting in concert with another. He said
the department had been unable to persuade the Valuation
Office of the case for keeping the rates on wind farms low.
A spokeswoman for Spratt's department told the Sunday
Independent that it "has engaged with the Valuation Office
to ensure the broader national and European energy policy
context is understood by them".
She said the department is "keen to maintain the
investment environment that has underpinned the
development of the renewable energy sector in a way
which is cost-effective for electricity consumers and which
supports the long-term objective of de-carbonising our
electricity system".

"The department will fully and constructively engage with


the post-appeal analysis referred to by the Minister in the
Dail on April 28, 2015.
"Minister Howlin indicated at that time that, subject to the
post-appeal analysis, he would be open to the possibility of
legislative change should it be considered appropriate.
"This department will ensure that any analysis or review
that takes place will take full account of the broader energy
policy context and the meeting of Ireland's legally binding
2020 renewable energy targets," the spokeswoman said.
http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/blackrock-has-serious-concernsaround-irish-renewable-investment-after-business-rate-hikes-31334991.html
RTE News interviews Michael and Dorothy Keane from County
Roscommon where they speak about living beside two 100 metre
high wind turbines. They have since moved out of their home...
https://www.facebook.com/No-to-Windmills-in-Old-Leighlin-area195497060639423/?ref=stream

Wind farm objectors given leave to


lodge appeal
Saturday, June 20, 2015
By Ann OLoughlin

An environmental group has secured leave to appeal


against the rejection of its challenge to a grant of
permission for a wind farm in Co Laois.

At the Commercial Court yesterday, Mr Justice Robert


Haughton said People Over Wind had raised a number of
grounds of appeal of exceptional importance which it was
desirable, in the public interest, for the Court of Appeal to
determine. The appeal should be expedited, he added.
The judge last month dismissed the challenge by People
Over Wind and another entity, Environmental Action
Alliance Ireland, to An Bord Pleanlas June 2014 grant of
permission to Coillte Teoranta for construction of 18 power
generating wind turbines near Cullenagh, close to the
villages of Timahoe and Ballyroan, Co Laois.
In the proceedings, it was claimed the board failed to carry
a proper environmental impact assessment concerning the
proposed development. It was also claimed the board
failed to have regard to Laois County Councils decision
refusing permission for the windfarm and a
recommendation by a board inspector that permission be
refused.
The case was against the board while Coillte, the
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Laois
County Council were all notice parties.
In his judgment last month, Mr Justice Haughton found the
board carried out a proper appropriate assessment of
the proposed development which engaged with all the
observations and included sufficient findings, examination
and analysis.

He rejected arguments the board failed to carry out an


appropriate assessment in the light of the best scientific
knowledge available or that the development materially
contravened the Co Laois development plan.
Following the judgment, the applicants both sought
certificates for leave to appeal on different grounds.
People Over Wind was represented by James Devlin SC
while David Malone, whom the judge described as leading
the second applicant, an unincorporated entity, made
submissions on its behalf.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Haughton ruled People Over Wind
had made out three grounds of exceptional public
importance entitling it to an appeal. The second applicant
had failed to establish any grounds entitling it to a
certificate of appeal, he found.
The certified points of appeal relate to the issue of
appropriate environmental impact assessment.
The determination of these points would be of benefit to
appropriate assessment decision-makers and experts
preparing Natura Impact Statements involving mitigation
measures, the judge said.
One of the points is whether the Planning and
Development Act 2000, and the Habitats Directive, oblige
the board, when conducting an EIA, to ensure the
proposed development would not adversely affect a
National Parks and Wildlife Service objective of restoration,
from unfavourable to favourable conservation status, of a
protected habitat and species in a candidate Special Area
of Conservation situated outside the proposed windfarm
site. The species at issue is the Freshwater Pearl Mussel in
the River Nore.
It was desirable in the public interest that appropriate
questions concerning best scientific evidence also be
certified for appeal, the judge said.
Those questions include what obligation, if any, is on the
board to seek or procure the best scientific evidence in
carrying out an appropriate assessment.
Another issue is whether the board was entitled to regard
the scientific evidence before it as the best scientific
evidence or was the High Court obliged to have regard to
new or additional evidence in an affidavit of late January
2015.

The affidavit included material concerning the breeding


programme of the Nore Freshwater Pearl Mussel.
The appeal court will also be asked to consider whether
details of measures aimed at mitigating the impact of a
development on a European conservation site may, after
permission for a development is granted, be left for
decision to the board and the developer. The precise
wording of the questions will be decided later.
http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/wind-farm-objectors-given-leave-tolodge-appeal-338086.html?
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utm_campaign=buffer

I won't let my dream of life in


the unspoilt Irish countryside
be destroyed': Dad's pledge
against pylons
29 JUN 2015

Paddy Massey opens up about his battle to


prevent the area being ruined by hundreds of
pylons and wind turbines

Paddy Massey from Camphire cottage Cappoquin,


Co.Waterford with his wife Annabelle and their
children Abraham 5yrs, Saoirse 4yrs and Aine 2yrs
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A young dad who came home to raise his family


in a rural Irish beauty spot has opened up about
his battle to prevent the area from being ruined
by hundreds of towering pylons and humming
wind turbines.
Returned emigrant Paddy Massey, 36, left a new
life in the UK behind so that he and his wife
Annabel and their kids could grow up in the
unspoilt Irish countryside.
Instead he discovered that their town of Lismore
in Co Waterford was one of the areas worst hit
by state plans to upgrade the national grid

system by erecting hundreds of ugly pylons


across the country.
Eyesore wind turbines have also gone up all
over his native country to provide power.
Paddy - dad to Abraham, 5, Saoirse, 4, and Aine,
2, - came home in 2012 and was so concerned
by the destruction it would cause the local
environment that he helped set up anti-pylon
campaign group, ReThink Pylons.
The private estate manager revealed: Im
passionate about the countryside and
protecting it and keeping big industry out of
renewable energy.
What is happening at the moment is utterly
ridiculous - this pylon project is madness.
Like Paddy, the Mirror is campaigning against
Eirgrids project to erect up to 1,500 gigantic
pylons as tall as 60m across 700km of Ireland as
part of a 3.2 billion network upgrade.
We want to halt the 2,000 new wind turbines up
to 130m high with rotors the width of Croke
Park - planned for the countrys beauty spots to
provide the power.
Paddy explained: We had been living in
Cornwall and its a small place with a million
people in it and another million descending in
Summer.
We wanted the quietness and peace of Ireland,
the low-density population, the great sense of
community.
Instead it seems our children will be living in a
landscape that resembles the back of a
hedgehog - and paying energy costs through
the nose for the privilege.
There are these gigantic super-turbines all over

the landscape, 127 metres tall. The place is


ruined. The pylons involved are 60 metres tall.
The size of the wind turbines have to be seen
to be understood, they are vast. And under
current laws, you could find one as close to 500
metres from your home.
Eight have gone up a few miles from us and
there are 11 behind us in Ballyduff, and a
further 12 beside us have gone in for planning.
There are hundreds planned for Waterford.
Its not just how they dominate the landscape,
and the health effects experienced by those
living near them.
ReThink Pylons have come up with an
alternative plan that costs just a 10th of
Eirgrids 3 billion project.
Converting Irelands largest power station,
Moneypoint in Co Clare from coal to biomass
would make it possible to meet Irish renewable
energy targets for 2020.
Biomass is produced from organic materials,
either directly from plants or indirectly from
industrial, commercial, domestic or agricultural
products.
Two of Britains top energy consultants carried
out a report on the alternative plan and found it
would work.
And Paddy believes that if we dont shout stop,
we will regret it for generations.
He insisted: People can become complacent,
we have busy lives and are struggling to drag
ourselves out of recession, its hard enough to
make a living and pay the mortgage.
So these kind of subjects can be difficult to talk
about - until its too late.

I came back here for a good life for my children


and I really feel if we go down the route of
building all these proposed windfarms that in
ten years time we will be looking at our country
and going: What did we do?
Eirgrid has planned three routes for the pylons
and Grid Link will see pylons from Kildare to
Wexford and across to Cork.
Grid West will see pylons snake across beautiful
Co Mayo and into Roscommon. The third route,
the North-South Interconnector, will travel from
Meath to Tyrone.
Eirgrid says these are necessary to upgrade the
network.

http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irishnews/i-wont-dream-life-unspoilt5965651?
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17 June 2015

EXCELLENT NEWS!!!!!
Decision finally here from An Bord Pleanla here!!!
WE HAVE WON

Thank you for your support , couldn't of done it without


coming together!

President Franois
Hollande and An
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Launch Next Stage of
Ireland-France Electricity
Interconnector
On the occasion of Franois Hollandes visit to
Ireland on 21st July 2016, the French President and
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny have launched the next
stage of the Celtic Interconnector, a proposed 1bn
sub-sea electricity cable linking Ireland and France.
The capacity of the Celtic Interconnector is
estimated at approximately 700 megawatts (MW),
enough to power 450,000 households, and is being
studied by EirGrid and its French counterpart
Rseau de Transport dlectricit (RTE).
It would improve security of electricity supply in
Ireland and France by providing a reliable high-

capacity link between the two countries; increase


competition in the all-island Single Electricity
Market; and support the development of renewable
energy, particularly in Ireland.
It is also a substantial step forward in the
completion of the Ireland-France Sustainable
Energy Roadmap, which both RTE and EirGrid
intend to further actively support with all relevant
stakeholders.
Following the completion of feasibility studies over
the past five years, EirGrid and RTE today agreed
to progress the project to the next phase of its
development, "Initial Design and Pre-Consultation"
This latest phase will take two years and comprises
an in-depth economic assessment of the project;
technical studies and initial technical design
specifications; environmental studies; and preconsultation in preparation for permit granting
procedures in France and Ireland.
It will also include the investigation of landing
points for a subsea cable and connection points to
the electricity transmission grids in France and
Ireland.
Fintan Slye, EirGrid Chief Executive, said the
project would generate savings through more
efficient use of the existing electricity grid in
Ireland: It will improve security of supply on the
island of Ireland and increase competition, driving
down prices for customers.
Franois Brottes, Chairman of the RTE board, said:
This project shows the importance of the
cooperation between transmission system
operators for the success of the energy transition
and for the development of the European Energy
community.
Upon completion of the Initial Design and PreConsultation phase, EirGrid and RTE will then

decide whether to progress to the next phase of


development, culminating in a final decision as to
whether or not to proceed with construction of the
project. Should it progress, the interconnector will
go live in 2025.

http://www.eirgridgroup.com/newsroom
/celtic-interconnector/index.xml
President Franois Hollande and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny Launch
Next Stage of Ireland-France Electricity Interconnector

http://www.rtefrance.com/sites/default/files/2016072
1_rte_pr_celtic_interconnector.pdf

You are Trying to View a


Premium Article
France-Ireland Interconnector Powering Ahead

Industry Segment: Power | Word Count: 533 Words

GALWAY, IRELAND--July 27, 2016--Written by Martin Lynch,


European News Editor for Industrial Info (Galway, Ireland)-The next stage of a 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) electricity
interconnector between France and Ireland was heralded
recently by French President Franois Hollande and Ireland's

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.


Within this article: Details costs and timescales of IrelandFrench interconnection project

EirGrid plc Annual Report 2012 mccarthykos.ie

the licensed TSO in Northern Ireland; the Single Electricity ...


Enda Kenny TD, to the launch ... the next stages. In the East
West Interconnector

http://www.mccarthykos.ie/db/Attachments/News/May_2013/Ei
rGrid%20Planning%201bn%20Interconnector%20to
%20France/EirGridAnnualReport2012.pdf
Grid Link involves over 250km of high voltage lines held up by 750 massive
pylons, running through Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary,
Kilkenny, Laois, Carlow, Wicklow, Kildare and Dublin.
Grid West would have 100km of line and 300 pylons running through Mayo,
Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim. The Meath-Tyrone line would have
140km of line and 410 pylons linking Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Armagh and
Tyrone, while the Laois-Kilkenny line would run for 26km and include 80
pylons.

An Bord Pleanala
March 3, 2016 #200groups, An Bord Pleanala, Communities say
no, Waterford County Council, Wind #200groups

.
Thank you for coming to this webpage to help us
prevent the erection of 12 wind turbines at
Knockamona, Drumhills, Dungarvan that will link
with the x8 wind turbines already up at
Woodhouse, Keereen.
As you know the ones at Woodhouse have already
indelibly scarred the pristine landscape of the
DrumHills.
This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and
the Drumhills is a protected ridge-line in the

Waterford County Development Plan, it is


surrounded by Special Areas of Conservation and
Special Protection Areas for Birds.
Heres what we please ask you to do :
1. Send an Submission letter to An Bord Pleanala
(ABP) at : 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 ,
D01V902
https://www.eircode.ie
2. Include your name & address at the top of the
letter.
3. Include the Planning Authority & reference
number for the proposed Knockamona Wind Farm
by Ecopower : Waterford City & County
Council, Ref 14600109
4. Include APBs reference
Number : PL93.244006
5. Include the development description & site
location: Erection of x12 wind turbines, overall
height up to 126.6metres. x1 metrological mast up
to 80metres with wind measuring equipment
attached, access roads, electrical sub-station
compound, equipment and control building and
ancillary work. The application is for ten years.
The location is Knocknaglogh Lower,
Barranastook Upper, Knockamona/Woodhouse,
Tinakilly/ Monageela / Kilatoor, Dungarvan, Co
Waterford.
6. In your own words make reference to some/all

of the points of planning law, we have included


some examples of points to be included below:
7. Retain a copy of your submission letter for your
own records.
8. Include your 50 submission fee.
9. Post in time for 18th March deadline (post by
Tue 15th).
We cannot thank you enough for helping us in
this way.
With thanks from the families of Knockamona and
Woodhouse who will have to suffer the
consequences of having to live a neighbours to
these 600ft structures that will effect our sleep
and health.
Some examples of points to be
included.
PLEASE USE YOUR OWN WORDS TO MAKE SOME
OF THE POINTS BELOW ITS IMPORTANT THAT
EACH AND EVERY SUBMISSION IS DIFFERENT.
Use your own words to explain the overwhelming
impact on the landscape we have the example of
Woodhouse, Keereen close at hand to show how
utterly monumental that will be, how you will see
the wind farm, where the turbines will be visible
from, the importance of the cultural heritage to
the area and how that will be destroyed or marred

by the new industrial infrastructures that are


higher than the Spire in Dublin, the significance of
St Declans Way as a long distance walk and how
that has already been compromised by the
Woodhouse turbines, the chaos experienced by
the local communities during the construction,
and of course the disturbance of noise and the
visual impact and how the rotation of the blades is
disorientating.
Emphasise the community memory entwined in
the landscape which is swept away. The turbines
will have a devastating impact on the heritage
Villages & Towns of Aglish, Villierstown,
Cappoquin, & Dungarvan. Mention the sustainable
future of this area lies in protecting its unspoiled
landscape character and peaceful environment.
More than #200Groups across the country have
united to help preserve our landscape.
DescriptionofDevelopment:
Erectionofx12windturbines,
overallheightupto126.6metres.
x1metrologicalmastupto
80metreswithwindmeasuring
equipmentattached,accessroads,
electricalsubstationcompound,
equipmentandcontrolbuildingand
ancillarywork.Theapplicationis
fortenyears.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
STATEMENT (EIS):
The application is invalid from the outset as the
Planning authority as the competent authority
has already decided that the original EIS
submitted by the developer in June 2015 is
inadequate. This is a fundamental issue of
principle. The Planning authority must perform
its role to protect the landscape and the
communities that live in it. It should not have
accepted a revised EIS from the developer in
September 2015.
The implications of the OGrianna Judgement are
that the Environmental Impact Assessment must
consider the totality of the overall project but that
cannot happen in the light of a fragmented
planning application which does not include the
Haul route and the Grid connection therein. If the
grid connection is an integral part of the
development that is the understanding from the
OGrianna judgement then it must form part of
the same application in order to facilitate the EIA
as the two processes are aligned. The EIA must
take place within the operational framework of
the planning process and within this framework
the planning application and the development
proposal considered in the EIS must be
synonymous.
We respectfully submit that the applicants
submission of a revised EIS raises significant legal

issues in regard to validity. The EIS and the


planning application have to be aligned in terms
of the description and extent of the actual
development. The Board in issuing the
correspondence of the 28th July 2015 and the
section 132 Notice had already determined the
matter that the EIS was defective and inadequate
and that they could not complete an
Environmental Impact. If the Board were to
consider such a revised EIS it would be ultra vires
the scope of their authority in considering the
subject appeal as the grid connection is not
included as part of the planning application.
Similarly the applicant has no legal authority to
undertake road improvement works to the Haul
Road. The existing local road network is
inadequate to function as a haul road.
GRID CONNECTION AND PROJECT
SPLITTING:
The grid connection application, which must form
an integral part of the overall development,
cannot be viewed or considered in isolation. As it
does not and cannot form part of the revised
application and it is not exempt development
therefore the original reason for refusal by
Waterford County Council remains in relation to
project splitting.
The proposed grid connection does not form part
of the proposed development application and is

not included with the red line application site


boundary. The grid connection does not form
part of the planning application and cannot at this
juncture as it would comprise a material change
to the nature of the development application
The assumptions by the developer that the grid
connection works can be agreed with the Area
Engineer invalidate and undermine the entire
approach of the planning process and the
protection of local communities and the
environment.
The grid connection comprises development and
is not exempt development by reference to the
Planning and Development Act 2016 Section 5 and
the revised class 26 and class 27 of the Planning
and Development Regulations 20o1 as amended.
In light of the decision in OGrianna, a
developer seeking planning permission, must
ensure that all works that will form part of the
overall project, that is the wind turbines and grid
connection are included in its planning
application to avoid having its planning
permission quashed for falling foul of the
requirements of the EIA Directive to assess the
whole project.
The location of the proposed development is not
proximate to the National Grid and does not
satisfy the requirements of the policy objective of
the development plan to minimise the length and
visual impact of Grid connections. The proposed

development would therefore materially


contravene policy INF 26 of the development plan
to minimise the length and visual impact of
National Grid connections.
HAUL ROUTE and PUBLIC ROADS:
The outline by the developer of proposed works
on public roads is based on a false assumption that
the developer has legal rights and authority to
carry out works to the public roads.
The relevant planning authority has no such right
to grant permission for such works except in the
context of a planning application and in the
context of having secured the relevant legal
consent from all of the landowners along the
route.
The ownership of the public road resides with the
landowners on either side of the public road as
defined in the relevant case law. The relevant
road authority has rights of maintenance but do
not own the road. Certainly the applicant has no
rights to interfere or undertake any works upon
the public road.
It should be remembered that the Council refused
planning permission for the subject development
and there is no legal consent for a planning
application for such works on the public road.
NATURA IMPACT STATEMENT:
There are pathways from the proposed site to the

SAC in the vicinity. These are both via streams


draining to the SAC and via bird flight of annex1
species over the site.
The river Colligan is a very important salmon and
sea trout river, this fact is not mentioned and the
mitigation measures do not cross reference the
Natura Impact Statement or Inland Fisheries
Ireland which is the statutory body operating
under the Department of Communications, Energy
and Natural Resources established under the
Fisheries Act 2010 whose objective is the
protection and conservation of inland fisheries
resources.
There is a risk of collision of eight protected bird
species of conservation interest from within 6
conservation sites, with the turbine blades. It is
possible that the protected bird species use the
site for commuting between migrating sites or
nearby roosting or foraging sites.
The NIS outlines the species in table 15, (S
6.4.12.3.1 page 98 NIS) which includes whooper
swans, which we highlighted, were at risk in our
appeal submission.
There is a potential for collision
involving large close flying flocks of
coastal species in misty or foggy
weather conditions over the proposed
site. There is potential for migrating
coastal species such as whopper swan
and light bellied Brent goose flying over

the proposed Knocknamona site


between migrating sites. Coastal
species such as curlew and golden
plover often roost and forage in inland
sites.
The rationale for discounting the significance of
the impact of bird collision on the basis that there
are no known regular flight paths across the site is
not sustainable. Firstly the observed flight path of
the curlews and the kestrel was in the direction of
Turbines T10 and T7 and possibly T6 whereby
rotor blades extend over 50m from the turbine
structure there is therefore observed flight.
The Freshwater pearl mussel and the White
clawed crayfish are species of qualifying interest
for the Blackwater River SAC.
The survival of the Freshwater pearl
mussel is under threat and many of the
populations are note reproducing and
will ultimately disappear if rehabilitative
action is not taken.(S 6.4.7.1 NIS)
They are found in the substrate of the riverbed,
the sand grave and cobbles where good oxygen
exchange occurs. The Fresh Water Mussel
requires very high quality rivers. They are
sensitive to fine silt, which may cause heavy
mortalities.
The reliance on the Construction and
Environmental Management Plan to deliver

mitigation is unrealistic given the scale of the


excavation works, Excavation of 29,421m3 soils
and Excavation of 25,075 m3 rock and flies in the
face of the precautionary principle.
Having regard to the imperative need to protect
and improve the water quality of waterways in
the vicinity of the site and the need to ensure
rehabilitative action for the Fresh water pearl
mussel and the need to improve the conservation
status of the white clawed crayfish and having
regard to the requirement of the Habitats
Directive to avoid destruction of annex 1 species
There are substantive grounds that the proposed
development would have a negative impact on the
integrity of a European site and would further
pose an unacceptable risk for an annex 1 bird
species of collision with the turbines.
LOCAL LANDMARKS:
While it is stated that none of the bridges are
designated protected structures the bridges BC2
over the tributary of the River Colligan, BC3, over
tributary of River Brickey and BC4 at Ballintaylor,
BC6, River Brickey BC7 and BC8 River Brickey and
BC9 River Brickey all appear as very attractive
stone arch bridges that form a network of such
bridges over the tributaries of the Brickey and the
Colligan.
These bridges form landmarks of real beauty that
are a connected network along the river that

contribute significantly to the landscape


character of the area.
The public have no way of protecting them or
knowing the extent of the impact. However it is
clear even from a visual assessment the bridges
are susceptible to works for the grid connection or
where they may be along the Haul route.
TYPE OF TURBINES:
The failure to specify the details of the nature and
description and design of the turbines is a
fundamental failure in the description of the
development project and is not tenable given the
scale of the development and the requirement in
law for the submission of an EIS.
IMPACT ON LOCAL SCHOOL:
Glenbeg School is located on the L2022 2 miles
outside Dungarvan Town in the townland of
Glenbeg on the designated haul road route. It is
approx. 5 miles from the proposed Knocknamona
Wind Farm site.
A lot of children living in Dungarvan attend this
rural school hence the reason the traffic on the
L2022 comes from all directions and is very busy
during school periods. The portacabins
supplement school accommodation and are
located adjacent to the road.
The use of this local road as a haul road would
have a devastating impact on traffic safety and

safe access to the school by the children and their


families. It would generate a major land use
conflict between an established community
educational use and the proposed use of the road
as a haul road for the wind farm. The narrow
width of the road effectively means it cannot
serve both uses. The haul road will serve large
wide loads, and heavy traffic, concrete etc. The
road is very narrow. There is no median white
line and there is inadequate width to allow
passage of heavy traffic and normal traffic at the
same time. The haul road and heavy traffic
associated with the construction time table will
impose accessibility constraints which would have
significant implications for accessibility to the
school and would create a degree of social
severance which is unacceptable for a school use.
The proposed development would endanger
public safety by reason of traffic hazard and
obstruction of road users and in particular would
adversely impact and obstruct access to the local
Glenbeg School.
SHADOW FLICKER:
The further assessment of shadow flicker
identifies 5 residential properties, which could
experience shadow flicker located within 1km of
the proposed wind turbines. The mean minutes
per day ranged from 23 minutes to 19minutes per
day. While the Board has referred to the DoEHLG

Guidelines 2006 in respect of appropriate Shadow


Flicker criteria it is important to highlight that
Shadow Flicker was one of the issues addressed in
the Review of the Wind Energy Guidelines 2006. It
is widely accepted that the DoEHLG 2006 Wind
Energy Guidelines are out of date and related to
wind turbines which were not expected over
125m means that the 2006 Guidance is no longer
appropriate.
While Section 5.12 of the 2006 Wind Energy
Guidelines suggested that Shadow Flicker should
not exceed 30 hours per year or 30 minutes per
day[1] this guidance has been reviewed and the
guidance of the Draft Guidelines 2013 is to
effectively eliminate shadow flicker.
The Draft Wind Energy Guidelines, which were
published in 2013 by the DOEHLG, proposed
elimination of shadow flicker within a zone of 10
rotor diameter lengths from the turbine. In this
case the zone would be 1.25km from the turbines
and would encompass additional dwellings.
Therefore in the context of the more up to date
Draft Wind Energy Guidelines 2013 the predicted
shadow flicker for H 1,H2 and H14, H14 and H16
would require to be eliminated by redesign or
turbine shut down.
If a suitable shadow flicker prediction
model indicates that there is potential
for shadow flicker to occur at any
particular dwelling or other potentially

affected property, then a review of site


design should take place involving the
possible relocation of one or more
turbines to explore the possibility of
eliminating or substantially reducing the
occurrence of potential flicker. Following
such a review, if shadow flicker is not
eliminated for any dwelling or other
potentially affected property then
measures which provide for turbine shut
down to eliminate shadow flicker should
be clearly specified.
The assessment of shadow flicker and the impacts
arising therefore do not comply with the more up
to date guidance proposed in the Draft 2013 Wind
Energy Guidelines.

PUBLIC NOTICE FROM THE


DEVELOPER:
It goes on to state that the application and the
revised proposals may be inspected at the
Council offices.
There are a number of difficulties with this notice:
It is seriously misleading in that it implies the haul
route and the grid connection revised proposals
form part of the application. This is a reasonable
interpretation that a member of the public would
understand from the description set out in the
notice.
The grid connection although extensive sections

comprise excavation works comprises


development and is not exempt development by
reference to the 2016 Planning and Development
Regulations as highlighted earlier.
The grid connection passes through third party
lands and public roads for which legal consent
from the owners of the land and from the owners
of the land on either side of the public road is a
mandatory requirement and this has not been
agreed or forthcoming. In this regard the Council
do not own the public road they have the right to
maintain the road.
The grid connection requires works to bridges,
culverts.
The Haul route requires works to bridges, road
widening, roundabouts, removal of hedgerows,
verges
Technically site notices should be erected at all
locations where haul road works or grid
connection works are to take place,that is on
every bridge at every junction as part of the
planning application.
The public cannot be properly informed of works
taking place along a grid connection route of
possibly 14km length by reference to a site notice
some 14km distant from the actual works and the
properties affected.
All of these works separately and cumulatively
require planning permission as there is no
exemption for the developer to undertake such

works and they do not form part of the subject


application.
The Freshwater pearl mussel and the White
clawed crayfish are species of qualifying interest
for the Blackwater River SAC.
The survival of the Freshwater pearl
mussel is under threat and many of the
populations are note reproducing and
will ultimately disappear if rehabilitative
action is not taken.(S 6.4.7.1 NIS)
They are found in the substrate of the riverbed,
the sand grave and cobbles where good oxygen
exchange occurs. The Fresh Water Mussel
requires very high quality rivers. They are
sensitive to fine silt, which may cause heavy
mortalities.
MUST FAVOUR LANDSCAPE
POLICIES:
There is no provision in the development plan for
generalised policies in relation to energy
infrastructure to override the development plan
zoning objectives of the area for agriculture use or
for protection of the landscape character of the
area. The developer has simply not dealt with the
development plan land use conflicts arising
from the proposed development.
PRECEDENCE:
In this regard the recent decision of the Board in

regard to Appeal Reference: PL93.245211


for wind turbine development at Ballymacarberry
in County Waterford sets a precedent and is
relevant to the subject case.
The Board in that case wisely refused permission
for sound planning reasons that the development
would impact detrimentally on the environmental
quality and scenic landscape of the area.
Notwithstanding the location of the site
within a preferred area for wind energy
in the Waterford County Development
Plan 2011 2017, it is considered that
the proposed development, by reason of
its height and extent, would constitute a
visually dominant feature in a vulnerable
scenic landscape, as outlined in policy
6.2 of this Plan, and would interfere with
the character of the landscape which it
is considered necessary to preserve.
In deciding not to accept the Inspectors
recommendation to grant permission,
the Board noted the inherent conflicts
between the wind energy policies and
the policies relating to landscape and
scenic routes, as set out in the County
Development Plan, and considered that,
in this particular location, the proposed
development would, if permitted,
become a dominant feature and impact

detrimentally on the environmental


quality and scenic landscape of the
area. Appeal Reference:PL93.245211
The reasons cited for the refusal of permission in
the recent case at Emlagh Co Meath ref. 17.PA0038
are also relevant to the subject case. In that
instance the Board decided:
it is considered that a wind farm of the
scale, extent and height proposed would
visually dominate this populated rural
area, would seriously injure the
amenities of property in the vicinity,
would interfere with the character of the
landscape and would not be in
accordance with the overall
development objectives of the Meath
County Development Plan 2013-2019.
Furthermore, it is considered that the
proposed development would not align
with the Wind Energy Development
Guidelines as this guidance document
did not envisage the construction of
such extensive large scale turbines in an
area primarily characterised as a hilly
and flat farmland landscape and in such
proximity to high concentrations of
dwellings. The proposed development
would, therefore, be contrary to the
proper planning and sustainable

development of the area.


In deciding not to accept the Inspectors
recommendation to grant permission,
the Board considered that,
notwithstanding the provisions of the
National Renewable Energy Action Plan,
and other national and European Union
policies in support of renewable energy
development (including wind), the
impacts of this very large development
on the substantial local residential
population, and the impacts of the
proposed development on landscape
and cultural heritage, would not be
acceptable in this location. The Board
further considered that the number and
height of the proposed turbines would
significantly exceed the landscapes
medium potential capacity to
accommodate wind farm development
as set out in the Landscape Character
Assessment of the Meath County
Development Plan 2013-2019.
We hereby request the Board to uphold the
decision of the Planning Authority to refuse
planning permission.
ABP sent this letter to Ecopower yesterday
(28/7/15) Drumhills-ABP-Ecopower
It is an interesting letter.

Ecopower have been asked to give the route


corridor for the grid connection. The
infrastructure will be handed over to the ESB
when completed it will have to be designed,
verified, and approved by them. All by 21st
September. If it can be presented satisfactorily it
will be significant new information which will
require a further 5 week consultation period. ABP
are lost as the proposed turbines are on a visually
vulnerable ridge-line an cannot be granted in any
case; the developer wont see sense as it is on
Coillte lands, what a mess.
ABP require this information in order to properly
carry out an EIS, they do this as they have been
instructed by the courts to do so following a
recent court case taken by a community group
trying to protect their homes.
Community groups in Cork, Roscommon, Donegal,
Meath, Laois, Mayo, Wexford, Kilkenny, Kerry,
Clare, Limerick, Kildare, Waterford and other
Counties are rewriting wind guidelines as the
legislature sits on its hands. They are doing this by
getting the courts to implement planning law
correctly. This is highly undesirable as
communities have begun defending themselves by
evicting developers who consult with them in
devaluing their homes. The situation is in need of
leadership.
https://dadrumhills.wordpress.com

Bord na Mna halts


1bn Clean Energy
Hub due to lack of
intergovernmental
deal
Updated / April 15, 2014

Bord na Mna Chairman John Horgan flies over the site of


the new 40MW wind farm development at Bruckana

This is the actual article body

Bord na Mna has said it will not continue its


1bn Clean Energy Hub project to export
renewable energy to the UK due to lack of an
intergovernmental deal.
In a statement, the firm said the "absence of
an intergovernmental agreement between
the Irish and British governments, as required
under EU Directive 2009/28/EC" was the
reason why it was discontinuing the project.
That agreement was meant to facilitate the
export of surplus green energy.
The company said it would be continuing with
its programme of projects to develop
renewable energy for the domestic market.
Last October, Bord na Mna announced plans
for the Clean Energy Hub, claiming it would
be the largest onshore wind farm
development in Europe.
The decision to scrap the energy hub project
means it will not be proceeding with plans for
up to 600 turbines on cutaway bog sites in
Offaly and Kildare.
However, it will advance instead with
proposals and projects already under way for
around 140 turbines.
Bord Na Mna Communications Manager Pat
Fitzgerald said the absence of a market in the
UK for the 2 GW electricity project, initially
launched, meant the vision outlined
previously was not now feasible.
However, he said Bord na Mna would be
searching for more opportunities all the time

for the domestic Irish market demands.


Unlike the other competitors for the UK
market, Bord na Mna has no agreements in
place with any landowners, as it intended to
build most of the turbines on its own cutaway
bog and had sought a commercial partner for
the rest of the project.

UK Wholesale
Power Fall
By Paul Homewood

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2
015/01/bad-news-for-coal-as-wholesale-powerprices-boost-uk-gas-generation.html
PEI report:

UK wholesale power prices dropped to a twoyear low on Monday 5th January, representing
good news for gas generators. The ICIS
Power Index (IPI) is now just 46.316/MWh,
the cheapest since July 2012 and while that is
good news for the gas sector, its not so good
for coal power generation. For generators, the
falling power price is influenced by lower fuel
prices but gas prices have fallen more than
power over the last year, so gas-fired power
generation is more profitable.

ls to 46/MWh
EIRGRID AND FRENCH GRID
OPERATOR TAKE 1BN
CABLE PROJECT TO NEXT
PHASE
Written by Robert McHugh, on 21st Jul 2016. Posted in General
News-post

France and Ireland plan to build a 1 billion euro ($1.10 billion)


cable which would allow electricity to flow between the two
countries by 2025, Ireland's grid operator said on Thursday as
French President Franois Hollande visited the country.
Ireland currently imports electricity from Britain via Northern
Ireland but is looking for ways to increase its electricity
supplies.
The planned 600-km link will run between Brittany and the
south coast of Ireland.
"The (interconnector) will improve security of supply on the
island of Ireland and increase competition, driving down prices
for customers," Fintan Slye, EirGrid Chief Executive said in a
statement.
French average spot prices on power exchanges were around
30 percent cheaper than those in Britain last year, according to
data from French power grid operator RTE.
If built, the 700 megawatt (MW) sub-sea cable could transport
enough electricity to power around 450,000 homes, Eirgrid
said.

The project has been at the planning stage for several years
but on Thursday moved to an initial design an pre-consultation
phase launched by Ireland's prime minister Enda Kenny and
French President Franois Hollande during his visit to Ireland.
Eirgrid said this phase would take around two years and
include an economic, technical and environmental
assessment of the project.
If a decision was taken to move forward with the project it
could be carrying electricity between the two countries by
2025, Eirgrid said. (Reuters)
Source: www.businessworld.ie

Industry Segment: Power | Word Count: 548 Words

SUGAR LAND--September 19, 2016--Researched by


Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)--Costs to build
renewable energy sources have declined over the past few
years in the U.K., which has spurred interest in the
development of offshore windfarms and solar power facilities.
But Hitachi Limited is pressing on with its proposal to build four
to five nuclear reactors in the U.K., encouraged in part by the
U.K. government's recent approval of Electricite de France
S.A.'s (EDF) plan to build two reactors in southwest England.
Industrial Info is tracking more than $94 billion in active
nuclear projects in the U.K.

Within this article: Details on the nuclear power plants


proposed for the U.K. by Hatachi

Wind Turbine Aware Ireland on your health and Well


Being, protect Urself From European multinationals who
want to poison our Beautiful Irish Culture and Clean Air
and pollute us With nuclear toxic Cancerous and poise and
Pollute poison Air into our Country with Full blown
Radiation that will surely kill you or Toxic Carbon poison,
Remember to say No to Eirgrid and Wind Turbines, money
bribes cannot Do Anything if Your Health goes down
completely, The money they offer and bribe you" won't
fix ur health
Govt-Policy-142
IRISH & EU POLICY
solutions-icon-142
SOLUTIONS
Commentary-icon-142
COMMENTARY
Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006
The original Wind Energy Development Guidelines were
established by the Department for the Environment,
Community & Local Government in 2006.
In December 2013 the Department issued proposed
revisions to these guidelines, aimed at specifically
addressing issues regarding noise, proximity & shadow
flicker.
A key input into the review was a study completed by
Marshall Day Acoustics.
The Marshall Day report was commissioned by the
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, an organisation
which includes on its Executive board members of wind
energy development companies.
Public submissions were invited on the proposed changes.
The closing date for submissions was 21st February 2014.
Over 7000 submissions were received. Many of these
submissions, as published on the Departments website
(www.environ.ie), took issue with the Departments
statement that concerns of possible health impacts in
respect of wind energy infrastructure are not a matter
which fall within the remit of these Guidelines (Proposed
Revisions to Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006,
Dec 11th 2013, p.3).

The Department stated that submissions on other aspects


of the existing guidelines would not be considered in this
process. It also stated that as the Marshall Day Report is
an independent study, the Department is not in a position
to comment on its contents, and furthermore that it is
considered a final study and submissions are not being
sought on its contents. However the proposed changes
appear to be based solely on the findings in this study.
Whilst acknowledging the existence of variables affecting
the impact of noise on neighbouring properties, e.g.
topography, ground cover types, wind speed & direction,
the proposed changes introduce an absolute minimum
mandatory setback of turbines from houses of 500m, but
with exceptions which allow lower setbacks. There is no
provision for setback to be increased depending on the
effects of these variables. The proposed changes state
that a direct correlation between separation distance and
wind turbine generated sound levels is not clear
and that because of the lack of correlation between
separation distance and wind turbine sound levels, the use
of a defined setback of turbines from noise sensitive
properties to control noise impacts is not considered
appropriate. This approach is in conflict with the
requirements of the EIA Directive, which as the EU Court of
Justice confirmed in Case C-420/11, EU Jutta Leth v
Republik sterreich
the prevention of pecuniary damage, in so far as that
damage is the direct economic consequence of the
environmental effects of a public or private project, is
covered by the objective of protection pursued by
Directive 85/337.
When considering setback, the Draft WEDG also fails to
consider or assess the relationship between proximity to
wind energy developments and diminution of residential
amenity and property values.
The draft WEDG also ignores the findings of the Marshall
Day Report that setbacks:
may be required for other reasons, such as occupational
health and safety buffer zones (p.61).
When the 2006 Guidelines were published, recommending
a setback distance of 500m, wind turbine heights were on
average 54m tall. The turbines proposed for the

Renewable Energy Export Project are 3.5 times as high,


some 185m tall.
The proposed changes prescribe an absolute noise limit of
40dA outside a dwelling, and purport thatnoise levels
insidea dwelling would normally be approximately 10dBA
or more. The Chief Acoustician to the British Government,
Dick Bowdler, notes in his submission to the current WEDG
submission phase that this proposed limit is actually
significantly higher than most other jurisdictions, contrary
to the statement
in the draft WEDG (p.7) that this proposed limit is in the
lower end of the range of limits applied internationally.
Furthermore, these absolute values take no account that
existing noise levels in rural areas may be much lower,
and allowing an increase to 40dBA could result in a
significant increase in noise levels. Given the growing
body of evidence in relation to the adverse health impacts
of wind turbine noise, the lack of any evidence-based
approach in the draft WEDG to the setting or assessment
of wind turbine noise limits is of concern.
Shadow flicker is addressed only in relation to
neighbouring properties. No mention is made of
controlling shadow flicker which will affect driving
conditions on roads, livestock, wildlife and amenity users.
References
Public Consultations to Wind Energy Development, 2006
View
Marshall Day Acoustics. 2013. Examination of the
significance of noise in relation to onshore wind
farms.View
Case C-420/11, EU Jutta Leth v Republik sterreich: View.
Consultation
consultation-03
The Environment does not belong to the State. It belongs
to the people. While governments and developers come
and go, the general public are left with the environment
around them.
To this end, citizens have been granted robust procedural
rights when it comes to environmental matters. Preeminent amongst these rights conferred on citizens and
enshrined in law is the right to public participation in the
decision-making process on all environmental matters.

Public participation is essential in decision making on all


environmental issues and is an integral part of the process
in our efforts to move towards an economic,
environmental and socially sustainable world. Recognising
this, the United Nations Rio Declaration [2] (1992) stated
in Principle 10:
Environmental issues are best handled with participation
of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the
national level, each individual shall have appropriate
access to information concerning the environment that is
held by public authorities, including information on
hazardous materials and activities in their communities,
and the opportunity to participate in decision-making
processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public
awareness and participation by making information widely
available. Effective access to judicial and administrative
proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be
provided.
In other words, the public has to be given robust
procedural rights in relation to Access to Information,
Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to
Justice in Environmental Matters. This is what formed the
title of the United Nations Economic Commission for
Europes Aarhus Convention, which drafted Principle 10
into a formal legal structure and applied it to the UNECE
region of Europe and Central Asia.
The subject of the Convention goes to the heart of the
relationship between people and governments. The
Convention is not only an environmental agreement; it is
also a convention about government accountability,
transparency and responsiveness. The Aarhus Convention
grants the public rights and imposes on parties and public
authorities obligations regarding access to information,
public participation and access to justice.
The UN-ECE Compliance Committee ruled against the EU
in relation to the Irish NREAP 2012-20 in May 2012 on the
grounds that it had been drafted without any input from
the Irish Public. A separate UN-ECE ruling in relation to
the British NREAP on which the Renewable Energy Export
Projects planned for the midlands of Ireland are
predicated, also deemed it in breach of the Aarhus
Convention.

Pat Swords, a chemical engineer and lay litigant has taken


a High Court case (view) which could potentially have
huge implications for wind farm development in the
country. Swords argues that the State has shown bias in
favour of wind energy over other forms of renewable
technologies and that European law has been breached by
adopting plans without proper public consultation. He is
seeking to have the National Renewable Energy Action
Plan annulled and points to the terms of the Aarhus
Convention which enshrines public participation in
decision-making rather than presenting a fait accompli
where there is no real input.
Whilst the Government may argue that all environmental
policies are put out to public consultation, the State is also
obliged under the Aarhus Convention to take due account
of the outcome of public participation. This obligation on
the State establishes an objectively high standard to
show in a particular case that public comments have been
seriously considered (Second Edition of the Aarhus
Convention; An Implementation Guide, p.158).
Furthermore, there is a clear obligation in both the Aarhus
Convention and the Directive of Strategic Environmental
Assessment to ensure that the public are informed in an
adequate, timely and effective manner; The public
participation procedures shall include reasonable timeframes for the different phases, allowing sufficient time
for informing the public in accordance with paragraph 2
above and for the public to prepare and participate
effectively during the environmental decisionmaking(Article 7, Aarhus Convention).
Unfortunately, in many instances, the public are not
adequately informed of these consultation processes. For
example, when Eirgrid completed the Grid 25 SEA, they
failed to ensure the participation of the public, as only 22
submissions were received, of which only 3 could be
attributed to the public. It was not that the public
concerned did not want to participate on the Grid 25
decision-making they were just not aware of what it was
and what it was about.
References:
United Nations Rio Declaration (1992). Principle 10. View
Aarhus Convention (1998). View

Aarhus Convention An Implementation Guide (Second


Edition) (2013). View
NREAP Ireland National Renewable Energy Action Plan
Ireland. View
NREAP UK National Renewable Energy Action Plan for the
UK. View
EU Directive 2001:42:EC. Directive of Strategic
Environmental Assessment View
Renewable Energy Export Policy & Development
Framework
This policy is being developed by the Department of
Communications, Energy and National Resources (DCENR).
Its aim is to optimise the opportunities for export of
renewable energy from Ireland to other EU member states
(in the first instance to the UK) in accordance with EU law,
including the EU Renewables Directive (2009/28/EC).
The policy aims to focus on large scale projects for the
generation of Renewable Energy for the export market. It
is important to note that this policy is only in the process
of being developed, despite the renewables industry
having already moved to develop projects in the Midlands
which should be governed by such a policy. Indeed the
Minister is on record as having said earlier in 2013 that
there is no point in getting the planning right and finding
no companies left. However recent announcements made
by the Minister suggest that these projects may have been
deferred (Irish Independent, 7th March 2014).
The stated intention of the framework is to
Set out a clear national policy context for the export of
renewable energy;
Broadly identify strategic areas in Ireland for renewable
energy generation for export. (However it is clear that five
midland counties have already been chosen and wind
energy development companies have signed Option
Agreements with landowners in these counties since the
Spring of 2012).
Provide guidance to planning authorities, including An
Bord Pleanla, when considering any proposals for
renewable energy export.
Development of the policy is to be informed by completing
a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). This will be
accompanied by a Habitats Directive Assessment [or

Appropriate Assessment (AA)] under the Habitats Directive


92/43/EEC, and consultation with the public and
stakeholders.
The policy process is to be covered in three stages
Stage 1 (Q3 2013)
Public & interested parties invited to make submissions on
key issues which should be dealt with in the policy. The
closing date for submissions was 22/11/13 and these are
now published on the DCENR website.
Preparation of SEA scoping document by DCENR.
Stage 2 (Q1, Q2 2014)
Publication of SEA scoping report.
Public Consultation to inform an environmental report for
the SEA.
Preparation of policy & framework document and
environmental report.
Stage 3 (Q2, Q3 2014)
Publication of draft policy, Environmental Report & Natura
Impact Statement
Public consultation on the contents of above.
The difficulty with this consultation is that this process is
fundamentally flawed on a number of levels. The first
failing pertains to the fact that International law directs
that both the EUs CO2 emissions targets and the EU
Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) require the
carrying out of the legally binding Strategic Environmental
Assessments at EU level. This process has been
completely by-passed. Claims by the Department that
renewable energy targets are legally binding are false,
because those targets and EU directive 2009/28/EC has no
legal standing, as it is in contravention of the SEA
requirement. Where a member state elects to install
industrial wind turbines in response to the EU targets on
renewable energy, it is obliged to carry out its own
Strategic Environmental Assessment applicable to its own
countrys conditions. It is not legally possible to carry out
an Irish SEA when none is available at EU level.
Another failing of the Irish Governments SEA
Consultation process is that the agency carrying out the
SEA is the promoter of the development sector being
assessed.

A third flaw is Irelands failure to honour the European


Landscape Convention, in particular the protection of
significant landscapes. Furthermore, a 2007 judgment by
the European Court of Justice in relation to Irelands failure
to protect wetlands and birds outside of designated areas
still has not been recognised and measures need to be
taken to give legal protection to all National Heritage
Areas (NHAs)
and proposed National Heritage Areas (pNHAs).
In addition, the fact that these Consultation processes
pertain solely to the Export Framework and not to
indigenous projects is also questionable. Any SEA for wind
developments must include all wind projects, domestic
and export. Finally, speaking in Dublin in November 2013,
Pat Rabbitte T.D, and Minister for Communications Energy
and Natural Resources highlighted the scope for Ireland to
be an exporter of renewable energy of significance. Given
the scale of our wind resources, in the medium term we
could be exporting wind energy on a scale that matches
the total electricity consumption of the country. We use 6
to 7 Gigawatts ourselves each year and I believe we could
be exporting the same quantum to the UK and beyond in
the coming years.
The purpose of public consultation is that it must be
carried out before any decisions are made. This is clearly
not the case here as the Minister has already clearly made
up his mind.
References:
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural
Resources Renewable Energy Export Policy and
Development Framework. View.
Stage 1 Information Document & Information Document
links on DCENR website. View
Directive 2009/28/EEC on the promotion of the use of
energy from renewable sources and amending and
subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and
2003/30/EC (The EU Renewables Directive) (2009). View
Eirgrid and the GRID25 plan.
Grid25 sets out the planned development of the national
electricity grid up to 2025. It contains 5 strategic goals
which outline how renewable energy will be incorporated
into the grid while building a robust and efficient network.

Eirgrid describe it as a platform to harness Irelands


renewable energy and.will enable Ireland to link with
Great Britain with the potential to export and import
electricity
Electricity_pylons-09
The Grid 25 Strategy was published in October 2008 and
sets out the development requirements for the national
electricity grid up to 2025.
The Grid 25 Implementation Plan (Eirgrid. 2012. GRID25
IP) sets out the strategy and specific projects envisaged
during the five year lifetime of the plan. i.e. currently the
first 5 years of the GRID 25 strategy.
It is a requirement that a Strategic Environmental
Assessment (SEA) be carried out on certain plans and
programmes which are likely to have significant effects on
the environment (EU. 2001). Energy infrastructure
generally falls under this requirement as do wind farms
(EU. 2011 Annex I 20. & Annex II 3)
The SEA Directive (Item 14) sets out that an
environmental report should be prepared which contains,
among other things reasonable alternatives taking into
account the objectives and the geographical scope of the
plan or programme. The SEA should ensure that
significant environmental effects are taken into account
during the preparation of the plan / programme and before
its adoption in order to anticipate and avoid potential
adverse environmental impacts.
While Eirgrid did carry out an SEA of sorts (Eirgrid. 2012
Environmental Report Grid25 IP SEA), it was not published
until May 2012, long after the decision was made to move
to a policy where 40% of electricity was to be generated
by wind-power (DCENR. 2007 3.4.6) and long after
theGRID25 strategy was launched to plan the transmission
system on that basis.
The SEA carried out was for the 5 year Implementation
Plan only and not for the overall GRID 25 strategy.
Most alarming is the fact that no development plan or SEA
was carried out for the wind-farms that this grid
development is to support. Eirgrid highlight this; there is
no spatially specific National Wind/Renewable Energy
Strategy, nor is there any SEA of such policy objectives
(Eirgrid. 2012. p86). This means that the requirement to

examine the cumulative or combined effect of the


extensive wind plans and the linked grid development
could not be done. Eirgrid concur when they conclude that
that it is therefore impractical to make any meaningful
assessment of cumulative effects (Eirgrid. 2012. p86.
Indirect and Cumulative Effects).
Poor implementation presents another challenge. Section
9 of the report deals with mitigation measures.
Unfortunately, these are only effective if implemented.
Take for example the monitoring of human health (Eirgrid.
2012. p147. indicator HH1i). There is as of yet, no
evidence that any such monitoring is in place or is
intended despite the fact that the GRID25 strategy has
now been in place for nearly 5 years.
This SEA was not widely publicised and very little public
consultation was involved. It also considered only 3
alternatives namely; (1) Business as usual, (2) Grid 25
and (3) An alternative version of Grid 25 where most
development and new wind energy generation would
occur primarily along the eastern and southern coast.
EU. 2001. Directive 2001/42/EC of the European
parliament and of the council.
EU. 2011. DIRECTIVE 2011/92/EU OF THE EUROPEAN
PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS. 13 Dec
2011. View
Eirgrid 2012. GRID25 Implementation Programmed 2011
2016 (final document published 30th May 2012). View
SEA. 2012. GRID25 IP Environmental report. View
DCENR. 2007 3.4.6. Delivering a sustainable energy future
for Ireland. View
EU Renewables Directive (2009/28/EC)
The directive establishes a common framework for use of
energy from renewable resources to limit greenhouse gas
emissions and to promote cleaner transport. It also
promotes energy saving and energy efficiency measures,
security of energy supply, technical development &
innovation and employment and regional development
opportunities.
In order to achieve these ambitions and comply with the
Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Convention on
Climate Change, the Directive sets a target of 20% of EU
energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020,

along with a target of 10% minimum of energy use in


transport from renewable sources.
Individual targets are set for member states based on
their starting point, potential for renewables development,
existing energy mix, past efforts at renewable
development etc. Irelands target has been set at 16%,
keeping in mind that the 10% target on transport is
mandatory.
Member states are required to establish a National
Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) setting out their
plan to achieve these targets, and including the
contribution from energy efficiency and energy saving
measures. The Directive includes a key objective to
improve energy efficiency by 20% by 2020. It is incumbent
on member states to make significant improvements in
energy efficiency, and in particular in the transport sector
to reach this 10% target. The difficulty with all of this is
that both the EUs CO2 emissions targets and the EU
Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) require the
carrying out of the legally binding Strategic Environmental
Assessments at EU level. This process has been
completely by-passed. Claims by the Department that
renewable energy targets are legally binding are therefore
false, because those targets and EU directive 2009/28/EC
have no legal standing, as they are in contravention of the
SEA requirement. If an SEA on Irelands NREAP were to be
carried out as is mandatory by law, it would document the
environmental objectives, impacts and alternatives and
then complete detailed public consultation with due
account of the public participation taken in the resulting
policy decision.
To date, no such assessment and quantification of costs
and benefits, has been carried out.
Irelands NREAP goes beyond the targets set out in the
Directive & sets a target of 40% of our electricity
consumption by 2020 from renewable sources. The 40%
target was announced by the previous
administration in a Dil Statement by Mr. John Gormley,
the then Minister for the Environment, during Budget
2009. This target of 40% considerably exceeds both EU
current targets of 20% and the UKs current target of 15%,
and was also reached without the completion of any

technical, economic or environmental assessments.


Energy from renewable sources is defined as energy from
non-fossil sources, not only wind, but also solar, aero
thermal, geothermal, hydrothermal and ocean energy,
hydropower, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant
gas and biogases. EU Member States were free to choose
their own mix out of the eleven renewable sources
identified. However, the Irish Government has chosen to
meet its 40% target primarily through investment in wind
energy development. This is in striking contrast to one of
the newest members of the EU, Croatia, whose NREAP
shows that by 2020, wind energy is restricted to 400MW.
The Croatian Economy Minister has decided to
concentrate energy production from biomass, biogas,
cogeneration plants and small hydroelectric power plants
in order to conserve jobs, protect the beautiful Croatian
landscape and to avoid the prospect of a major grid
expansion. The Croatian NREAP has been rigorously
financially costed. The cost of the Irish Programme has
not, as yet, been quantified by the Irish authorities.
The Directive also encourages cooperation between states
in production & transmission of energy.
References
EU.2009. EUDirective 2009/28/EC. View.
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural
resources.2010.National Renewable Energy Action Plan.
View.
United Nations. 2001. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
View,
DIRECTIVE 2011/92/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE
COUNCIL of 13 December 2011
on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects
on the environment (codification)
(Text with EEA relevance)

DIRECTIVE 2011/92/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND


THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS. 13 Dec 2011

http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.d

o?
uri=OJ:L:2012:026:0001:0021:EN:PDF
REPORTOFTHEUNITEDNATIONSCONFERENCEON
ENVIRONMENTANDDEVELOPMENT*
(RiodeJaneiro,314June1992)

AnnexI
RIODECLARATIONONENVIRONMENTAND
DEVELOPMENT

TheUnitedNationsConferenceonEnvironmentand
Development,
HavingmetatRiodeJaneirofrom3to14June
1992,
ReaffirmingtheDeclarationoftheUnitedNations
ConferenceontheHuman
Environment,adoptedatStockholmon16June1972,a/
andseekingtobuildupon
it,
Withthegoalofestablishinganewandequitable
globalpartnership
throughthecreationofnewlevelsofcooperation
amongStates,keysectorsof
societiesandpeople,
Workingtowardsinternationalagreementswhich
respecttheinterestsof
allandprotecttheintegrityoftheglobal
environmentalanddevelopmental
system,
Recognizingtheintegralandinterdependent
natureoftheEarth,our
home,
Proclaimsthat:

Principle1
Humanbeingsareatthecentreofconcernsfor
sustainabledevelopment.
Theyareentitledtoahealthyandproductivelifein
harmonywithnature.

Principle2
Stateshave,inaccordancewiththeCharterof
theUnitedNationsandthe
principlesofinternationallaw,thesovereignright
toexploittheirown
resourcespursuanttotheirownenvironmentaland
developmentalpolicies,and
theresponsibilitytoensurethatactivitieswithin
theirjurisdictionor
controldonotcausedamagetotheenvironmentof
otherStatesorofareas
beyondthelimitsofnationaljurisdiction.

Principle3
Therighttodevelopmentmustbefulfilledsoas
toequitablymeet
developmentalandenvironmentalneedsofpresentand
futuregenerations.
Principle4
Inordertoachievesustainabledevelopment,
environmentalprotection
shallconstituteanintegralpartofthedevelopment
processandcannotbe
consideredinisolationfromit.

Principle5
AllStatesandallpeopleshallcooperateinthe
essentialtaskof

eradicatingpovertyasanindispensablerequirement
forsustainable
development,inordertodecreasethedisparitiesin
standardsoflivingand
bettermeettheneedsofthemajorityofthepeople
oftheworld.

Principle6
Thespecialsituationandneedsofdeveloping
countries,particularlythe
leastdevelopedandthosemostenvironmentally
vulnerable,shallbegiven
specialpriority.Internationalactionsinthefield
ofenvironmentand
developmentshouldalsoaddresstheinterestsand
needsofallcountries.

Principle7
Statesshallcooperateinaspiritofglobal
partnershiptoconserve,
protectandrestorethehealthandintegrityofthe
Earth'secosystem.Inview
ofthedifferentcontributionstoglobal
environmentaldegradation,Stateshave
commonbutdifferentiatedresponsibilities.The
developedcountries
acknowledgetheresponsibilitythattheybearinthe
internationalpursuitof
sustainabledevelopmentinviewofthepressures
theirsocietiesplaceonthe
globalenvironmentandofthetechnologiesand
financialresourcesthey
command.

Principle8
Toachievesustainabledevelopmentandahigher
qualityoflifeforall
people,Statesshouldreduceandeliminate

unsustainablepatternsofproduction
andconsumptionandpromoteappropriatedemographic
policies.

Principle9
Statesshouldcooperatetostrengthenendogenous
capacitybuildingfor
sustainabledevelopmentbyimprovingscientific
understandingthroughexchanges
ofscientificandtechnologicalknowledge,andby
enhancingthedevelopment,
adaptation,diffusionandtransferoftechnologies,
includingnewand
innovativetechnologies.

Principle10
Environmentalissuesarebesthandledwiththe
participationofall
concernedcitizens,attherelevantlevel.Atthe
nationallevel,each
individualshallhaveappropriateaccessto
informationconcerningthe
environmentthatisheldbypublicauthorities,
includinginformationon
hazardousmaterialsandactivitiesintheir
communities,andtheopportunity
toparticipateindecisionmakingprocesses.States
shallfacilitateand
encouragepublicawarenessandparticipationby
makinginformationwidely
available.Effectiveaccesstojudicialand
administrativeproceedings,
includingredressandremedy,shallbeprovided.

Principle11
Statesshallenacteffectiveenvironmental
legislation.Environmental
standards,managementobjectivesandpriorities

shouldreflectthe
environmentalanddevelopmentalcontexttowhichthey
apply.Standardsapplied
bysomecountriesmaybeinappropriateandof
unwarrantedeconomicandsocial
costtoothercountries,inparticulardeveloping
countries.

Principle12
Statesshouldcooperatetopromoteasupportive
andopeninternational
economicsystemthatwouldleadtoeconomicgrowth
andsustainabledevelopment
inallcountries,tobetteraddresstheproblemsof
environmentaldegradation.
Tradepolicymeasuresforenvironmentalpurposes
shouldnotconstituteameans
ofarbitraryorunjustifiablediscriminationora
disguisedrestrictionon
internationaltrade.Unilateralactionstodealwith
environmentalchallenges
outsidethejurisdictionoftheimportingcountry
shouldbeavoided.
Environmentalmeasuresaddressingtransboundaryor
globalenvironmental
problemsshould,asfaraspossible,bebasedonan
internationalconsensus.

Principle13
Statesshalldevelopnationallawregarding
liabilityandcompensation
forthevictimsofpollutionandotherenvironmental
damage.Statesshallalso
cooperateinanexpeditiousandmoredetermined
mannertodevelopfurther
internationallawregardingliabilityand
compensationforadverseeffectsof
environmentaldamagecausedbyactivitieswithin
theirjurisdictionorcontrol
toareasbeyondtheirjurisdiction.

Principle14
Statesshouldeffectivelycooperatetodiscourage
orpreventthe
relocationandtransfertootherStatesofany
activitiesandsubstancesthat
causesevereenvironmentaldegradationorarefound
tobeharmfultohuman
health.

Principle15
Inordertoprotecttheenvironment,the
precautionaryapproachshallbe
widelyappliedbyStatesaccordingtotheir
capabilities.Wherethereare
threatsofseriousorirreversibledamage,lackof
fullscientificcertainty
shallnotbeusedasareasonforpostponingcost
effectivemeasurestoprevent
environmentaldegradation.

Principle16
Nationalauthoritiesshouldendeavourtopromote
theinternalizationof
environmentalcostsandtheuseofeconomic
instruments,takingintoaccount
theapproachthatthepollutershould,inprinciple,
bearthecostof
pollution,withdueregardtothepublicinterestand
withoutdistorting
internationaltradeandinvestment.

Principle17
Environmentalimpactassessment,asanational
instrument,shallbe
undertakenforproposedactivitiesthatarelikelyto

haveasignificant
adverseimpactontheenvironmentandaresubjectto
adecisionofacompetent
nationalauthority.

Principle18
StatesshallimmediatelynotifyotherStatesof
anynaturaldisastersor
otheremergenciesthatarelikelytoproducesudden
harmfuleffectsonthe
environmentofthoseStates.Everyeffortshallbe
madebytheinternational
communitytohelpStatessoafflicted.
Principle19
Statesshallprovidepriorandtimely
notificationandrelevant
informationtopotentiallyaffectedStateson
activitiesthatmayhavea
significantadversetransboundaryenvironmental
effectandshallconsultwith
thoseStatesatanearlystageandingoodfaith.

Principle20
Womenhaveavitalroleinenvironmental
managementanddevelopment.
Theirfullparticipationisthereforeessentialto
achievesustainable
development.

Principle21
Thecreativity,idealsandcourageoftheyouth
oftheworldshouldbe
mobilizedtoforgeaglobalpartnershipinorderto
achievesustainable
developmentandensureabetterfutureforall.

Principle22
Indigenouspeopleandtheircommunitiesandother
localcommunitieshave
avitalroleinenvironmentalmanagementand
developmentbecauseoftheir
knowledgeandtraditionalpractices.Statesshould
recognizeanddulysupport
theiridentity,cultureandinterestsandenable
theireffectiveparticipation
intheachievementofsustainabledevelopment.

Principle23
Theenvironmentandnaturalresourcesofpeople
underoppression,
dominationandoccupationshallbeprotected.

Principle24
Warfareisinherentlydestructiveofsustainable
development.States
shallthereforerespectinternationallawproviding
protectionforthe
environmentintimesofarmedconflictandcooperate
initsfurther
development,asnecessary.

Principle25
Peace,developmentandenvironmentalprotection
areinterdependentand
indivisible.

Principle26
Statesshallresolvealltheirenvironmental
disputespeacefullyandby
appropriatemeansinaccordancewiththeCharterof

theUnitedNations.

Principle27
Statesandpeopleshallcooperateingoodfaith
andinaspiritof
partnershipinthefulfilmentoftheprinciples
embodiedinthisDeclaration
andinthefurtherdevelopmentofinternationallaw
inthefieldofsustainable
development.

*****
a/ReportoftheUnitedNationsConferenceon
theHumanEnvironment,
Stockholm,516June1972(UnitedNations
publication,SalesNo.E.73.II.A.14
andcorrigendum),chap.I.

http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf1
51/aconf15126-1annex1.htm