Ireland is fortunate in having the best wind conditions in Europe and excellent potential for limiting reliance of fossil fuels. However, this could come at a heavy price to the fragile, unique countryside in Ireland, a cultural landscape which encapsulates the endeavours of different settlers over five millennia. What a heritage to cherish… The pressure to build huge 150m high turbines has allowed some areas to replace derelict, post excavation sites of peat, to install wind farms on an industrial scale with minimal environmental consequences.
However, villagers and townspeople in the South West corner of County Wicklow, an unspoilt landscape of open mountains and enclosed fields, have been mobilised to stop an application for twelve of these enormous turbines which will dominate the horizon and overlook one of the prettiest villages in Ireland, Aughrim. The process of approval has been affected by the County Council refusal to grant permission, but the last word is with our Planning Appeals Board, who might invoke national interest as a reason for reversing the county’s decision. This is another good reason why a network such as ENtopia could bring together communities who share the same challenges to their well-being.