In keeping with the positive goals of addressing climate change by developing renewable energy, proposals such as this wind farm seek to bring opportunities for real environmental, economic and social benefits for the local area. Building on the foundation of a design that takes account of local desires, the form that a community benefit package would take has been developed.
From talking to you, we have gotten a very strong impression that people in the local area want direct benefit for their households as they feel that community benefit funds very often only benefit certain sectors of society.
Feedback on local needs
The main messages that we received from talking to people over the past number of months included:
As a starting point: Local Electricity – Lower Local Bills.
In terms of taking a step towards addressing the feedback above, we have looked at ways in which this project could lead to reduced electricity bills in the local area.
Feedback that we have received from you:
Taking this onboard we have worked to establish of how we might achieve this while also promoting better energy usage.
The average household usage of electricity in Ireland is 4,200kWh per year resulting in an approximate bill of €1,114 per year. Some houses will have higher bills and some will be lower.
Should this project be granted planning permission, the wind farm Community Benefit Fund will pay €1,114 directly to all houses within 1km of the wind farm to contribute to local electricity bills.
A Greener Living Scheme
Interest has been expressed in a scheme which would assist people locally to reduce their carbon foot print. We would propose that the community fund introduce further initiatives through a Greener Living Scheme which would help people reduce their carbon footprint and their household bills. In this way many houses would have the potential to greatly reduce their electricity bills below the value of €1,114 resulting in them having a net surplus. Others may decide that they would like grant assistance from the fund to buy electric cars.
Aspirations Expressed By the Local Community Include:
Increased Direct Benefit or Support for the Development of Local Employment:
From talking to people there have been two main lines of thought. Some people were of the opinion that local households should receive the majority of the community fund available. Others thought that, given the significant sums of money that could potentially be available under the RESS scheme, it should be used to attract and develop local industry. We would like you to have your say on this. Would you like:
A) The development of employment opportunities.
B) Distributed directly to households in the local area.
C) Divided equally between the two above.
Click Here To Vote: Community Benefit Fund
The new Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS)
In July this year, the government announced details of the new renewable energy support scheme (RESS) which is aimed at encouraging the development of a sustainable renewable energy mix in Ireland. There are two very significant community opportunities for projects which will be developed under this scheme.
Working together ideas can become reality!