Do you agree with the placement of solar farms?
A recent report in the Irish Examiner claims that planning permission is requested for two solar farms every 5 days in Ireland. The problem is that opposing groups say that the government has no specific planning guidelines.
An average solar farm takes up about 30 acres, and communities are dismayed that so many solar farms can be applied for without solar-specific criteria being enforced. The Examiner, however, says that Minister Simon Coveney has tried to reassure those who are worried.
He says that regular planning laws are sufficient for the assessment of such farms. Those who are protesting against this lack of regulation dispute his claim, since the guidelines have never been adapted with solar farms in mind.
Applications go through An Bord Pleanála, and Energy Minister Denis Naughten disagrees with ‘bulldozing’ communities who object. He wants to bring people on board with their plans in a more inclusive way, according to the report.
Ireland needs to keep up with clean energy targets or else we’ll incur serious fines, so it’s important for the government to keep the peace between those who are setting up vital solar energy farms and the communities that will be affected.