Ireland's 2030 wind energy targets won't be met due to blockages in the planning system, according to the Irish Wind Farmers Association (IWFA), who has said that planning in Ireland is not fit for purpose and is preventing the development of onshore wind farms.

"Planning in this country is not fit for purpose. It is seen across the housing sector, where projects are having objections raised daily to prevent NIMBYism, and the same can be said for the land-based wind energy sector," said IWFA executive member Paddy Phelan, who is also CEO of South East Energy Agency.

"As we continue to miss housing targets and see the same issue, we are now destined to see renewable energy targets missed by half if we are reliant on offshore wind being operational before 2030.

"Offshore wind will contribute significantly to 2040 and 2050 targets, but in IWFA members' opinions, not 2030 ones," he continued.

Community development

The IWFA represents almost 100 farmers and landowners. In a statement, it said that it is high time Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan paid more attention to onshore and less to offshore.

It points to the opportunity for community development throughout the country, working alongside offshore, but needing immediate attention from the Government.

Communities forming renewable energy communities and locally-owned, farmer-led one- and two-turbine projects are areas that the IWFA says the policy is supportive of but planning is not.


The IWFA annual conference will be held at the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny, on Thursday 23 November, where the planning process and construction of the grid for energy distribution will be up for discussion.

The conference brings together industry leaders, stakeholders and experts in the sector.

Among topics also for discussion are price cap issues and the legislation around onshore wind projects. For more information and to attend the conference, please visit their website.