Level Info – GB – Wind Energy and Climate Response

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Sir, – Justin Moran (letters, 6 Jan) rightly argues that the merits of wind power must be set within the context of a climate emergency.As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made clear, there is a dire need to decarbonise electricity, heat and transport systems, in essence, coal, oil To get rid of gas and peat and switch to renewable energy sources

However, it is not enough for the Irish Wind Energy Association to speak of « wind energy » in such abstract and general terms

Wind energy is not an isolated matter. It has many dimensions, which become all too clear when it is concretized in a certain place or in a certain municipality. Reducing this complexity impoverishes public discourse and is not transparent about the challenges involved in combating it of climate change lie ahead of us

First, it is assumed that we use a natural resource and can use and privatize it for human benefit

Second, it requires a supportive national political regime that is likely to offer subsidies or guaranteed prices to wind developers, which in turn affects the bills that consumers pay

Third, thousands of turbines, probably not in Ireland but overseas, must be made using scarce and precious minerals and transported by ship, plane or truck

Fourth, it is a stimulating developer who could be a local person or community group, but more often it is a multinational with shareholders from outside Ireland, few local or national loyalties and a potentially low public confidence act

Fifthly, this means that landscapes and seascapes have been significantly changed or even « industrialized » for at least 25 years, which significantly changes our sense of place

Sixth, it requires a grid infrastructure that can handle variable power and reliably deliver wind power to where it is needed

Seventh, it is a planning process with detailed and lengthy environmental and social impact assessments, limited time for public responses and potentially low levels of perceived transparency and fairness

Ultimately, it is assumed that an attempt is made to share the benefits fairly and transparently with the local communities directly affected by certain projects

The 2030 target of 70 percent renewable electricity is likely to be supported by the majority of society, but there are numerous alternative ways to achieve this target Open and transparent about the complexities and challenges of « wind » and other fossil fuels Being renewable energy sources and technologies is a necessary prerequisite for real, honest and informed public debate

Mechanisms to promote civic input, politeness and argumentative complexity, especially in citizens’ assemblies, can inform and legitimize energy policy goals. Only then can we ensure that an urgent response to the climate emergency is democratic, legitimate, fair and leaves no one behind – yours etc

Climate change, system, renewable energies, natural environment

EbeneInfo – GB – Wind energy and climate reaction
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Wind energy and climate reaction
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Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/wind-energy-and-climate-response-1.4454483

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