Benefits of Wind Energy
The development of renewable energy is a natural step in the evolution of locally generated electricity. Harvesting peat for electricity has brought significant economic gain for many areas of the Midlands over the years.
The development of renewable energy is a natural step in the evolution of locally generated electricity. Ireland is now on a path to decarbonisation and the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewables increases every year. The development of renewable energy projects has the potential for local economic and societal gains. All renewable projects that are developed over the coming years will attract a significant Community Benefit Fund for the local area which will often equate to multi-million-euro investment opportunities for local communities.
Local people know best
Through working with the local community, we aim to ensure that the Community Benefit Fund delivers the maximum possible benefit and that it delivers for you. This fund will support the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the local area.
In all communities, it is the local people who know the area best. It is you, the people who live here, who know the strengths, weaknesses and aspirations of the area. In some areas, there might be a preference for support for projects for young people. In others, it could be services for the elderly that need to be supported.
The fundamental principle in the development of the community benefit package is that we seek to work with local people to deliver increased environmental, economic and social sustainability to their communities.
We want to ensure that our developments deliver for you and your community. As such, we are interested in hearing what ideas you have on how this wind farm could deliver the most benefit to you and your local area.
Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS)
A key feature of all our projects is the funding made available to benefit the local community. These funds allow for a significant sum of money to be used for the community’s economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being. The fundamental principle of the benefit packages we roll out is that we seek to work with local people to deliver improved sustainability to their communities.
We recognise that every community is different and that it is the local people who know the area best. Decisions on what will be funded will rest with the members of a specially formed committee, allowing them to shape the strategy to maximise the benefits for the entire community.
The Community Benefit Fund is a great opportunity to play a central role in the transition to a zero-carbon, more sustainable future, and a particular focus of the funds is to support local initiatives that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). See below for more details.
The Dernacart Wind Farm, as proposed, could bring with it funding in the region of an estimated €250,000 each year, or €3.75 million over a 15-year period.
What can the fund be used for?
We are keenly aware that money on its own means nothing. What it does bring is potiential. To maximise this potential, critical assessment and vision is needed.
As part of our consultation process, we would like to ask everyone to consider the needs of the local area and its people. Some of the questions that might warrant reflection are:
- What challenges do people in the area face?
- What are the community's strengths and how could they be improved?
- What supports do local services need?
- What issues will face the community over the coming decade?
- Are there gaps in services?
- How could investment be used to support local people?
Below are some examples of what has been considered in other areas in which we have worked and highlight could be achieved in your community:
- Direct benefit schemes, such as near neighbour payments
- Energy efficiency schemes for households
- Funding for local heritage initiatives
- Job creation and investment into local economy
- Funding for recreation projects, such as sports clubs and local amenities
- Support for local education schemes
We would be very interested in hearing what ideas you have on how this wind farm could deliver the most benefit to you and your local area.